Outside the classroom there is a full range of extra-curricular activities available with something to suit everyone.
School Ambassadors – this is an annual role advertised to Year 12. If selected, the Sixth Former will represent the school at events throughout the year.
Sports Ambassadors – Sports Ambassadors are an elected group of individuals representing their peers who have several responsibilities. The most important one is providing a voice for all pupils in the school in all matters regarding sport and PE. Those performing this role must be good role models, organised with excellent interpersonal skills.
Student Academic Advisors – this is a voluntary role that involves Sixth Form students supporting students in Year 10 or 11 who are receiving mentoring in the Independent Learning Centre (ILC) with their GCSEs. It offers Sixth Formers the opportunity to evidence skills such as communication, leadership and community to be used in progression after Sixth Form.
Start the Music
Sixth Form Music Mentors wanted!
Start The Music are currently looking for students in the Associated Sixth Form to help mentor younger students on this new scheme. Read more here: Learn an Instrument with Start the Music or contact Mrs Elliott.
Amnesty International Group
The Amnesty International Group meets every Friday lunchtime and consists of volunteers. The group campaigns for human rights around the world. Activities recently have included a talk on ethnic cleansing, making a video called Be Happy Iran, writing letters and organising assemblies to educate the students. All are welcome to join the group and is ideal for those wanting to do Politics, History, Media or English at university.
There is a weekly lunchtime workshop for those keen on creative writing and extending their experience of English. Sometimes the session will be on a writing skill and the group will then use it in ensuing workshop activities, on other occasions a story or poem will be discussed. The group is open to anyone and is suited to those studying English or Creative Writing at university.
For many years now, the Associated Sixth Form has been taking students to a writing centre for a week in the Summer term to develop their writing skills. The centre used is Ty Newydd at Criccieth – the National Writers’ Centre for Wales, and also the former home and final resting place of David Lloyd George. The purpose of the week is to work in a creative environment with professional writers: novelists and poets and is particularly suited to any student wishing to take an arts-based degree including Drama and, obviously, Creative Writing.
The Sixth Form debating club meets at lunchtimes on a weekly basis. Most weeks we prepare a debate on an agreed, usually topical, subject. The format of the debate varies, though we often hold parliamentary-style debates so we can include as many people as possible. We also enter competitions, such as the ESU Mace, so there are opportunities to compete against other schools. We also hold informal (but nonetheless competitive!) inter-school debates a few times a year.
Debating develops important skills, such as constructing an argument, thinking on your feet and communicating clearly to an audience. These skills are invaluable at school, university and beyond. At the very least we encourage you to come along and see what we do. In time we hope that you will have a go. Debating is a skill, so while it will probably be nerve-wracking at first, practice makes a huge difference. In any case, it is always carried out in a supportive, friendly and good humoured environment. Debating Club is an always enjoyable occasion.
Drama is thriving in the Sixth Form with energetic support from the A Level Drama and Performing Arts groups. Recent productions include Evita, School of Rock, Legally Blonde and Disney’s The Little Mermaid.
School Production News
Disney’s The Little Mermaid
A little bit of Disney magic landed at Constance Green Hall last week for the annual school production – and the show was an absolute smash hit! Faced with the challenge of representing seagulls, fish and crabs, Mr MacCallum’s production made some bold costume decisions that allowed the characters to come to life, backed by an ingenious screen that gave a very professional finish. The well-loved story of Ariel the mermaid’s love of humans was brought to the stage with humour, colour and a lot of joy! Bravo to the cast, orchestra and crew who produced a show that would not have been out of place on the professional stage. The many hours that went into the final production were all worthwhile when we heard the laughter and cheers of the audience. Congratulations to all involved for reinforcing how important the arts have always been – and continue to be – at St Aidan’s! The whole cast were incredible in their roles, but special mention must go to Bella Bickerdike (Ariel), Marissa Ramdeehul (Eric), Kate Thompson (Ursula), Joe Capstick (Sebastian), Amelia Moran (Flounder), Katherine Pringle (Scuttle), Angus Hague (King Triton), Brodie Watson (Grimsby), Leah Nicholls (Flotsam) and Lucy Amos (Jetsam).
Huge thanks to the staff who gave so much of their time to make this show happen – as well as Mr Maccallum, we must thank musical director Mrs Elliott, choreographer Ms Miller, singing coach Ms Collett, technician Mr Balme and assistant director Mrs Forsythe.
Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award
The Duke of Edinburgh Award is committed to providing young people an enjoyable, challenging and rewarding programme of personal development which is of the highest quality and the widest reach.
The Award Scheme, a registered charity, is a voluntary non-competitive programme of activities for anyone aged 14-25. It provides individual challenge and encourages young people to undertake constructive, challenging and enjoyable activities in their free time. Click here to find out more.
St Aidan’s has a national, if not international reputation for the quality and breadth of their musical activity. Those moving to the Associated Sixth Form from other schools are as welcome as any other student to join our musical ensembles. There may be entry requirements or auditions for some ensembles. If you would like to join a group, check the music pages of the school intranets and websites, the Music Department notice boards, or speak directly to the music staff.
