Extra Curricular Information

Outside the classroom there is a full range of extra-curricular activities available with something to suit everyone.

Please find below the Extracurricular and Enrichment Programme for St Aidan’s based students. Students will be informed of any additional opportunities via the weekly notices:

Sixth Form Extracurricular & Enrichment Opportunities

Please see also the Music and PE Extracurricular timetables that include opportunities for Sixth Formers:

Autumn-Winter Extra Curricular PE and Sport Programme 2019-20

Extra-Curricular Music 2019-20

For information on Year 12 Trips please click here

For information on Year 13 Trips please click here

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.

School Production News – We Will Rock You

Tickets are on sale for We Will Rock You, which opens this week! Please click the link below for further details:

We Will Rock You 2019

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.

Creative Writing

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.

Debating Society

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

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 and Sister Act. A student-led group, Bedlam Theatre Company, also stages studio performance work. Recent productions include R C Sheriff’s Journey’s End and an adaptation of Fielding’s Novel The History of Tom Jones.

For more information email bedlamtheatrecompany@staidans.co.uk

Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award

St. Aidan’s offers Sixth Form students the opportunity to complete their Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award. This prestigious scheme is well established at St. Aidan’s and has been so popular with students at both Bronze and Gold level that St. Aidan’s became a Licensed Duke of Edinburgh Centre in 2014.

The Duke of Edinburgh Scheme is an excellent way for students to meet new people in the Sixth Form; to find new opportunities; to develop skills, interests and also strength of character in all sorts of ways. In an increasingly busy and paperwork filled world the Expedition in particular offers students a uniquely independent experience, to get out by themselves and to explore the wilder British countryside, providing a real sense of challenge and achievement.

The Award is non selective, anyone can take part. Students undertake a Skill, Physical and Service for a period of time between six and eighteen months which they will arrange themselves. Often students are able to incorporate activities and interests that they already pursue. The Expedition section is arranged by St. Aidan’s and involves a training weekend in the Lake District, a practice in the Yorkshire Dales and final expedition in the North Yorkshire Moors as well as training sessions throughout the year. While the Award demands commitment from students the rewards are undeniably worthwhile. Both employers and universities value the Award and recognise the many positive qualities and skills that students develop by undertaking it.

The Residential is an additional section for the Gold Award and an excellent opportunity for students. Past students have arranged and completed a wide variety of projects in very diverse destinations. From volunteering on a safari in South Africa, to completing pre medicine courses at a University, to taking part in a Tall Ships sailing week to France or a National Trust project in Devon.

Music

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 Mr Pallant (Director of Music,
St. Aidan’s) or Mr Ratcliffe (Head of Music, St John Fisher) or email us at music@staidans.co.uk

PPE Society

Politics, Philosophy and Economics are all popular and successful A Level subjects, which many of our students go on to study at university. To promote wider interest in these areas, a group of students has formed a small committee called the PPE Society. The purpose is to invite well-known figures from the world of current affairs to give talks on topical questions. We aim to hold a couple of meetings per year, usually after school. Being involved in the PPE Society is a great opportunity to promote your organisational skills. We hope to attract students from a wide range of subject backgrounds, so promoting the talks is very important. Being involved also means that you will meet some really interesting people at first hand! We have heard talks from Professor Kate Pickett, former Education Secretary Nicky Morgan, MP for Selby and Ainsty, Nigel Adams, and former Deputy Director-General of the BBC, Mark Byford.

Peer Listening

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.

Senate

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.

Sport

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.

Zawadi

This is a St Aidan’s charity run by students which fundraises for Craft Aid International; we support Neema Crafts in Tanzania who employ many deaf and disabled people, allowing them to support themselves and their families.  The charity raise funding through various events, within school as well as at local churches; thereby raising awareness of the impact Zawadi and Neema Crafts have in Tanzania.  Through the funds raised by Zawadi the project in Tanzania has become self sufficient with a fully operational physiotherapy centre.

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