In the first half of the spring term students and staff at Durrington High School were invited to take part in an Aspiration Challenge. With the school closed to the majority of students and the country in a national lockdown, the challenge aimed to offer students the chance to engage with curriculum areas outside of their timetabled quality online learning. It also provided focused and exciting activities for students and the chance to feel part of a community event whilst at home.
Since the launch of KAPP in September; the values of kindness, aspiration, perseverance and pride have become central to school life running through all that we do. Anna Ward, Assistant Headteacher and Leader for School Culture, thought it was ‘vital to build on the momentum of KAPP established in the autumn term, despite not being in the school building.’ It was also important to provide stimulating activities for students outside of the core online learning.
For the Aspiration Challenge students were invited to complete a maximum of 3 challenges over a 4 week period. There were 17 to choose from with each curriculum department offering a unique challenge. The challenges included history’s ‘Memory of a Monarch’, performing arts’ ‘Lights, Camera, Action’, citizenship’s ‘Does it Really Matter?’ and science’s ‘Strive to be a Scientist.’ This wealth of opportunity ensured there was something for every student. The library and careers team also set challenges for students wanting to take on a challenge outside of subjects areas.
Students were encouraged to share their progress with staff and many of their wonderful efforts were shared on social media. This was a great way to share the amazing work the students and staff were completing; it gave the students a sense of pride in their work and also involved the wider community with the challenge.
One of the most popular challenges was food technology’s ‘Great DHS Bake Off’ which saw participants baking bread, biscuits, cake and pastry over the 4 weeks. The results were so impressive and one entry posted to social media even received a comment from TV chef Jamie Oliver! Many staff and students also used the challenge as motivation for their daily exercise with PE’s ‘Couch to 5km.’
There was an element of friendly competition between the companies and year groups for the number of students that would receive an aspiration badge for their efforts. Over 400 staff and students took part in the challenges and 99 aspiration badges were awarded for outstanding work. The top achievers were:
Top year group: year 7
Top tutor groups: 7NBr and 7SWa
Top 3 companies: 1st Da Vinci, 2nd Hawking, 3rd Mercator