Curriculum Enhancement Week

At the end of the last school year, Penrice Academy students immersed themselves in enrichment activities. From sports with professionals, arts and crafts, drama and dance and challenging games at the school to fishing, exploring, surfing, learning, walking, dangling, drawing, mucking and travelling around the UK and Europe – the excitement was relentless.

It was also Work Experience Week for Year 10, who were scattered all over the county experiencing different industries. The following report was planned, sourced, written and produced by Casey-Jane Deller in Year 10, who spent the week covering the activities as a roving reporter in the PR Department at Penrice, as part of her work experience. You can read more about Work Experience at Penrice here. 

Casey-Jane Deller

See more pictures from Curriculum Enhancement Week in our gallery.

Trips at Home and Abroad

There were seven trips during Curriculum Enhancement Week, where students got to sample foreign culture, exciting plays, high-adrenaline sports and incredible scenery: Germany, Barcelona, Paris, Les Orres, Belgium, London Art and London English

Plymouth Argyle Week

Football during CEW was very busy. Mr Round and five Plymouth Argyle coaches accompanied 90 students for their Football activities – making it the biggest activity of the week! The students were taught by B-Tech coaches, student and senior coaches. It took place at school Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. There were warm up sessions for afternoon mini matches, and on Wednesday the students went to Home Park, and got to use the facilities and train like a professional footballer. Mr Buse said: “The students really enjoyed visiting Home Park and being trained by Plymouth Argyle coachers!”

Martin Hatfield, Plymouth Argyle Coach, came in with five other coaches from PAFC to train and the students had an amazing experience of a week in the life of a football player and there has been such positive feedback: “The students had smiles on their faces! Their attitude to the sport and training is amazing!”

On Thursday the students practiced what they learnt with more rotational mini activity and challenges; crossbar challenge, a football golf course, a relay course and a penalty shootout. And to celebrate, the all-important World Cup on Friday.

Some of the students also had their own opinions on the week. Lewis Gale, Year 7, said: “I had lots of fun and have developed a lot of new skills and techniques.” His favourite activity performed was the shooting, which he said that he “enjoyed learning and really improved.” He also managed to ‘lob’ Mr Round but the less said about that the better!

Creative Arts Week

The Art Department has been busy this week. All five Art classes – Miss Fegan, Miss King, Mrs Elliot and Mr. Kennedy were working with students on the theme of ‘Journeys’ focusing on the artists Joseph Cornel and Richard Long. The activities varied from photography to painting to digital editing. They made Waxed Teabags, they used the darkroom and learnt different techniques, and they created an animation and used natural materials – “instead of the usual things you would use in art!” Mr Kennedy made a large piece which he and the class called “the journey of the line”. The students also created digital images using Photoshop, created a scrapbook and practiced their photography skills, using the dark room to learn new techniques of creating a piece with more than just normal photographs and paintings.

They were also experimenting with acrylic printing and pinhole photography as well as using acetate. “It’s a brand new experience for the students and they have been enjoying themselves,” Miss. King said. Miss King described the final outcomes as ‘amazeballs’. “All of the students enjoyed their week and were listening and working well with each other. The students were very co-operative and behaved well, making it a very laid back environment. ”All of the Art Department students gave positive reviews about the activities performed throughout the week.  “It was an amazing experience trying things that we haven’t ever done before! There was a wide range of media and artsy things!” Chloe Trugeon commented.

Other students said it’s a great way to express yourself through a range of ideas. Chloe Allen explained that her favourite part of the week was learning how to use the dark room efficiently and the wide range of creative activities available to try.

Performing Arts Week

Wendy Taylor from Tribiggon Theatre Company came into the drama department on Tuesday 14th July to teach the students acting techniques that they could take into an acting career for the future. “The students were brilliant and the staff were very friendly” Wendy said. “The atmosphere in the studio and the Academy was fantastic!”

