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Schools’ Pages Burnt Mill Academy

A passport to success is helping to develop young people’s character, confidence and creativity. Every student at Burnt Mill Academy, in Harlow, and Forest Hall School, in Stansted, has been issued with the passport and challenged to complete 20 tasks to encourage their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. Tasks include taking a selfie with a famous London landmark, trying a different cuisine for dinner, helping out in the community, actively recycling and creating a fact file on a religion.

A version of the passport will also be introduced into the primary schools within the Burnt Mill Co-

operative Academy Trust (BMAT) schools. Hannah Jones, humanities teacher at both secondary schools, said: “Part of the Ofsted framework is to develop the spiritual, moral, social and cultural sides of our young people. But, it is also the BMAT way to encourage students to have new experiences and to continue to push themselves. Lots of these things are happening in school anyway, but we need activities like these to develop them in other ways. “We are looking to encourage creativity, reflection, understanding, awareness of different cultures

and taking time out to think about things. Young people also need the ability to be able to work with other people and some of these tasks focus on that. “We want students to get out and see different cultures and different people. We want to ensure

our students are ready for modern Britain in a multicultural society. We are here to educate them and get them their grades, but we also want them to be well-rounded individuals who make a difference.” The passport is also being linked to the extensive range of enrichment clubs available at the secondary phase of schools, with stamps being issued in their passport for every six clubs they attend. Students have one year to complete the list of tasks and must give evidence in their passport for

each. A celebration at the end of the year will see prizes presented for the most creative and original completed passports.

More clubs:- It’s not all about English and maths at Burnt Mill Academy…students are also encouraged to study journalism, theatre and magic. The school, in First Avenue, Harlow, has had an extensive list of

extra-curricular activities for students to enjoy for some time, but the enrichment programme is being stepped up this year. The newly named Be More clubs are held every day before school, during lunchtimes and after school, with the last club finishing at 8.30pm. They include a wide range of sports – from badminton and football to dodgeball and multi-gym – as well as baking (opposite), media, homework, technology, concert band, cartoon, swimming and theatre. Amy Mills, responsible for the programme, said students

throughout the school are expected to attend at least two clubs per week. She said: “It is so important, not only to develop our students

academically, but also to develop them as people. It’s important to shape them as human beings and give them as many opportunities as possible outside the classroom. “We find lots of children want to stay behind at Burnt Mill after lessons have finished, so it makes sense to encourage them to learn something or have fun during that time.” “As an English teacher, I find sometimes our children aren’t missing the skills needed, they are

lacking in life experiences and that is what we are giving to them with our enrichment programme. Everything they learn and experience will help them in lessons as well as when they go on to further education and into employment. Life is about so much more than just grades; young people need to stand out with more than that today.” Video footage and images of students enjoying the range of clubs are being displayed on TV

screens around the school to further promote them. The clubs also give younger students an opportunity to sample topics such as media or theatre, before deciding to take them as an option or follow a career in those fields.

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