Enriching the curriculum of our Sixth Form pupils, the Ignite programme

has been in full swing this term.

In September the Ignite Fair showcased the extraordinary range of academic enrichment courses on offer, from Marine Biology to Arabic. Pupils were also introduced to the personal enrichment opportunities, with live abseiling demonstrations and a silent disco amongst others activities on display.

A new addition to this year’s Ignite programme is The Ivy House Award, a leadership and development course for Year 12 pupils. Pupils heard from founder Elke Edwards at Academic Foundations Day (pictured left with Dr Anne Cotton and pupils) who talked about the programme and the opportunities that if offered the pupils.

One of the highlights of the term was the live link up between the Ignite Sustainability Group and our partners in learning at Kikaaya College School in Uganda. The Sustainability Group have been learning about sustainable foods and sustainable energy. Rosie Blackburn who previously worked at Wild Thyme in Palmerston Road, and has worked for a variety of food organisations internationally, came into school to talk not only to the Ignite pupils, but also GeogSoc and Miss Bolton’s EcoClub about how the food industry is currently unsustainable and about the damage that cattle ranching can have on the environment along with how food waste and distribution is a problem.

During the video call with Mr Mubiru and some of his pupils in Uganda they discussed an ongoing project with him, which is centred around how they can use more sustainable energy sources at their school.

Travelling out in to Chichester Harbour to visit the unique seal colony established there was part of the enrichment offered to the Sixth Form pupils taking part in the Marine Biology Ignite course.

The visit included a boat trip tour of the colony with marine biologist Beth Pickering, who is studying the seals. Pupils learnt about the seals ecology and behaviour, and the conservation efforts to protect them. The Chichester seal colony is unique as it is the only place in the world where grey seals and harbour seals peacefully live together in a single colony. It is thought that this is because the colony was established when rescued seals of both species were released into the harbour, as a safe and suitable new habitat. As the colony grow researchers want to see how and if the seals interactions change. This will provide new insights into their behaviour and help to inform future conservation efforts.

Our pupils came away with a new appreciation of what marine biology field research can be like and the huge amount of marine biology knowledge still to be explored.

The range of opportunities now open pupils in the Sixth Form through Ignite is growing each term, enabling them to reach beyond their curriculum learning to develop new skills that will help them in the future, explore new interests and gain a deeper understanding of the subjects they have chosen to study.