During the day the students started by a simple clap exercise, where they had to connect with each other in order to pass the clap along. Wendy said she was very proud of the students and their positive attitude towards the learning and performing side of the day: “The things they have learnt from the workshop will help them for future references, socialisation skills and performing in front of a big or small audience,” she explained.

On Wednesday with Mr Tew the students created a piece, which included Freeze frames to retell a story from an article written by the newspaper. At the beginning of the day the students started by improvisation, experimenting with a load of different techniques and working with people that they would not usually work with as a group.

“It was a nice laidback environment,” one of the students said. “We also had a lot of freedom of expression.”

For the Dance element, we have welcomed Flexus, a dance company from Wolverhampton. They specialise in educating young people through dance and perform to audiences of all ages and sizes.

Producer and Choreographer Katy Dowson explained that the morning performance was all about ‘limitations to life and pushing yourself to the limit – using escaping a box from a metaphor.’ The dance is inspired by the question: Why do teens believe they can’t do something?

Miss Nance, Teacher of Dance at Penrice, said: “Students have never seen a performance like this or worked with a dance company like Flexus. Their work is contemporary and boasts drama and dance – it’s emotional, it gets to the audience and it helps students to break through the ‘barriers’ of life.”

“It also inspires the boys to join in as well as the girls,” she continued, “which is fantastic for the students and getting involved is what Curriculum Enhancement week is all about.”

Arts and Crafts Week

With the help of Paige Hazelwood and Miss Johns, Mrs. Millington arranged for the students to have an amazing week creating a whole host of things. On Monday, they made their own stuffed rabbits to sell and raise money for Little Harbour Charity. On Tuesday, each student made mixed media canvases and cards to take home. Wednesday saw the making of monsters! The students designed and chose the fabric to create their monsters. Thursday was a stuffing, sewing and finishing off day, the students each tried the sewing machines to finalise off the monsters. “The activities and projects producing are really fun and I enjoyed them more and more as the week went on,” said one student. Another student said that she found “sewing properly” the most interesting and fun thing to learn. Mr Watson in Woodwork worked with two groups of students on a range of things to finally make a set design for animations, learning different woodwork techniques along the way.

Kernow Week

Mr Pope, Mrs Brett and 45 students from Years 7-9 got in a bit of a sticky situation on Monday. Focusing on Cornish culture and history, Kernow Week saw students making Celtic crosses out of leaves, cardboard and other materials, which they really enjoyed. Mrs Brett commented: “The students ended up very sticky and gluey by the end of it!”

Mr. Pope and his students focused on Cornwall’s history of storytelling and guising and Mevagissey feast week played a large part. Mr.Pope’s class focused on fancy dress and making masks based on Cornish legends and myths. Each of the students performed a short scene to recreate a culture story of their choice. They also took part in a hunt for clues around the school. Mr Pope said: “All of the students were co-operative and worked well despite the time challenge.” On Tuesday the students went on a coastal walk from polrun to Fowey, to Charlestown on Wednesday and Tintagle Castle on Thursday. One student said: “The Castle was very interesting and very old! I really enjoyed learning all about Cornish Culture.”

English Week

Mrs Carne and the English department and were focusing on creative writing and stretching their imagination for CEW. All week the classes went on exciting trips, to the cinema and to Porthpean beach for inspiration. They watched Despicable Me at school and focused on the theme ‘villains’, getting creative and writing about the film. Tuesday the students and the teachers travelled down to the cinema to watch Jurassic World or Minions: The Movie. When the students arrived back from the cinema they wrote movie reviews which helped them with their English communication skills. They visited the beach and went rock pooling built sand sculptures and walked across it. Friday the students had a chilled out day, in the morning they had cream teas, which were ‘really yummy!’ They made English based cards and drew. In the Afternoon the students got presented with prizes for their hard work all week. Ms. Sigrist said: “I am very proud of the students; they were very creative with their reviews of the films.”

