In year 5, the children spend a week learning about career opportunities that are available to them when they are older. We call this week Inspire Week as we hope to inspire the children with how they can utilise their talents and passions when they are older, and share careers with them that they may not even know exist. They are told more about how getting a job works – what qualifications they will need, how you apply to a job and even how to write a CV. During the week, each child gets to go on multiple visits to different jobs in the local community. In this past, this has included: Morrisons, a local nursery, a local hair salon, the library, a theatre and Madejski Stadium. Visitors also come into the school to run workshops and host talks. In the last few years, children have worked with: the police, the fire service, a vet, cabin crew and an archaeologist. The week is an invaluable experience to our children and an event they always refer to as a Geoffrey Field highlight at the end of year 6.
Aspire 2 was established as a registered charity in 2007 when the government’s Excellence in Cities funding ended and school leaders wanted to ensure the sustainability of enrichment activities for children attending the 11 collaborating schools which form the Whitley Excellence Cluster (WEC).
We work directly, and alongside many other organisations to enable children to take part in activities including, outdoor education, cultural and leisure trips, sports activities, music, dance and performance, competitions and other participatory events throughout the year. We work to provide opportunities and experiences which many children and families take for granted, but are too often beyond the reach of families and children in South Reading.
Aspire2 has fundraised to provide two brand new 16 seater minibuses, for shared use by 11 schools within the Whitley Excellence Cluster. With the support and partnership of the John Sykes Foundation, who donated £15,000 to bring this vision to fruition, Aspire2 has leased the vehicles for five years, with the intention of taking children to trips, activities, and adventures that otherwise they may not be able to access. The minibuses have already been booked for trips to football tournaments, a music festival, theatre productions, and residential trips, with many more activities in the pipeline.
Ufton Court & Rhos Y Gwaliau
At Geoffrey Field Juniors we offer pupils the opportunity to participate in residential outdoor adventure experiences both to Rhos Y Gwaliau (RYG) and Ufton Court.
RYG is situated in stunning open countryside on the eastern side of the Snowdonia National Park. We have access to scenic mountains, tranquil lakes, awe-inspiring coastlines and breath-taking rivers. This trip traditionally takes places during the first week of the Easter holidays and is open to our Year 5 and 6 pupils.
Ufton Court is set within the beautiful grounds of a Tudor House in Berkshire. We are able to offer day trips and family day outings during the holidays. Through the school term, we are able to take advantage of whole class residentials for all pupils in year four. In addition to these we hold three carefully planned ‘immersion’ experience for a number of pupils across the WEC primary schools. These consist of three day (two night) residentials repeated four times for each of three differently focused groups-those who are vulnerable, those who are more suited to learn through academic challenge outside and those for whom behaviour is an issue.
Outdoor adventure and residential experiences enable pupils to enjoy challenging and unfamiliar experiences that test and develop their physical, social and personal skills. They can be the most memorable experiences for pupils of their school days.
Outdoor education compliments the school curriculum; PE, environmental education and personal and social education,
Outcomes for pupils include:
- Enjoyment: Young people enjoy participating in outdoor activities and adopt a positive attitude to challenge and adventure.
- Confidence: Young people gain personal confidence and self-esteem through taking on challenges and achieving success.
- Social awareness: Young people develop their self-awareness and social skills, and their appreciation of the contributions and achievements of themselves and of others.
- Environmental awareness: Young people become alive to the natural environment and understand the importance of conservation and sustainable development.
- Skills: Young people acquire and develop a range of skills in outdoor activities, expeditions and exploration.
- Personal qualities: Young people demonstrate increased initiative, self-reliance, responsibility, perseverance and commitment.
- Key skills: Young people develop and extend their key skills of communication, problem solving, leadership and teamwork.
- Health and fitness: Young people learn to appreciate the benefits of physical fitness and the lifelong value of participation in healthy leisure activities.
- Increased motivation and appetite for learning: Young people display an increased motivation and appetite for learning that contributes to raised levels of attainment in other aspects of their education.
- Broadened horizons: Young people broaden their horizons and become open to a wider range of employment opportunities and life chances.
Time spent reviewing the activities ensures that learning outcomes are emphasised, reinforced and applied in the future.
At Geoffrey Field, we value the experiences that the pupils gain at both RYG and Ufton Court and regularly see the benefits transferred back into the classroom; socially, emotionally and academically. An increase in confidence and the spirit of adventure is reflected in the significant increase in the number of pupils who go on the RYG week in years five and six following their two night residential at nearby Ufton Adventure in year four. Over fifty attended RYG in 2017 compared with thirty in the years before Ufton Adventure.