We want students to receive an excellent education, gain the grades they can aspire towards and find the next step in their education or training, but there is much more to this than simply achieving GCSE or A Level qualifications. The CBI, employers, our governors and parents alike, all say young people need to leave school with the experiences that enable them to develop the ‘soft’ skills and characteristics needed to thrive in life and succeed in employment.
We want to enable all our students (regardless of background and potential barriers) to grow, develop and experience the richness that life can offer; including developing cultural capital, knowing how to stay healthy, expanding their minds and outlook on life, pushing themselves and trying out new things, creating new and meaningful hobbies and activities for themselves and preparing them for the workplace and life beyond Myton School. They enable students to try new things and look at the world from a different perspective, sometimes with a sense of awe and wonder, sometimes to spark an element of creativity or aspiration, sometimes to help them make positive choices and keep themselves safe.
In order to ensure personal development for all our students we have developed a programme that encompasses a breadth of experiences, which we call the Myton Promise. This includes the core offer (see below), interwoven with our Pastoral Curriculum; the 50 Things Challenge; the classroom-based taught Curriculum; our extra-curricular provision, including regular clubs and our annual events run by departments and open to students that study those courses; and our Careers provision.
The Myton Promise
Our core Myton Promise offer (see map) includes events that are open to all students. For many of these events, for instance the long-standing Prison, Me, No Way! Programme, all students participate, funded by the school. There are also other opportunities, for instance the ski trip, which cost parents and we know how important it is to enable parents to plan ahead and save for these opportunities. In addition, we are continuously working towards providing more affordable versions of trips to remove any barriers for our community.
We recognise that providing students with regular opportunities to enrich their curriculum enhances their experience of school, encourages greater levels of participation and attendance at school and will enrich their lives and their families’ futures. The Myton Promise covers opportunities that are annual events, which are open to all students. In addition to this, we have a rich, ever-evolving and diverse range of extra-curricular activities that are delivered weekly throughout the year, including sports clubs, chess club, board games club, eco-club, and a range of creative clubs including various arts, drama and music opportunities. These are offered and run by subject specialists and staff who are keen to work with students as they develop new skills and interests. We are always excited to expand this provision, for instance, in Spring 2023, we are able to launch our truly diverse and inclusive new tag rugby.
Our offer is further enhanced by department run residentials and day visits that do not appear on the Myton Promise as they are only open to students studying that subject. These do however, provide a richness of experience for those students and help them develop further. Examples of these include Geography field trips; drama workshops in London’s West End; our exchange programme to Brühl; computing trips to Warwick, Bletchley Park and Disneyland Paris; visits to theatres and dance shows, and much more.
We use the Evolve system to allow us to plan these trips and ensure a balance of opportunities for students, to record when each visit is happening and to ensure these opportunities truly enhance the curriculum without impacting adversely on teaching and learning.
In addition, to further develop students’ character and impress upon them the importance of how we interact with others, we have developed a school-based App, focussing on random acts of kindness. This provides those students who are signed up and actively using the App with push notifications of examples of acts of kindness they can try; allows them to scroll through a menu of random acts of kindness and will also provide focus weeks and prizes to nominate those students who are demonstrating these kind acts.
There are also a range of in-house opportunities for groups of students when it identified that these might support their personal development further. These include Forest School, nurture from the Inclusion Centre, a range of programmes run by our Inclusion and SEND teams and the very popular Friday animal encounters.