Principal’s Blog 16th June – Drop Down DaysJune 16th, 2017
School should be fun and exciting and one of the ways we look to achieve this at Hazeley is through providing a wide variety of enrichment activities. By running Drop Down Days we can offer such activities to the whole cohort of students. The blog this week focuses on the activities that have taken place this academic year.
Drop Down Day
At Hazeley we have experienced three Drop Down Days (DDD) this academic year, most recently on the 9th June. A Drop Down Day is when the usual timetabled lessons are suspended to allow students and staff to work on a wide variety of different projects to develop Character, Confidence and Creativity even further.
What happens on a Drop Down Day?
Inviting people into school from local companies is key to making the day’s exciting and different to a normal day at school. This year we had a wide range of external support from indoor golf, Bollywood dancers, musicians, artists, mathematicians, Young Enterprise, first aid and Yoga, to name but a few. In June Year 9 participated in ‘Learn to Earn’ empowering students to take ownership of their life choices, think about their career options and the qualifications they need to pursue them. Students explored personal skills and talents, recruitment and job interviews, career choices, salaries, earnings, tax, the cost of living, financial planning and budgeting.
Some subjects use the time to focus on a particular aspect of a subject, for example completing Controlled Assessment work that contributes to a final GCSE grade. In October, Year 11 students worked on a piece of Science controlled assessment and in January, Year 10 did the same in History and Geography. The length of time that a whole day focussed on one topic allows students to become fully immersed in their work.
Drop Down Days are also used to support revision and exam preparation. In January Year 11 spent the day in English getting to grips with exam technique in the new 9-1 GCSE. Year 10 had half a day with English and half a day with Maths in the most recent day, to help prepare them for the upcoming Year 10 Pre Public Exams (PPEs).
Year 12 and 13 participated in the October and January day, giving the June one over to PPEs and summer exams. With the theme of ‘preparing for life beyond school’, students learnt how to cook some classic student dishes, manage their own finances, improve their personal statements for UCAS as well as work in teams to plan and deliver a fundraising event for local and national charities supported by an external mentor.
An advantage of Drop Down Days is the way they allow us to use staffing creatively too. The excellent Pathway Preferences Taster Day for Year 8 in January had 22 different members of staff from across all faculties delivering KS4 taster lessons on a rotation across eight shorter lessons to allow the students to try out different subjects prior to making their preference choices.
There have been a number of trips on offer during the year, with Year 7 visiting two different castles and the Natural History Museum and Year 9 visiting several locations as part of an Art and Nature themed day in the Autumn, as well as very successful Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Expedition in June.
Thank you to our students, who had to push their boundaries, develop new skills, improve old ones and experience something different. Plans are already in place to make the Drop Down Days for 2017-2018 even better!