Why enrichment matters
Enrichment may be exciting for children, but it’s not just about having fun.
It helps provide children with a rounded, culturally rich education through activities that enhance their learning.
Enrichment gives children opportunities to try new and varied activities that may not strictly fit into the curriculum, but that develop character, resilience and motivation, and encourage them to pursue wider goals.
It helps to teach life skills that benefit children beyond the classroom, and can develop an appreciation for cultural and community issues, teamwork and social responsibility.
Research by the Education Endowment Foundation has also found a link between enrichment and higher attainment in reading and maths.
Enrichment at Symondsbury School
Although there’s no statutory requirement for schools to provide enrichment opportunities, it is really important to us as we develop the 'Whole Child' and help children develop their own self and their own talents!
Ofsted’s inspection framework emphasises the importance of personal development and extending the curriculum beyond academic achievement.
It assesses schools on whether they:
- Help children develop their interests and talents
- Enable children to develop their character, including resilience, confidence and independence
- Teach children how to keep physically and mentally healthy
- Prepare them for future success
- Equip children to be responsible, respectful and active citizens
Some of this is covered in the National Curriculum, but a lot of it falls under the banner of enrichment. At Symondsbury we achieved the grade 'Outstanding' for our Personal Development.
Enrichment in the classroom
Enrichment at Symondsbury takes many forms. One important aim is to take the basic curriculum subjects and expand them, looking at them in more depth or from a different perspective – something that benefits more able children, in particular. We offer breadth and depth of learning to challenge all pupils.
Examples of how we provide enrichment within the daily timetable include:
- Encouraging children to do further research into a subject, for example by using books and websites, compiling presentations, or making posters
- Setting differentiated and personalised activities that take into account the different abilities within the class and allow more able students to work at a higher or wider level
- Enabling small groups to work with a teacher or teaching assistant to explore a subject in greater depth.
- Helping children develop social and interpersonal skills through activities such as circle time and debates.
- Applying learning and knowledge across the curriculum: for example, if a child is learning about the Great Fire of London as a history topic, it could be extended to include science (what do fires need to burn, and how does that explain why it spread so rapidly?) or English (writing a diary entry from the perspective of a Londoner at the time of the fire)
- Passing on their skills and knowledge to younger children, such as by being a reading buddy.
Enrichment outside the classroom
Much enrichment takes place outside the classroom or the timetable of the normal school day.
Enrichment opportunities in primary schools include:
- Lunchtime and after-school clubs like yoga, archery, art or sport
- Specialist music lessons, peripatetic music lessons and opportunities to use musical talents, for example in choir, whole class instrument lessons – both practising and performing
- School productions, shows, assemblies, Fabulous Finishes and sports day
- School trips and residential visits
- Forest school and other outdoor learning opportunities such as orienteering
- Whole-school events like World Book Day and Dahlicious Day
- Supporting charities through activities such as food bank collections as part of our 100 ways to change the world!
- Bikeability training
- Visiting speakers, for example authors, local figures or parents who have skills or expertise to share (e.g. a firefighter or vet)
- Local or national challenges
- Being active in the local community, such as through litter picks or carol singing
These are just a few of the many diverse enrichment activities that Symondsbury School use.
Enrichment at home
You probably already do a lot of enrichment at home without really realising.
Reading together, roleplay games, board games, singing, dancing, cooking, gardening, painting and drawing all count.
Family visits to art galleries, zoos and museums will add depth to your child’s knowledge. There are also structured activities that your child can take part in, such as music or swimming lessons, Brownies or Cubs, or being part of a sports team.
Look out for learning activities and competitions that your child can get involved with. The Summer Reading Challenge runs annually in libraries to encourage kids to read for pleasure, and there are lots of other opportunities to learn while having fun, such as applying for a Blue Peter badge or entering a writing competition like 500 Words.
Helping your child to find answers to their many questions is also a form of enrichment. If you aren’t able to give them an answer help them to find someone or somewhere that can. Perhaps a family friend, the local library or the internet might be able to satisfy their curiosity. The idea is to help them build up their bank of resources for the future to help them continue expanding their knowledge.
Always remember - that learning is a lot of fun!
Remember to check out our Class pages, Photo Gallery and other pages on our website to see all the wonderful enrichment opportunities we provide and enjoy together!