The Chamber Choir of St. Aidan’s have reached the finals of the National Festival of Music for Youth, achieving the Outstanding Jazz Award in recent years. The St. Aidan’s Symphonic Wind Band and Chamber Choir have also performed at the Royal Albert Hall and the Chamber Choir has been seen regularly in the finals of the BBC Songs of Praise Choir of the Year Competition. In November 2011, we were delighted to be invited to the Schools Proms in the Royal Albert Hall which saw the Chamber Choir and Jazz Orchestra at St John Fisher performing together in a show-stopping collaboration. St Aidan’s regularly takes part in other national competitions with various ensembles competing at the highest of standards. In 2015 St. Aidan’s ensembles were invited to three separate categories at the National Festival in Birmingham, the Chamber Choir being given an award for innovation. There really is an ensemble for everyone at St. Aidan’s with Ukulele groups, percussion ensembles, rock bands and Steel Pan ensembles to name but a few, suiting all tastes.
Choral singing is a definite strength at St Aidan’s, enabling choirs of senior students to participate at the highest level, locally, nationally and internationally. As well as these staff-organised ensembles, many students naturally form their own groupings, from string quartets to rock bands. There is a strong tradition of large-scale collaborative ventures.
Frequent overseas tours are undertaken by music groups. Musicians from St Aidan’s have recently toured to China, the Swing Band at Montreux Jazz Festival, visits by the Chamber Choir to Tuscany, and the Symphonic Wind Band and Swing Band touring to Lake Konstanz.
Extra-curricular performing arts are especially strong at St. Aidan’s, regularly staging major musicals. In recent years, we have staged Les Miserables, Evita, Copacabana, West Side Story, School of Rock, Sister Act and in 2019, We Will Rock You.
In addition to all the above, St Aidan’s has a flourishing orchestra, band, choirs and other instrumental ensembles which operate locally, nationally and internationally.
Being a faith school, we have a thriving worship group with St. Aidan’s leading worship with their in-house worship band “Aidan’s Flame”.
For more information please contact Mrs Elliott(Head of Music,
St. Aidan’s) or Mr Ratcliffe (Head of Music, St John Fisher) or email us at email@example.com
By volunteering to take part in Peer Listening our Year 13 students get the chance to give something back to the school and help the newest members of our community. As Peer Listeners the Sixth Form students sit with the Year 7s at lunch time to help them out in lots of different ways; whether it’s with their homework, finding their way around, improving their confidence or simply keeping them company. It’s important to everyone at St. Aidan’s that each student feels that they are valued as an individual and can find support easily whenever they need it. By encouraging Year 13 and Year 7 to work together we create a really positive and co-operative environment. It also helps the Sixth Formers when they apply to university as it demonstrates how responsible they are and builds lots of different skills like empathy, communication and teamwork.
Student Academic Advisors
Student Academic Advisors are experienced students in Sixth Form working with Year 10 and 11 to support their learning in Maths, English and Sciences GCSE study. It is a strategy which helps students to make the most of their studies.
Being a Student Academic Advisor is a voluntary role within school. The requirements will be to provide support and encouragement to Year 10 and 11 students who are mentored in the ILC. To work alongside the ILC Mentors to enable Year 10/11 students to progress to the best of their ability. For more information about being a Student Academic Advisor, please click here.
Senate are a body of 10 St. Aidan’s students who represent the Sixth Form, school and St. Aidan’s & St John Fisher Sixth Form Association throughout their year in office. Elected by staff and students, Senate meet weekly, deliver assemblies, support school functions, help at parent’s evenings, PTA events and organise events for the Associated Sixth Form.
The main charity event is Children in Need Day and the Senate organise different activities for the afternoon. In the past, there has been charity auctions, a big quiz, 5-a-side football games on the astroturf, and film showings.
St. Aidan’s Senate and St. John Fisher Congress join together to make Year 13s last term at school unforgettable. Last year they organised and ordered leavers’ hoodies and leavers’ books, filmed and made leavers’ videos and organised a leavers’ ball which took place post exams.
In the Sixth Form we offer a varied and successful range of sporting opportunities. We believe in inclusive sport for all but also strive for excellence with all our sports teams. The wide range of sports on offer here includes:
Netball, Hockey, Football, Rugby, Basketball and Cricket
Our teams have been hugely successful in the past, we are regular County and regional winners in many of the sports on offer here. Our clubs and practices are well attended and make use of all the facilities we have available at the school.
There is also the opportunity to develop leadership and coaching skills by assisting with lower school teams in any sport that we can offer, this is something many of our students take up. At St. Aidan’s we have a Fitness Suite which is available to Sixth Form students to use at lunchtime and after school. We have state of the art Precor CV machines and resistance machines for weight training available for use.
This is a St Aidan’s charity run by students and to date we have raised over £40,000 for two charities founded by Susie Hart MBE – initially Neema Crafts, based in Iringa, Tanzania and latterly Artizan International which operates in the UK, Peru and Ecuador. The charity raises funding through various events, within school as well as at local churches. For more information about Zawadi click here.