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Beyond the Curriculum

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Life At Our Schools

An education at Berkhamsted is about more than just exam results. While we teach our pupils to do their best in their exams, we also expect them to follow a broad range of co-curricular interests.

We develop remarkable people. Our students leave us as well-rounded young adults, who are equipped with the skills they need for a successful, fulfilled future.

We offer a vibrant and extensive extra-curricular programme that encompasses a wide range of activities.

Academic achievement is of great importance at Berkhamsted but we also emphasise the vital role played by other activities such as Sport, Art, Drama, Music and Outdoor Education.

During their time here we would expect that every child will have been given the opportunity to sing, dance, act and compete, while also debating, learning and developing a commitment to service.

Our extra-curricular programme is a fundamental part of life at the Berkhamsted family of schools and aims to broaden all pupils’ life experiences through a wide range of activities, clubs, societies, sports, courses, performances and visits.

We aim to create an environment in which all pupils are supported and encouraged to reach their full potential.

We pride ourselves on a consistently high academic performance

Our schools have a reputation for high academic achievement across a broad range of subjects.  At Senior School, our GCSE and A level results are impressive and our pupils are encouraged to progress through to the Sixth Form and on to higher education.

Academic Results

More than just exam results

We offer a vibrant and extensive extra-curricular programme that encompasses a wide range of activities and aims to equip young people with the wider skills required for a successful and fulfilled life

Community Service

At Berkhamsted, we are a community that understands the importance of service.

We celebrate and encourage the work of our students in the local community, as volunteers who engineer change for good, both inside and outside the school.

Our expectation is that Berkhamstedians will not just go on and do well, but they will also go on and do good, with a sense of compassion. Last year, our students undertook over 5,000 hours of voluntary work across our Senior Schools.

Fundraising for charity is a central focus of many House initiatives. In one year, Berkhamsted pupils and staff raised over £50,000 for a range of local, national and international charitable causes.

Leadership

We aim to equip our pupils with the wider skills they will need to flourish in the future.

Whether on the sports pitch or in a position of responsibility in their House, we focus on encouraging and developing attributes such as leadership, independence, teamwork, self-confidence and a spirit of enquiry, which are are developed both through the classroom and through our extensive co-curricular programme.

Outdoor Education

At Berkhamsted, we believe that getting outside and experiencing alternative methods of learning is a vital part of a well-rounded education.

Through a variety of fun and challenging ventures, our pupils will develop their self-confidence, motivation, leadership and teamwork skills, which will benefit them both throughout their time with us and into the future.

For our younger pupils

Outdoor Education begins with our youngest pupils at Berkhamsted. At Pre-Prep, our pupils search for mini-beasts in the wood, with Prep pupils experiencing a first overnight trip learning Bushcraft skills.

Heatherton’s Forest School certification allows the girls to develop knowledge about the natural world around them, and visits to the Pre-Prep Outdoor Education site at Berkhamsted develop pupils’ sense of adventure as they discover the world around them.

For our older students

Our specialist Outdoor Education team provides opportunities for pupils to learn or participate in activities such as scuba-diving, rock climbing, skiing and kayaking.

Our students in Years 9 – 13 can use our own High Ropes course at our Haresfoot campus as an additional option during their Games lessons.

Our High Ropes are also used as a venue for team-building activities for student and staff groups.

Combined Cadet Force (CCF)

The Combined Cadet Force (CCF) helps young people to develop and reach their full potential by fostering youth leadership and taking part in challenging, adventurous and fun activities.

Senior and Sixth Form pupils at Berkhamsted are able to join the Combined Cadet Force (CCF).

Instruction, equipment and accommodation is provided by all three Armed Forces, enabling us to offer a varied, challenging and demanding CCF programme.

Each year a large number of cadets participate in annual camps and visits which have previously included Germany, Cyprus, Sennybridge and Pirbright.

In addition to these camps the cadets are also eligible to study a wide variety of courses, from leadership and survival, to powerboat training or gaining a private pilot’s licence.

