At St. Matthew’s we are passionate about providing and promoting opportunities for our children to grow in confidence; to develop their communication skills; to harness their natural creativity, to face challenges and to make positive change in the world.
Below you will find information about just some of the amazing opportunities afforded to our pupils.
The values of the Arts Award align perfectly with our own curriculum cornerstones. They are to inspire creativity and develop future leaders.
Pupils in Year 2 and 6 work towards their Arts Award Discover and Explore accreditation each year. The children are always enthused by the opportunity to explore different art forms and thrive when given the opportunity present their work creatively and independently. You can find out more about the Arts Award scheme by clicking on the link below.
Shakespeare Schools' Festival
We are currently in the process of preparing for our thirs production as part of the Coram Shakespeare Schools’ Festival. During the pandemic, we produced a fabulous radio play of ‘The Tempest’ and last year we brought the curtain down on the nationwide festival with our production of ‘Twelfth Night’. This year, we are working with our Year 5 and 6 children to put on a production of ‘Much Ado About Nothing’.
The festival provides pupils with the opportunity to work in a professional theatre environment with accomplished directors and actors. The confidence it instils in our young people is phenomenal and many of our young people go on to thrive in the performing arts when they move on to secondary education.
Junior Duke of Edinburgh
All pupils in St. Matthew’s have the opportunity each year to participate in the Junior Duke of Edinburgh scheme. The scheme is deigned to empower children to take responsibility for themselves so that they become well motivated, resourceful and resilient individuals. The scheme builds character and aligns carefully with our curriculum cornerstones: to develop children with excellent communication skills with the ability to rise to any challenge that they are presented with.
Musical Instrument Tuition
At St. Matthew’s, we want all of our children to have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument. This journey begins in Reception when our children learn to play an ensemble on hand bells! Then, working in partnership with Northumberland’s music service, we offer our children violin, clarinet, flut, saxophone and pocket trumpet tuition. We enjoy performing for our families regularly!
From the very beginning of their St. Matthew’s journey in our ‘Roots and Shoots’ nursery provision, the forest school ethos is at the heart of our school’s mission to develop resilient and independent children. We make use of our trained and highly skilled staff to deliver first class outdoor education. We are blessed by vast amounts of green space and forest land to explore and learn in.
At St. Matthew’s we love all things STEM! Through our partnership work with the Ogden Trust and through various other STEM related initiatives, the school provides great opportunities for scientific, mathematical and engineering exploration. Our annual space camps provide pupils with an opportunity sleep out under the stars and our partnership with Kielder observatory provides a host of opportunities to develop our young and inquiring minds!
Adopt a Chef (Royal Culinary School of Arts)
Last year, the school initiated a new partnership with the Royal Culinary School of Arts ‘Adopt a Chef’ programme. Working with a visiting chef over a number of sessions, our children in Years 4 and 5 explored their sense of taste, and developed a range of culinary skills making bread, salads and a range of other dishes. We are looking forward to renewing this partnership this year.
Engaging with the local community is an integral part of the character education we want to provide for our children. Regular opportunities are planned throughout the course of the year that enable pupils to interact with the community. Carol singing and visits to local care homes build invaluable links with local residents.
During our annual Cornerstones Week we aim to provide our children with a range of activities and experiences beyond the classroom. Last year, all children learned emergency first aid and our Year 6 pupils took part in a financial management workshop provided by St. James’ Place Financial Management Services. Of course, there’s always plenty of new sports and arts activities to try!
Year on year, we are able to offer all children in key stage 2 a residential experience. Starting in Year 3, we offer a one night stay in school for space camp, and then in Years 4 and 5, the children venture to Lockerbie Manor in Scotland and to Weardale Activity Centre for 2 nights. In Year 4, the children also get the opportunity to stay for 2 nights at the Emmaus Youth Village as part of their sacramental preparation programme. In Year 6, our children venture to Scotland again to stay at Galloway Activity Centre.
All of these trips provide the children with opportunities to build confidence, develop their communication skills, think creatively, face challenges, and experience change.