What is Academic Enrichment?
Happy, Fulfilled, Intellectually Curious Young Women who are ready to be successful in life
Academic Enrichment refers to no one area of the education of a young person and as such appears in all areas of school life. Young people have a greater capacity to reach academic potential if their curriculum is enriched with physical activity, social support, community involvement and an awareness of the needs of others, sufficient time to learn in a conducive atmosphere, good nutrition, time to read, and a challenging and varied learning environment where the opportunities have no boundaries.
Last summer Sherborne Girls was placed in the top 7% of secondary schools nationally (over 4,000 schools) for value added, which is a measure of how well we motivate our students to achieve their full potential and more.
Sherborne Girls' curriculum expands knowledge and academic experience beyond the rote learning of pre-described specifications for examination success, focusing on understanding and depth of knowledge, exploring lines of enquiry for long term academic success beyond school. It incorporates the development of life skills including self confidence, emotional intelligence and creative intelligence for successful future leaders, communicators, performers and good citizens. The developing brain can be trained in many directions and maintaining a breadth of experiences is an important part of the stretch that a young girl needs.
Academic enrichment occurs within the classroom with a focus on personalised learning; meeting the needs of every individual. Staff use a range of teaching and learning styles, resources and appropriate technological opportunities to provide variety, capture attention, challenge, and ensure appropriate extension for every girl.
Beyond the classroom, subject specific study trips, exchange programmes in this country and abroad, an extensive regular programme of co-curricular opportunities, provision for the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) in the sixth form (soon to be available to M5 and U5), academic extension provided by internal and national competitions and challenges, and tutoring, offer more focused enrichment. For many, visits to top universities for study days can be incredibly motivating experiences.
Our boarding school environment enables the development of resilience, resourcefulness, and leadership qualities, in addition to academic enquiry, in the pursuit of excellence. Encouraging girls to move out of their comfort zone, take risks and learn from their academic mistakes ensures they remain open-minded and aspirational. The benefits to sixth form girls who direct and choreograph house dance, drama and singing competitions, and to girls in all years who create business opportunities to raise money for their chosen charities, provide a sense of purpose and achievement in supporting others.
My vision of enrichment therefore is everything each individual member of staff does, and facilitates, to enable exposure to an environment that will enable girls to gain a deeper understanding of themselves, cultivate a natural curiosity to explore, discover interests, and reach their full potential.
Six years ago, using the model of the IB Learner Profile, we developed a learner profile for all girls across the school. The SG Learner Profile is a framework by which we encourage all members of our school community to be communicative, open-minded, enquiring, balanced, principled, caring, reflective and knowledgeable; they should also be thinkers and risk-takers.
It is central to the SG Junior Diploma for L4, U4 and the SG Intermediate Diploma for L5, and promotes the elements of learning and personal development that enable us to strive to meet our whole school aims. Our academic enrichment supports these aims. This holistic approach to learning enables us to continue to send dynamic and confident young women out into the world.
Louise Orton (Deputy Head, Teaching and Learning)