We are dedicated to enriching the lives of our pupils, to broaden their horizons, raise aspirations, develop their social, emotional and life skills and encourage a love of learning. Our enrichment mission is for all of our schools to engage and inspire pupils through a varied, impactful and sustainable enrichment programme. We want our children to have “a brilliant journey” as part of the experience at OAT, which is supported by an enrichment programme that is embedded within and complements curriculum delivery and enables pupils to develop their social, emotional and life skills (SELS):
Our focus on whole child development, is backed up by extensive research from across education, careers, industry and health. The research suggests that involvement with extracurricular and enrichment activities can boost life expectations, career prospects and wellbeing.
“The accumulation of knowledge cannot be the sole foundation of young people’s education, let alone their wider development. Their academic success, wellbeing and mental health depends not just on what they know, but on the development of their character, social intelligence, social and emotional capabilities, and a range of other non-academic traits and capabilities. These factors do define not just how they progress in school, but also how they interact with their families, their communities, and the wider world. In great schools and education systems, this has always been understood.” Source: Mind Over Matter. Reynolds A., and Birdwell B. Demos, 2015, p. 9.
“ … the emphasis on a set of core academic skills, and a culture of intensive testing, has too often squeezed out another set of skills – how to think creatively, how to collaborate, how to empathise – at the very time when they are needed more than ever … Taking these skills seriously matters for many reasons … they matter to educational achievement. These skills are not an alternative to academic performance.” Source: Grit. The skills for success and how they are grown. Yvonne Roberts. The Young Foundation, 2009, p.6.
Therefore, we must not only stay focused on raising educational standards, but also provide our pupils with opportunities to develop their knowledge, skills, talent and character, as well as providing appropriate access to pathways and signposting for our pupils and their families. At OAT we do this via our: