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We are very proud of the extra-curricular activities programme offered at Yarm School. It is both rich and varied, providing a wealth of opportunity for all.
Our aim is to offer an all-round education, encouraging all pupils to make the most of their academic talents but also to develop skills, hobbies and interests which will stay with them into their adult lives. We want our pupils to leave Yarm School with soft skills, empathy, teamwork, leadership and confidence. The range of experiences on offer mean that everyone can find something that helps them develop these qualities.
As well as the range of extra-curricular activities available at lunchtimes, after the school day, at weekends and during the holidays, we also pride ourselves on running a unique programme of Activity Lessons which take place twice a week within the timetable. All pupils in the School choose an activity to follow in each of the timetabled sessions held on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons.
There are also clubs, societies and activities taking place at lunchtimes and after school throughout the year; details are made available at the start of each new term. For example, the Combined Cadet Force meets after school each Monday. The CCF develops pupils’ leadership and teamwork skills through challenging activities and training.
Concerts, drama productions, competitions, lecture evenings and charity events take place throughout the school year, as do a vast number of other trips, visits and expeditions which are offered as a result of the interests, enthusiasm and commitment of the school community.
Yarm School offers a wide range of adventurous activities. Pupils are given the opportunity to go on local walks, day visits to crags or caves and short residential trip to the coast, the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales. There are also opportunities to go further afield, such as canoe trips in Scotland, winter mountaineering, bouldering in Fontainebleau and major expeditions to places such as Nepal, India, Peru and Borneo.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme is extremely popular at Yarm. The format requires pupils to complete several different sections: volunteering in the community, physical recreation, personal skill, residential experience (Gold only), and expeditions. Several students each year complete their Gold Award whilst still at school.
Such is our commitment to extra-curricular activity, Yarm School has designed its own Yarm School Baccalaureate (YBACC) for First to Third Years. The award recognises the achievements and commitment in key areas of school life outside of the classroom. Pupils qualify for the YBACC if they complete the requirements for the award in all five categories: Community Service, Cultural Activity, Independent Learning, Outdoor Education, and Sport.
Nurturing a sense of responsibility in our pupils as they develop and mature through their time at school is very important to us. Opportunities for pupils to use their initiative, to take leadership roles and to understand how to work as part of a team abound; for example in sports teams and through captaincy roles, organising house events and activities or lecture programmes, on outward bound courses or as volunteers supporting activities such as induction days or as peer mentors.
In the Sixth Form these opportunities become even more pronounced, for example through our ‘Take a Lead’ Programme or Sixth Form Mentoring system, both of which provide a guided opportunity for older pupils to help and support the younger members of the school community. Our Sixth Form pupils are always keen to give something back to the School and to demonstrate leadership through service: many of them apply to be considered for the roles of School Officers, Prefects and House Officers.
The School Officers and Prefects work closely with the Headmaster and his Senior Management Team colleagues as well as supporting all other school staff, teaching and non-teaching. We see our Prefects as a group of young men and women who can help us to make the School an even better place; a happier, more caring, better behaved and more tolerant community.
For any school to be purposeful, dynamic and to continue to develop positively, there must also be an opportunity for all members to feel that their views and opinions are listened to and that they can make a constructive contribution to the community as a whole: the School Council is a pupil group organised by the Heads of Middle School and Sixth Form and chaired by members of the Sixth Form.
Council members are elected by the pupils themselves and each year group in the School is represented. The Council meets regularly throughout the year to consider a range of agenda items that are relevant to the pupils themselves. Council members will conduct surveys to canvas pupil opinions on particular issues and prepare reports and presentations for the Council to consider.
A separate Eco-Schools Council, also with elected pupil representatives, exists to consider environmental issues as part of the School’s Green Flag status.
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