Learning outside of the classroom
With recent limitations on visits and visitors our curriculum enhancements have been curbed significantly. We are now looking forward to returning to providing many opportunities for our children to learn outside of the classroom This cultural capital is vital due to the disadvantaged community we support, the job of equipping pupils with the knowledge and exposing them to the cultural capital they need to succeed in life is often left to school experiences.
At Westminster we realise the value of learning experiences outside of the classroom. Wherever possible we like to provide first hand experiences, be that going out to visit historical or religious sites or bringing visitors in to school to share their experiences on bee-keeping or how life was for children in years gone by. These experiences are powerful positives tools used to enhance our curriculum and bring our learning to life, adding depth to any subject, motivating and enthusing our pupils and making memories along the way.
Local Church Post Box Blackpool Tower
Blackpool Zoo Cleveleys Mythical Coast Trail
Music is very high profile at Westminster with all children receiving weekly music lessons from our vey own specialist music teacher, Kate Fard in a designated music room. Children from Reception to Y6 are taught music appreciation, how to read music and experience a variety of instruments, specialising if they wish as they reach KS2. Children who wish are provided with the instrument of their choice from violin to oboe and clarinet to trombone. An opportunity to specialise in keyboards and drums are also available. Mrs Fard runs an additional opportunity for these children to play in First Beat Orchestra who perform regularly both in school and on the public stage in our local Grand Theatre and Winter Gardens.
Throughout the year, our pupils perform on stage in several Blackpool Music Services events at locations such as the Winter Gardens and the Grand Theatre, Blackpool. The experience of performing live on stage in one of the beautiful local theatres is one that our children will remember for a long time to come.
Blackpool Schools Christmas Music Festival 2018 - Empress Ballroom, Winter Gardens
Schools Alive 2019 Music - Grand Theatre, Blackpool
From football, cricket, athletics and dance to over 50 pupils taking part in Blackpool Youth Games in the summer. Westminster pupils regularly participate in sporting events and competitions across the school year. We believe that sports are great for developing a pupil’s character and moral principles through fair play; this is evident in any sport or activity they take part in at school. The importance of teamwork and working together with peers and teammates is a life skill that will stay with them for all their future endeavours, and their involvement teaches vital lessons about team spirit.
Schools Alive - Winter Gardens, Blackpool
Glow in the Dark Football - Blackpool Sports Centre Inter School Football Competitions
Our Year 6 children have the opportunity to take part in a residential adventure break, this year's is booked for Summer 2022 at Waterpark Lakeland Adventure Centre, Coniston, Cumbria with the hope of funding all of Y6 pupils for a two and a half day visit. Here they learn many new skills from den building to kayaking whilst learning how to be more independent and surviving away from home for 3 days! Activities such as archery, climbing and zip wiring push the boundary of bravery, challenge and self belief. Whilst den building, kayaking and raft building help build vital team work skills.
Other enhancements and experiences
Blackpool FAM Festival (Food, Art + Music) Ex Pupil Open Day Pumpkin carving competition
TTR inter school times tables competition Bikeability
Year 6 end of year celebrations
Whole school Christmas celebration at The Imperial Hotel
Y6 Westonbury Festival
At Westminster we are very proud to work with The Ogden Trust who provide support and resources in Science. This year we applied and have successfully become the only school on the Fylde Coast to have our very own ‘Phiz Lab’ enabling all pupils to access quality resources in a designated science learning space. The funding from this has meant we have been able to update and expand the resources available for all year group topics and also update and expand our library of books dedicated to science.
The aim is that this facility will be available to share with other schools in the area in the latter part of this academic year.
As a very high proportion of our school community is White British we are working hard to develop a diverse curriculum where pupils can learn about all aspects of diversity including race, culture, religion, gender, class, migration, persecution and LGBTQ+. These aspects are interwoven into all aspects of the curriculum but can be seen more readily through English, History, RE, PSHE and Music.
Opportunities for children to access natural environments are diminishing, due to safety concerns, increased traffic, lack of open green spaces, technology and parental worries. This is resulting in nature-deficit disorder, which can diminish the use of senses, cause difficulties in paying attention and results in higher rates of physical and mental illnesses. Therefore, Westminster Primary Academy aims to combat this by delivering curriculum-based lessons outdoors and providing children with opportunities to learn in natural environments as much as possible.
At Westminster we are lucky enough to have been able to develop our Outdoor Learning area. Please click here to find out more.
Opportunities for pupil voice
In our aim to equip our pupils with the skills they need to succeed in life pupil voice is a vital part of our school life. Our children need to know that they have a voice be that through public or more private channels. Our children are encouraged to discuss their concerns with staff who they develop trusting relationships with. For lots of our children school is their 'safe space' and pupil / staff relationships are vital. Our School Counselor and Family Engagement Team play a vital role in this. The Senior Leadership Team have an open door policy and children know that they can speak to a member of the team as they need to.
School Council were voted in in October this year by a democratic vote in a 'real-life' polling station set up with polling booths and ballot boxes loaned by Blackpool Council with our Ward Councillor and Leader of Blackpool Council, Lyn Williams, present. Their focus this year is to be the voice of climate change in our school community. They will also work closely with Cllr Williams to improve recycling in school and within the local community.
The Curriculum Council is made up of pupils from Y3 to 6 who champions all subject areas. They work with Subject Leads and are the voice of their year group in their area. They are involved in reviewing the curriculum and environment for their subject and showcasing good work to Subject Leads.
Anti-bullying Ambassadors provide pupils with a peer to talk to if they have any friendship worries. They are supported by our Learning Mentor and Senior Leadership Team.
We aim to develop our Cultural Capital by providing these experiences across the broad range of our curriculum offer a selection of which can be seen be viewing our School Offer, a sample page being shown below: