Life is an adventure – and school should be too
Schools across the country have been gripped by the challenges presented by Covid-19: since lockdown we’ve been open every single day to children of key workers, and those who might be considered to be vulnerable. And from June, we’ve opened up to priority year groups – namely Reception, Year 1 and Year 6.
All children are due to be back in school from September and the logistical challenges are immense. But so too are the challenges around how we make sure we are giving our children the right diet of learning. The temptation is to focus solely on formal classroom learning – so much time has been lost, and there is much ground to make up.
And of course, it is essential that our children can read, write and add up to the level that you would expect for their age.
But at REAch2, school always has been about so much more. And it will continue to be about so much more in this coming year. Arguably, there has never been a more important time to focus on the wider experience of learning that school and education can offer.
Think back – what do you remember about your primary school days? Was it phonics lessons or learning how to do long division? Or was it a brilliant school trip where you camped under the stars? Or built a raft and crossed a lake? Or built and launched rockets from the playground?
These types of great opportunity – the memorable experiences that cement themselves into your psyche – happen in every school. What’s different for us is that we consciously codify it into a set of promises so that it becomes something that EVERY child is entitled to.
And “11 before 11” is the way we do this; it’s a set of promises that help our children to be in the driving seat in their own lives. They are a series of seminal experiences that we want every child in the REAch2 family to have experienced before they leave us to go to secondary school aged 11.
Across each of our 60 schools, we are ambitious for our children to have broad horizons in life and high aspirations for themselves. We want our children to be inspired and challenged so that each one can develop their unique potential to the full. 11 before 11 takes our children beyond the usual, to open opportunities in life and inspire them to move forward in their own life’s adventure.
We are incredibly proud of “11 before 11”. We know the impact that it has had so far, and strongly believe that its importance has only grown because of Covid19 and the impact that the pandemic has had on society, on our communities, and on our families. We will continue to invest in delivering it, so that every child’s experience of school with us is exceptional and memorable for all the right reasons.
10 Good Deeds in 10 days – putting citizenship into practise, children discover how they can make a positive impact. For example, children visit local residential homes to engage with residents
Make or Break a REAch2 Record – ‘The REAch2 Book of Records’ showcases the amazing individuals, and groups of children who have carried out brilliant feats such as building the tallest speed stack tower – 1.49m high or creating the longest cardboard tube snake measuring 105m!
Flashmob! – helping children develop courage, by performing in front of a crowd in a familiar setting – it allows them to feel nervous and overcome those nerves together in a fun and memorable community event.
Seeds to Supper – connecting children with the importance of food in their lives: they grow their own crops from seed, learning how to care for food, and the nutritional value of the food, then they harvest their crops and use the produce to cook meals for their family, and learn how food brings people together.
Create Something Amazing – giving children the opportunity to design and create a large sculpture or artwork; something that will last a long time and identify any budding sculptors and artists.
Messing About on the Water – introducing children to the thrill and enjoyment of water sports and allowing them to test their courage on the water, and to work in teams.
Sleep Under the Stars – sleeping away from home, our children spend a night under the stars with their friends. This adventure can fill children with the wonder of our universe, and who knows – could lead to a lifetime’s passion for astronomy
Shake it up Shakespeare – by performing an abridged version of a Shakespeare play in a professional theatre, our children truly understand the cultural importance and timelessness of the themes explored in these great works. Children learn the courage of public speaking and facing their fears. It’s also an opportunity to open a door onto the world of drama, for children to explore a possible strength and love they would wish to develop.
Hiking Heroes – taking on a mountain or the tallest building for miles around, this adventure instils a sense of accomplishment and awe at the surrounding view.
Ride a Large Animal – sitting up high and riding a horse, is an exhilarating experience for young children, and allows them to overcome any initial trepidation, and learn to conquer fears.
Cross a Border – for many of our children, leaving home to visit a foreign country, is only possible if it is arranged by school. It is a completely memorable adventure, where children can explore different cultures, traditions, and languages, learning that there is a wide and rich world waiting to be explored, beyond their local community.