A well-crafted enrichment programme prepares children for senior school and beyondPosted on 7th Dec 2021 in School News, Curriculum
By Nicola Atkinson, Head of Upper Prep and Learning Support, and Katy Edwards, Curriculum Coordinator, at Maltman’s Green Prep School
Resilient children make for happy children, content and adaptable in the face of change. As a school it is our duty to ensure we deliver high class education for our pupils and that we also prepare them for change, be that changing class, year group or moving school altogether. The biggest change our pupils will face is leaving the comfort and safety of our school environment at the end of Year 6, and it is vital that we equip them with the tools needed to embrace the challenges and opportunities presented to them in senior school and beyond. A well-crafted enrichment programme is central to this.
Problem solving, critical thinking, public speaking, teamwork, collaboration – these are all skills that our pupils develop through a variety of enrichment activities in Year 6. Progressing to senior school having practised debating, for instance, gives them the confidence to speak in front of others and the wherewithal to gather their thoughts into a well-constructed argument. Our Young Enterprise entrepreneurial challenge helps them to work positively with others and to understand the components of small-business enterprise, to develop budgeting and even sales skills. We have a strong leadership programme, giving all pupils the chance to assume roles of responsibility that allow them to grow in confidence, act with integrity, be kind, tackle problems, respect the views of others, encourage their peers and communicate clearly – all important attributes for the future. Additionally, our careers event introduces them to a range of career options to inspire and motivate them for future success. Entering senior school with these experiences will undoubtedly make them more resilient, better able to face challenges and the reality of adult life with confidence and a can-do attitude.
Providing new experiences is an additional feature of a healthy enrichment programme, giving pupils the opportunity to explore and develop new talents and passions. Our Bushcraft activity inspires a love and appreciation of the natural world, teaching them to respect and protect the environment, nurturing responsible citizens of the future. It also teaches practical skills that use problem solving and initiative, and there is a focus on mindfulness that fosters mental wellbeing. Our first aid workshop gives pupils life-saving skills and the confidence needed for emergency situations, and our ‘Sports Leader’ award fosters the building of team work skills, alongside promoting physical health.
Enrichment programmes should also develop an understanding of the world and its people, helping children adopt an outward facing view underpinned by respect and empathy, and empowering them to engage with a wide-range of people from different backgrounds and cultures. Our Maltman’s Mindsets go hand in hand with this, nurturing ideals that encourage our pupils to become worldly, well-rounded citizens.
A well-crafted enrichment programme has the potential to see children develop into resilient, versatile individuals, ready to take risks, face challenges, seize new opportunities and question their own thinking. Change, which may have been seen as daunting, can instead become exciting!
This article first appeared in the 2022 edition of Which School? You can read the new edition here: