At Cornfield we have three Focus Weeks for KS3 students each year. They are carefully designed to extend and expand the curriculum in different and exciting ways so that the students learn important lessons in different settings and from the wider community.
In October Community Focus Week looks at different areas of our communities: the school community and ways we can all work together to improve our learning, the local communities and how we can help others, the national community and the global community. Recent in-school projects have included planting a quiet area, a totem sculpture for the quad and an anti-bullying social skills campaign. In the local community each group of students works with a service provider such as Scope, where we have created a series of art works games and activities, the local pre-school nursery where our students have made props and games for favourite stories like the Hungry Caterpillar, The Bear Hunt and The Gruffalo, and a Home for retired servicemen and women who have enjoyed activities and games organised by our students.
In February Business and Enterprise Focus Week concentrates on designing, making and selling items. This enables the students to interact with members of the business community and learn about the complexities of taking an idea to market. Recent projects have included bug hotels, planters and bird boxes for the garden, key fobs which incorporated trolley coins, and souvenirs of Littlehampton.
In July we focus on Lifestyle Choices concentrating on the healthier options available to our students. In this week we engage in a wide range of activities and sports that we hope our students will take up, for example we have recently been to the gym, played tennis and badminton, designed our own tee-shirts and piggy banks, picked and cooked our own soft fruit and learned to snorkel. We also arrange lots of visitors to talk about their own life choices such as a man who kite surfed over Worthing Pier and is now hoping to be selected for the 2016 Olympics, a former policewoman who became a financial advisor having seen families turn to crime because of their poor financial acumen, and a prisoner ending his sentence who hopes to make just one person avoid the mistakes he made.
Each of these weeks is challenging as it takes everyone out of their usual routines and involves working with new people, it asks students to use the skills they have been learning in school, to be creative, independent self mangers, and each week is a success as they rise to the situations, communicate effectively and develop self confidence.