A wide range of enrichment activities are weaved into the curriculum at both Key Stage 3 and 4 and are a key feature of the wide ranging opportunities that are provided at Saint Martin’s.
These activities were recognised in the recent Inspection in January 2013 by the ISI Inspectorate.
“The range of extra-curricular opportunities is wide and the provision is excellent. Such extra-curricular pursuits foster teamwork, teach new skills and develop pupils’ self-esteem, whether in sporting, musical or drama activities, amongst others. Some clubs enhance academic progress well and give pupils valuable opportunities to practice their skills outside the classroom environment.”
“The curriculum is very imaginatively extended by educational trips and foreign language exchanges. Saint Martin’s has partner schools in the USA, Ethiopia, Ghana and Nepal. The link with a Nepalese school has resulted in two exchange visits, as well as project work in the sciences, geography and art.”
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and Young Enterprise are offered for Year 10 pupils.
To read more about Sport in Senior School view our News Room Sports Reports
The range of musical opportunities outside the classroom is wide ranging and girls are able to participate in a variety of musical events – Orchestra, Carol and Commemoration Services, Senior and Junior School Choir, Year 6 Chamber Choir and a range of instrumental and vocal ensembles in the Senior School. A music residential weekend at Ingestre Hall, for Years 7 to Sixth Form, also brings the girls together in another context to enjoy the making of music.
Girls are encouraged to pursue their musical interests outside as well as inside school, and some of our girls sing with the CBSO Children’s choir and the CBSO Youth Chorus. This gives the girls an extra dimension to their music making, and they perform at Symphony Hall in Birmingham and the Royal Albert Hall in London as part of the proms.
GCSE and A Level music students attend concerts at Symphony Hall every year as part of their musical enrichment.
Saint Martin’s is fortunate in having a team of highly qualified, motivated and experienced musicians, who are available to teach any girls in School who wish to learn a musical instrument or have vocal tuition.
Pupils greatly benefit from one to one lessons in learning co-ordination skills and then gaining further confidence from participation in the various concerts that are regularly held. The taking of practical music exams is encouraged for suitable candidates, and we regularly enter girls for exams with the Associated Board, Trinity Guildhall and London College of Music.
Lessons are timetabled by the Musicians to take place on a rotation basis. GCSE and A level students are given priority for lessons outside the school day (i.e. before / after school or lunchtime) subject to availability.
All our Musicians are self-employed and therefore form a contract directly with parents. Fees (payable termly in advance) are currently £9.25 for half a lesson (18 minutes) and £18.50 for a full lesson (35 minutes).
Individual tuition is available in the following:
Ms Julie Felix, the Head of Dance at Saint Martin’s, teaches the extra-curricular dance classes. She has 30 years of professional experience in the ballet and dance world. Her programme is varied and of the highest standard.
The Dance Club at Saint Martin’s is located in our purpose built Dance Studio within Saint Martin’s Arts Centre. This facility offers a dance experience within a professional dance studio environment with sprung floors, mirrors, ballet barres and a state of the art sound system. This provides a dynamic environment for all Dance lessons within Saint Martin’s School.
All girls are also given the opportunity to take part in extra curricular dance lessons after school. IDTA ballet classes, freestyle modern dance and Pilates (Senior girls only) are available. Details of the classes to be offered are available through Ms Felix. The cost for the sessions will vary each term dependent upon the number of weeks in a term.
Saint Martin’s offers a range of extra curricular Drama activities to enrich the girl’s experience in the art form.
Years 7, 8 and 9 all have a discrete drama club which follows the direction the girls want to follow. Recent drama club projects have involved group scripted performance (Year 7), devised and scripted comedy pieces (Year 8) and a modern version of Alice in Wonderland, which is being filmed and edited to create a short film (Year 9).
A stage make-up club is also offered to Year 9 during which they have learnt how create cuts, bruises, other special effects make-up, horror make-up and how to age an actor.
An after school drama workshop club is open to all girls throughout Senior School where the focus is on developing performance extracts. Recent extracts explored have included Bugsy Malone and Hairspray.
Technical theatre club is another Senior School cross key stage club where girls have the opportunity to learn how to operate our state of the art equipment.
Arts Award is a nationally recognised qualification which Saint Martin’s is introducing across the School and this qualification can be gained through participation in arts events/disciplines in and out of school. The Gold Award is the equivalent to an AS Level and the Silver Award equivalent to half a GCSE qualification.
The highlight of the Drama Department year is the School Production which is performed in the Spring Term in our Theatre. The production is open to all Senior School year groups and girls are involved in all aspects of the production including: performing, dancing, playing in the band, operating the technical equipment, stage managing, costume and make-up. In recent years performances have included ‘Bugsy Malone’, ‘Grease’, ‘Forbidden Planet’, ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and ‘Arabian Nights’.
The Drama Department is looking forward to participating in the national Shakespeare Schools Festival in November 2013. The girls are excited to be performing a Shakespeare play in a professional Theatre in Birmingham as part of the festival.
Confidence in public situations has always been one of the aims of the Drama Department in the Senior School. With this in mind the Year 7 and Year 8/9 Drama Clubs set about their twice yearly small scale productions to parents and invited guests.
Regular GCSE and A Level performances add depth and diversity to a girl’s experience. Theatre trips are arranged throughout the year to enable girls to experience a range of theatrical styles in performance.
The Bonfire Night run by the Parents’ Association draws in many local residents and the Harvest Festival celebration also has built up strong links over the years.
Senior girls visit the local Marie Curie Hospice and other local day centres through their volunteering for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. The annual St Basil’s Sleep Out is always strongly supported by the Sixth Form, which entails sleeping out in a car park to raise money for Birmingham’s homeless. Projects organised through the local authority have involved the girls in removing graffiti from locations in the Borough and being involved in eco projects.
Local schools and swimming clubs use the facilities such as the swimming pool, and galas for invited schools are regularly held. With extensive grounds, the School hosts many tournaments and league events for the schools in the Solihull area. National training has also been held at Saint Martin’s for up and coming biathletes.
Rock Choir meets weekly at the School, and also Solihull Swimming Club, Learning Curves and Starstruck use the facilities on site. The holiday activity programmes of FunFest and TeenFest are extremely popular.
“I enjoy the things we do for charity to make a difference in people’s lives. We work as a team and we help and support each other.”
Charity fundraising by the girls is an integral part of the School year.
In the Senior School the main focus this last year has been to raise funds for the Eye Department of the Birmingham Children’s Hospital; this charity was nominated by a girl in Year 11 who had attended the hospital for many years and was extremely grateful for the medical attention that she had received. Each year girls are encouraged to put forward suggestions for the charity to be supported, to give a presentation in assembly with votes then counted.
Funds are also annually raised for Jeans for Genes, The Poppy Appeal, Red Nose Day, St Basil’s Sleep-out. Charity Representatives organise a variety of events including cake, sweet and ice-cream sales, Saint Martin’s Got Talent competitions and a Charity Night each Spring Term where musical items from girls and staff ensure a very enjoyable night for all concerned.
See the News Room for more details of some of these events.