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Durham Blue Coat C.E Aided Junior School

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Curriculum Enhancements

Blue Coat’s Enrichment Opportunities

At Blue Coat, we aim to provide all children with a wide range of additional experiences that extend beyond the statutory National Curriculum, including experiences that they may not normally have opportunities to take part in out of school.

We view activities like this as an important part of our children’s all round education, giving them new experiences, developing life skills,  extending their learning, and making school life memorable.


Children from disadvantaged backgrounds also benefit from experiences and activities that they may not get out of school.

Enrichment helps provide children with a rounded, culturally rich education through activities that enhance their learning.

Enrichment gives children opportunities to try new and varied activities that may not strictly fit into the curriculum, but that develop character, resilience and motivation and encourage them to pursue wider goals.

Enrichment helps to teach life skills that benefit children beyond the classroom, and can develop an appreciation for cultural and community issues, teamwork and social responsibility.

Research by the Education Endowment Foundation has also found a link between enrichment and higher attainment in reading and maths.

Although there’s no statutory requirement for schools to provide enrichment opportunities, it’s encouraged by the Department for Education (DfE) and Ofsted.

Ofsted’s inspection framework emphasises the importance of personal development and extending the curriculum beyond academic achievement.

It assesses schools on whether they:

  • Help children develop their interests and talents
  • Enable children to develop their character, including resilience, confidence and independence.
  • Teach children how to keep physically and mentally healthy.
  • Prepare them for future success
  • Equip children to be responsible, respectful and active citizens

Some of this is covered in the National curriculum, but a lot of it falls under the banner of enrichment.


At Blue Coat, enrichment clubs, experiences and activities can take many forms, and can enhance social and teamwork skills.


Enrichment opportunities at Blue Coat include but are not limited to:-

  •  Lunchtime and after-school clubs like reading, music, art or sport;
  • Music lessons (usually paid for by parents) and opportunities to use musical talents, for example in choirs, bands or orchestra – both practising and performing. For those in receipt of FSM these are paid for and we heavily advertise these opportunities;
  • School plays, shows, assemblies and sports days;
  • Family learning workshops;
  • Competing in sporting events with other local schools;
  • School trips and residential visits- At Blue Coat, all children will visit a zoo, theatre, castle, farm, seaside and explore their own city as well as visiting lakes and mountains. All subject areas have trips/external speakers to enrich the learning experience;
  • Forest school type activities and other outdoor learning opportunities;
  •  Whole-school events like sponsors or world book day;
  • Supporting charities through activities like copper collections, sports challenges or food bank collections;
  • Working on a school newspaper or magazine;
  • Trips to the theatre;
  • Trips within the local area such as the church, Tesco or the library;
  • Bikeability;
  • Visiting speakers, for example authors, local figures and members of the community;
  • Being active in the local community, such as through litter picks, developing local parks or carol singing in elderly care homes or at the local shopping centre.

In addition to providing the children with a range of exciting and fun experiences at school, we want our parents, carers and families to enjoy quality time together too with their child(ren).  We have, therefore, provided all our children with an ‘activity passport’, recommended by the DFE. The passport provides children in each age group with a whole list of non-expensive activities that families can enjoy together. They simply tick off when they have undertaken an activity and they will have opportunities at school to share these memorable moments.

These are just a few of the many diverse enrichment activities that we offer your children at Blue Coat.

Year 5 Visit to the Church for Easter in a Box

Year 3 Visit to the Oriental Museum

Year 6 Lego League Regional Tournament

Year 4 Visit to the Sikh Gurdwara

6L Play in a Day