Membership of the CCF involves effort and commitment from our students, with cadets encouraged to fulfil their responsibilities, be it as a recruit under instruction or a cadet instructor.

The opportunities for adventure and leadership within the CCF provide cadets with valuable skills and strategies they can take into their adult life.

Membership of the CCF is entirely voluntary, but attracts a large number of students each year due to the range of activities offered.

Performing Arts

Performing Arts forms an integral part of school life at Berkhamsted and every pupil has the opportunity to be involved, whether as part of a production or as a member of the audience.

At Pre-Prep, Prep and Heatherton, we value the contribution of Performing Arts in the overall development of each pupil, with involvement in choirs and various music ensembles helping children gain confidence from a young age.

Even our youngest pupils regularly speak in public, be that in front of their class or performing in the supportive atmosphere of a school assembly. Pupils in Years 3 – 6 undertake LAMDA lessons as part of the core curriculum.

Extra tuition with specialist peripatetic teachers is available to pupils from Year 3 for a wide range of instruments, leading to recognised qualifications.

Drama and Music are among the variety of co-curricular activities that take place between Berkhamsted Boys and Berkhamsted Girls.

Every pupil at Berkhamsted Girls and Boys has the opportunity to perform in the annual House Music and House Drama productions which are fun and inclusive competitions held at the start of term. There are also many opportunities during the busy Performing Arts calendar presented each year to get involved, either on stage or supporting backstage.

During their time at Berkhamsted Sixth, students have the opportunity to participate in a performance at the prestigious Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Many of the school’s previous productions have received favourable reviews from professional critics who have awarded productions with both four and five stars.

Sport

Sport is an intrinsic part of life at Berkhamsted. We believe playing and participating in sporting and team events builds our pupils’ confidence and character, enabling them to develop into motivated, ambitious and resilient young adults.
Berkhamsted was named one of the country’s top sporting schools in 2018 by School Sports magazine.

Sport at Berkhamsted is not just about the elite performers, as pupils thrive with the endless opportunities to take part. Pupils are encouraged to work hard to reach their full potential, improve their performance and strive for excellence strongly on the sports field as they do in the classroom.

Our students are encouraged to participate in a broad range of sports and physical activity within a competitive and supportive environment and we offer a broad range of sports, both curricular and extra-curricular.

Our students also participate in numerous inter-house sporting events and competitions. At our Senior Schools, the majority of pupils have represented the school, with many areas of the sport department fielding A, B, C, D and E teams.

Pupils are fortunate to compete in many sports, ranging from inter-House netball and rugby through to district, regional and national sporting events. We try to ensure that as many pupils as possible take part in fixtures and tournaments throughout the academic year.

Our team and individual sports have comprehensive weekend and midweek fixture lists, with many pupils representing the school each week.

Teams and individuals are entered into competitions in many of the sporting events on offer and have achieved notable success both regionally and nationally.

We encourage our students to develop a lifelong participation in sport and physical activity through their time with us at Berkhamsted.

More details on our Sports fixtures and results can be found below:

SPORT.BERKHAMSTED.COM

Early Years Sport

Our Early Years approach to Sport at Pre-Prep and Heatherton is a philosophy of participation, enjoyment and performance.

Our younger pupils are provided with opportunities to develop their foundation skills before progressing to an extensive range of curricular and extracurricular sport programmes as they move through the School.

Prep Sport

For our Prep students, it is important that the pupils’ involvement in regular physical activity is a key part of their life at the School with 2 key aims:

  • That the pupils enjoy themselves
  • They are introduced to competitive sport and the values and concepts of both winning and losing

Senior and Sixth Form Sport

Major sports offered at Berkhamsted Girls and Berkhamsted Sixth are lacrosse, netball and cricket.

Major sports offered at Berkhamsted Boys and Berkhamsted Sixth are rugby, football and cricket.

In addition, the three schools offer a number of other sports which pupils are able to pursue both during the school day and at extra-curricular clubs including:

Athletics Rounders
Badminton Rowing
Cross-Country Shooting
Eton Fives Skiing
Equestrian Squash
Golf Swimming
Hockey Tennis