The main curriculum areas are important but often it is the other things about a school which children remember fondly as adults and which form part of who they become. We are committed at Brenchley & Matfield to develop the whole child and the additional activities and experiences we offer are considered as important aspects of our work.
We are an Active Mark school which means that we offer a good range of high quality physical education with club-based opportunities for children to develop skills in netball, football, and cross country running, as well as the full range of P.E. activities. In the past we have taken part in a basketball skills initiative and our football team won the local league in 2005. The Kwik-Cricket team reached the Kent Finals at Canterbury Cricket Ground and came third in Kent! Swimming is provided at the Schools at Somerhill.
We are also a part of the school sports coordinators’ programme and are linked through Mascalls School to Hayesbrook Secondary School in Tonbridge. This means that our children have access to sports clubs run by secondary schools such as football, rugby, athletics and gymnastics.
We are proud of our tradition in the performing arts. As well as a class assembly, children take part in a wide range of dramatic activities. Nativity Plays are produced in the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, and Year 6 children stage a fabulous end of year production.
Instrumental music tuition is available from a team of visiting specialists in recorder, and piano. We also have a successful choir and ensemble that came first in the Tunbridge Wells Arts Festival Schools Choir Competition in 2011.
Foreign languages are also taught as a club-based skill. We currently have clubs running for French which are fun and informal but provide a good grounding at this stage in children’s development when they are particularly receptive to language skills.
Karate and Gymnastics are also offered as after school clubs and both are over subscribed.
Each class goes on at least one school visit during a year to museums, towns and other attractions usually related to the topics they are covering in class. Parents are asked to help provide extra support for these excursions and we are rarely short of volunteers.
In addition, Year 5 pupils are able to attend a three day residential outdoor pursuits programme at Bowles in the autumn. Apart from being highly enjoyable, this experience, away from home, is important to children as they grow up and forge strong bonds with their fellow adventurers.
Our Year 6 pupils take part in a five day residential visit to the Isle of Wight as part of their final year, studying coastal features and taking part in team activities to build their inter personal skills and increase their confidence.