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At St Margaret’s we place great emphasis on developing the child as a whole. In addition to accessing a full and varied curriculum, our children are encouraged to participate with enthusiasm in a wide range of extra-curricular activities, both at school and in trips further afield.
The extra-curricular programme, which is available each day at school, offers a breadth of activities and aims to encourage children to take on new challenges in addition to building their confidence. It also expands their interests, both on an individual and team basis, and enables them to learn to take responsibility for the choices they make. Giving our children a balanced curricular and extra-curricular programme assists in giving them the key life skills they need to successfully cope with their next move to senior school.
Extra-curricular activities generally take place during the extended lunch-break for all children from Reception to Year 6 and also after school for children in the Prep Department. There are a small number of clubs available for the younger children, such as Ballet, Computing, Judo and Adventure, whilst the older pupils have a wide range of activities from which to choose, including Rock School, Swimming, Choir and Tennis. Some of the music clubs require previous experience and are therefore available by invitation. These include Orchestra, Windband, String and Recorder Ensembles.
As well as a variety of sport and music activities, there are also clubs for Drama, Cookery, Pottery, Construction and Gardening. Most of the activities are run by St Margaret’s staff, but we occasionally bring in experts for certain disciplines such as Judo, Fencing, Tennis and Ballet, this incurs an additional termly cost.
There are in excess of 30 clubs from which to choose every week. Activities may vary from term to term and some will be seasonal. The list below provides an indication of the extra-curricular activities available to children at St Margaret’s and is based on the Autumn 2016/17 timetable.
During their time at St Margaret’s, our pupils are given the opportunity to attend a range of trips to complement their areas of study. The younger children visit places of interest including Westonbirt Arboretum, Roves Farm, Sevington Victorian School and Chepstow Castle. Whilst children in the Prep Department enjoy The Living Rainforest, Clifton Suspension Bridge, STEAM and Portsmouth Historic Dockyards.
Outings that always prove to be very popular with children and staff alike are the residential trips. The experience starts in Year 3 when the children camp in the school grounds, supported by our staff and members from a local outdoor pursuits company. Year 4 children visit The Mill on the Brue Activity Centre in Somerset, where they take part in activities such as archery, zipwire, grass tobogganing; it's also a very important time for team-building and bonding!
Children in Year 5 enjoy a Swanage and Durdle Door geography field-trip, in which they study the Jurassic coast and conduct interviews with local residents, ultimately forming the basis of a research project for the area. Finally, our senior pupils spend a week at UKSA in Cowes on the Isle of Wight. As well as being a celebration of their time at St Margaret's, the children embark on a journey of personal development. Again, this holiday is based on team participation, but also includes experiences such as keelboating, kayaking, paddleboarding, dinghy sailing and raft-building. Everyone is encouraged to participate in all activities, regardless of experience!