Coastal Walk

Mrs Lewis, Mrs Lawrence and Miss Pomeroy took three groups of students out on a circular six mile walk to Porthpean and Blackhead. Miss Pomeroy said: “It was a challenging walk with our students approaching it with energy and determination, speeding up the hills and even a 168 step incline! We stopped at various points during the walk to enjoy the views and explore the beaches and wildlife. An enjoyable day out for everyone, especially in the sun (but also in the rain!)”

Surfing at Fistral

Mrs Baker, Mrs Matthews, Mrs Deller and Mr Edwards took students to Fistral Beach for a week in the surf. They said: “The students had a great time – despite the rain earlier this week – enjoying the first Surf’s Up on one of our favourite beaches. They’ve been taking lessons and tips from expert surfers. They were all lovely and polite and it was a pleasure to spend the week with them.”

Coarse Fishing

“Tucked away on our own private lake, the fishing frenzy began with many different species being caught from smaller Roach and Rudd to impressive Carp and Tench. The changeable weather didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the students who all caught fish on every day, thanks to Mr Griggs’ expert tuition. Catch of the week went to Sam London (7EG) who, after a long session of tiring the fish out, landed an impressive 9lb Carp before carefully releasing it back to fight another day. Thank you to all the staff who helped on the different days making this a brilliant week for everyone who attended with many students already saying they want to come back again next year!” (Mr Banfield)

Stable Management

This week has seen a variety of pupils spend the day at a working livery yard just outside of St Austell. The morning has consisted of mucking out stables, learning about yard management and essential poo picking of fields, where teams have been competing against each other to fill as many wheelbarrows as possible, making the paddocks pristine and safe for the horses.

The afternoons have been spent learning points of the horse, correct rope ties and plaiting and bathing, culminating in an in-hand show. Miss Trerise said: “Teams have been exceptional in presenting their horses and tack has been cleaned as well as feed stores organised and even a trip from the farrier to demonstrate a horse being shod. Best friends have been made and even the donkeys and two pigs have looked forward to each day with our wonderful, caring and enthusiastic pupils!”

Week in the life of a professional rugby player

For CEW, some students experienced the life of professional rugby player, Phil Morris. The students enjoyed having the Rugby players in to train and inspire them.

On Monday the students had six army representatives from Exeter come in and teach them skills, building their confidence and helping improve their team work and trust. On Tuesday the students made their way down to the Cornish pirates, to watch the rugby team train, get a feel of the atmosphere and to watch the techniques and bring it into their own game. Wednesday was a training day. The students joined in in some mini games and practised scrums. Mr Tucker said: “The students worked well with the coaches as well as each other.” Thursday, the students went down to Cornwall College where they trained in the gym and on Friday they travelled to the beach to do a series of beach games, Tug-of-war, Cliff jumping and water sports, which students called a “great way to end a great week!”

Babysitting Course

Some students took part in a Babysitting course, run by Mrs Stevens. On Monday they travelled to St Austell College to have a look at the Child Development Department of the College. They had a tour of the department and took part in Arts & Crafts activities learning how to stimulate a child’s creative skills. They produced posters, games and leaflets.

On Tuesday they had a Baby Care Day, where they learnt about bathing a baby, and choosing the appropriate food. They were also visited by a 4 month old child.  The students said that the baby visit was very interesting and the child was ‘so cute!’ On Wednesday the students learnt about Food Safety, making meals and the risks of giving the child the inappropriate food and drink. Thursday came and the students learnt about Health & Safety and being aware of the child’s well-fare and what the environment the child should be surrounded in. After a very hard week the students got awarded for their hard work and presented a Babysitting Course certificate.

On top of this busy week the students had to take home a controlled baby – one that cries when it’s hungry, wants their nappy changed and when it just wants some attention. Overall the students enjoyed their week and said that it was very interesting and that they are considering childcare as a future option.”