ACTIVITIES BEYOND THE CLASSROOM
Elizabeth College is a busy community of learners who enjoy an exceptional variety of arts, drama, music, sport and volunteering at the core of a vast co-curricular programme. Our students develop interests that stay with them for life, as well as learning the skills that will make them stand out in a fast-changing world.
We recognise the value of these activities as an intrinsic part of our students’ development, enabling them to develop and apply interests and aptitudes from and beyond the classroom. From the start of their time at Elizabeth College, we encourage our students to try everything so that they can discover their talents and passions, wherever they may lie.
Beginning right at the start of their time in the Junior School, children are able to enjoy a variety of experiences by joining in the co-curricular activities offered by the staff. As students move up through the school the programme becomes more extensive and students are encouraged to stretch themselves and try new things.
The quality and range of activities enables all students to find their niche as well as making new friends. The variety and number of activities on offer continues to grow and is a significant feature in what makes an Elizabeth College education so special.
The Elizabethan Awards are a new and exciting development in our extra-curricular offering. Launched in 2019 the initiative has been an unprecedented success. The awards are designed to encourage students to take part in our extensive activities offering and be recognised for their contribution. The awards cover key areas including:
Designed to encompass three levels: Bronze – Year 7; Silver – Year 8; and Gold – Year 9. Each element takes approximately a year to complete. While the awards have the same core strands, each level requires slightly longer commitment. Silver awards ask that you show a level of excellence in at least one strand. The Gold award additionally asks students to set themselves a significant personal challenge to achieve at the start of the award to be agreed with their Head of Year. It is testament to the success of the new scheme that so many students proudly wear their Elizabethan Award lapel on their blazer.
In Years 10 and 11 success is celebrated with College Colours, followed by Half and Full Colours in the Sixth Form.
The Upper School follows an alternative timetable on Friday afternoons that is designed to allow students to access activities focused on practical and active learning.
Students are more often than not outside of the classroom environment, in different groups and often with a mix of year groups. The new timetable has re-energised our students and is time they, and the staff, really look forward to.
Activities typically include: Photography, Table Top Tribe (Strategy and Role Play games), Futsal, Art Sculptures, Eco-Warriors, Podcasting, Vintage Vinyl, Bellringing, Survival Skills, Chess, Jewellery Making, The History Boys (island exploration and hidden history of Guernsey), Film Club, Ukele, Bass Guitar, Fife and Drum Band, International Culture and Cuisine and Special Effects Make-Up.
The programme for each year group includes:
- Year 7/8: Over 20 different options are available. Students select a choice of five, before being allocated a final three to take part in for the year. Each option block lasts for ten weeks. Plenty of time to get a real taste for something new and see if it something they would like to do more of in the future.
- Year 9: Enjoy a rotation of activities designed to introduce them to some of the options available to them in years 10-13. The rotations can include: CCF (Army, Navy, RAF), First Aid, Navigation DofE, Coding and Outdoor Pursuits.
- Year 10/11: Can opt for CCF Basic/Advanced Course in Army, Navy or RAF, Sports Leadership, or Eco/Conservation skills.
- Year 12/13: CCF Leadership, Sports Leadership, Eco/Conservation skills, DofE assistance for Bronze groups, Elizabethan Award Leaders.
Each year the last week of the Trinity term is Investigation and Discovery week. Normal lessons cease and students are given the opportunity in different areas either to learn new skills or improve on skills they already have.
Options are usually College based in the morning and run by College staff – many are creative, musical or mentally challenging in nature. In the afternoon activities are in different locations around the island and are more physically inclined.
Each student is asked to read through the options booklet sent out just after Easter and then to select, in order of preference, four activities from the morning choices and four from the afternoon choices.
An Open Evening is held on the Thursday, where students explain the activities they have been involved in to visiting parents and friends. The Drama and Music groups put on a performance to showcase what they have learnt during the week.
Depending on the year group typical examples of activities include:
- Year 9: Duke of Edinburgh qualifying trips and activities.
- Year 10: CCF annual camps or assist with the sports leadership programme.
- Year 12: Prefect training/ bespoke sixth form programme.
- Year 11/13: CCF cadets may have the option to attend camp as NCOs.
In a typical year Elizabeth College and Elizabeth College Junior School (ECJS) have approximately 45 off-island trips.
Off-island trips provide academic, sporting, co-curricular, social and cultural opportunities in addition to the opportunities which can be found in Guernsey, and are therefore an essential part of the education Elizabeth College provides.
School trips and sport tours give students the opportunity to develop socially, they create a sense of community and most importantly, are fun. They enable students to explore a subject outside of the classroom, where they can discover new passions and interests and develop practical memories and experiences that are much easier to recall in an exam hall, than revision notes or passages in textbooks.
School trips and sports tours instil confidence and independence as well as strengthen bonds between students and teachers. Alongside broadening horizons, they give students the chance to form strong bonds, often across the year groups, providing them with a sense of belonging and enduring friendships.
Travel is a fantastic opportunity to give global perspectives to students where they can experience cultures outside their own and appreciate the shared characteristics that unite us. Students who feel empowered to do things and go places on their own develop vital life skills that help to shape them into successful individuals who can make a positive contribution to society.