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"Enrichment" days

(14 Posts)
lovecheese Tue 12-Jul-11 11:30:27

Does your school or area offer these for primary age children and what are your views on them? I personally thought that funding for this kind of thing had been scrapped?

I am of the opinion that any time and resources available would be better and more fairly spent on improving all childrens experience, rather than one or two chosen at random every so often, and I speak as the mother of a child who has done this kind of thing so I can not be accused of sour grapes.


lovecheese Tue 12-Jul-11 16:15:41

little bumpety bump...

swash Tue 12-Jul-11 16:35:41

My dd's school had a maths day last term. Four of the most able children from the class went, along the same from a few other local schools. They really loved it, and it did inspire them I think. It was funding by the schools involved.

I love dd getting additional opportunities in the things she is good at, so I am all for. Likewise, I would cheer on the sporty kids getting a chance to compete with other really sporty kids from different schools.

lovecheese Tue 12-Jul-11 16:39:06

But what about all the kids who don't get chosen, swash? Don't you think it is sending out a message to them saying "You are not as clever as these children and therefore won't have the opportunity"?

mummytime Tue 12-Jul-11 16:43:20

In a good school everyone should get the chance of something. So different children for: the Science day, the Maths challenge, the try Golf, the try Squash, the Tag Rugby competition and so on. However, I have to say in DCs primary although they try this, there are a lot of the same faces at a lot of things, which I do object to (and the same kids get to be form captains and go to Poland).

lovecheese Tue 12-Jul-11 16:53:07

Your idea sounds good in theory, mummytime, with everyone getting the chance to do something, but I guess in reality this is just not possible.

And I agree with the second part of your post, it is generally the same kids at my DC's school who get chosen every time. DD2 is still in infants and DD3 in nursery so it will be interesting to see as they go through school if this continues.

rabbitstew Tue 12-Jul-11 17:06:56

At our dss' school, everyone has to get involved in the enrichment days or weeks whether they like it or not! We've had entire sports weeks, science weeks, art weeks, etc, where the timetable of the entire school is affected to ensure all children take part in the extra activities. The days/weeks are invariably fun, often involve the years mixing together and interest being stimulated in the subject outside of the narrow confines of the national curriculum. tbh I thought that's what all enrichment weeks/days were, in all schools.

lovecheese Tue 12-Jul-11 17:16:31

I wish rabbitstew ! I would think your school is in a minority.

Your idea sounds great, may raise it at Governors.

swash Tue 12-Jul-11 17:27:25

rabbitstew that sounds great. Our school certainly had an arts week and there are various things that the whole school does.

lovecheese I think there is always a problem choosing children to do things. And I think it needs very careful thought by the school. But the reality is that very bright children who are motivated to learn do need acknowledgement to keep them interested.

DD wasn't chosen as class rep, and she certainly wasn't Mary in the school play. Nor did she win the decorate-your-hat competition despite huge efforts. And nor did she get chosen for the school talent show. I think a good school will put a lot of effort into ensuring there are activities for everyone - but I do think excellence needs to be rewarded too.

swash Tue 12-Jul-11 17:30:41

'Don't you think it is sending out a message to them saying "You are not as clever as these children and therefore won't have the opportunity"?'

In answer to that bit, that is a risk. But I would hope that the school would value each child and work hard to find their strengths. I don't think you should avoid stretching the brightest kids for fear of undermining other children.

lovecheese Tue 12-Jul-11 17:33:32

But what about the less bright kids, call them what you want, who are also motivated and interested in a subject but perhaps lack parental support and the ability to "Get top marks" in an area? They would never be chosen. Isn't it better to motivate THESE children?

lovecheese Tue 12-Jul-11 17:35:23

Sorry for ranting on a bit grin it's just a personal bug-bear of mine, and something that I feel is handled badly in my DC's school.

swash Tue 12-Jul-11 17:40:19

Not better, no. I do think there is a real lack of respect for excellence in education right through to university these days, which is very depressing.

I think it is important to motivate all children - and whole-school activities are really worthwhile for doing this. But if you are focusing on something you do need to select a small group, otherwise it becomes unwieldy.

I would totally agree that you could pick the mid-ranking group and send them off for a maths day in the same way, and that you could do the same for the least able kids (though they seem to get the most input, resources and help in a lot of schools).

But i think it is totally wrong to block clever kids from developing their skills because there are less able kids around.

rabbitstew Tue 12-Jul-11 18:22:41

I have to admit to thinking that if an "enrichment" day is just for a small group of very bright children, then it's not so much an enrichment day as an admission that their needs are not catered for very well every other day of the school year.

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