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Norfolk school launches drive to see every pupil take up extra-curricular activity

PUBLISHED: 15:54 04 December 2017 | UPDATED: 17:05 04 December 2017

North Walsham High School. Picture: John Fielding

North Walsham High School. Picture: John Fielding

John Fielding JohnFielding001@gmail.c

A high school in Norfolk is driving forward its extra-curricular focus with a scheme it hopes will inspire every pupil to take up an activity.

Angela Waters, assistant headteacher at North Walsham High School. PIcture: North Walsham High School Angela Waters, assistant headteacher at North Walsham High School. PIcture: North Walsham High School

North Walsham High School is inviting all of its year nine students to take part in the Duke of Edinburgh bronze award over the coming months, which it believes is a regional first.

From January, all 145 year nine pupils will be encouraged to undertake an hour’s volunteering in the community, an hour learning a new skill and an hour’s physical activity every week.

It will be rounded off with an expedition in June.

It is part of a wider extra-curricular drive, which will also see all year seven pupils learn a musical instrument, and year eight pupils take up a role - whether on stage or behind the curtain - in its Little Shop of Horrors school production.

Angela Waters, assistant headteacher and the leader of the initiative, said: “The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme is so positive for young people.

“Often, though, it is only the most confident children who get involved. We wanted everyone to have the opportunity to benefit, which is why we are encouraging every year nine student to take part.”

She said it teaches young people “resilience”, which she described as “an extremely useful skill to acquire before they get to the exam period”.

“It really helps bring out the best in young people, challenging them, building their confidence, raising their aspirations, and giving them a whole range of new skills – social, physical and community skills,” she said.

The school has also launched 10 student pledges for its extra-curricular provision, which students should aim to complete before they leave the school.

It includes that students should regularly attend an after-school activity, be actively involved in a community experience, take part in an adventure training programme and help plan, organise or take part in a major fundraising event.

In June 2016, North Walsham High School welcomed new headteacher Neil Powell, who has been outspoken about his desire to push up outcomes for the school’s pupils.

• Do you have an education story we should be writing about? Let us know by emailing lauren.cope@archant.co.uk

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