Co-curricular at David Nieper Academy

Posted by: Laura Hammond

Wed 9th June 2021

Our wonderful journalists have created their first pieces below, they used their journalism skills to go and explore the year 9 co-curricular programme so they could tell you about the latest groups available to them.

Co-curricular happens on a period 7, every Wednesday afternoon, for every student in our academy. Each student is a given a choice as to which option they would like to choose and they remain in this choice for a whole term. Most of our co-curricular choices are designed to develop skills outside of the curriculum hence, there being some weird but wonderful options.

Upcycling Co-curricular.

A co-curricular option here at David Nieper Academy is upcycling. The students taking part in this co-curricular defined upcycling as ‘taking something that is not being used anymore and turning it into something of use.’

The pupils say that they are enthusiastic about upcycling and are extremely excited to carry on working on their projects. One certain project that really stood out to us was creating various items of clothing from plastic bags. The group of ambitious students are striving to have made a full outfit by the end of the year.

The range of students we interviewed stated that their favourite thing about upcycling is that they can be very creative whilst also helping a customer.

The students making the outfit out of plastic are not only thinking outside of the box, they are also having a positive impact on the environment. The plastic used to make the outfit is being used for something purposeful, instead of ending up in nature!

Written by Fern and Aimee.

Football Co-curricular.

At David Nieper Academy the students have many co-curricular options including football. Co-curricular is an opportunity that we offer her at David Nieper Academy for all students that allows them to learn skills they would not normally learn in lessons. We spoke to teachers and students to find out what they think. First, we spoke to the people at the football co-curricular to find out what they do. Their coach Mr C said that student can improve their communication, ball handling, attacking and defending skills, the coach said that the team has real enthusiasm. Students said that they really enjoyed playing matches and learning skills to improve their football.

Written by Grace, Alex and Ciaran.

Co-curricular at DNA: Mad Scientists

During my session at the Mad Scientists co-curricular I learnt quite a bit of science that I was not taught in curricular science. This is one of the main purposes of co-curricular at the David Nieper Academy, learning things that you may not normally learn.

The first question you may be asking about the Mad Scientists co-curricular is “What makes them so mad?”. This is because they do cool practicals like making slime and playing with fire. The lesson that I observed is when the scientists were playing with flames.

So, you may be asking “What does playing with fire mean?”. Well, playing with fire means lighting wooden sticks on fire that had absorbed different chemicals. These different chemicals turned the flame from the Bunsen Burner a different colour. For example: lithium turned the fire red, and sodium turned it yellow.

You may be asking did the teacher of this co-curricular decide on doing this practical. The answer to this is no. The students in fact, get to choose the practicals that they will get to do the next co-curricular session.

To finish, you may have a couple more questions. Like: “Do students get to choose their co-curricular?” which yes, they do, however, unfortunately we have limited choices due to COVID-19. Prior to all the lockdowns we were allowed to mix with other year groups, therefore we had more choices.

Another question you may have is “What else do they learn in co-curricular?”. The students also learn teamwork skills and communication skills, which are very valuable employability skills.

Thanks for reading my article.

Corey from the Journalism Co-curricular.

Spanish Co-Curricular.

Here at David Nieper, our students have had the opportunity to learn Spanish, a new language that isn’t part of the ordinary curriculum. Our journalism students were given the chance to interview the Spanish class and interact with them, to see what the co-curricular was like. Here is what they found.

The atmosphere in the classroom felt very inclusive and the students full of verve. The teaching style was more practical based, meaning the students could be involved and practice pronunciation continuously. It’s a very supportive environment and the students said that they were more engaged in this language compared to French. However, they were able to incorporate parts from French lessons to help with their learning. They agreed that they enjoyed the opportunity to learn a new language and to be able to socialise. They agreed that it’s good to have the ability to speak languages since it helps with going abroad and as an extra skill for jobs in the future. Lots of the students agreed it was one of the most interesting co-curriculars to choose from, for them. This made them engage more in the lesson, but also inspire them to learn languages outside of the lesson.

Written by Paige, Maria, Madison and Leonie.

Fitness Co-Curricular.

On Wednesday 26th May we had the wonderful opportunity to go and interview the people in year 9 fitness. Mr Smithurst set a lovely atmosphere with different music. We interviewed some people from the co-curricular and here’s what they had to say:

Student 1: “It may be painful but its for our own good, the goal is to make us fit. I do prefer normal lessons though to co-curricular. I found my last co-curricular- craft – more suited to my personality.”

Student 2: “This co-curricular is really good, it helps me to be stronger and fitter. I do find normal lessons better. I preferred Eco co-curricular because I like things about the environment.”

Student 3: “Honestly, it is good, it makes me sweat and work harder. I prefer co-curricular to normal lessons definitely. I like this more than golf that I did last term.”

The teacher, Mr Smithurst, said that his goal for his mentee’s was for “fitness, cardio and increasing strength. Each session they do a full body work out in 3 sections: upper, lower and core strength.”

He speaks in an encouraging manner, relating the fitness movements to real life situations. He is known for saying “lift the weights like your pouring champagne”.

They stretched all the muscles first and then did a variety of different exercises. For example: high knees, plank pyramid, heel crab, Russian twist and leg raises.

Written by Rachel and Adescope.