Pupils able to expand their learning by getting involved at ‘university’

The Highfield Campus at the University of Southampton, which is home to the George Thomas Building. Picture: Geograph

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Here at Peel Common Juniors we run a very exciting programme for our children, writes governor Lisa Donn.

Every Friday afternoon, the whole school participates in our very own university.

Pictured L-R Niamh Denham 10 with sammy the snake, Ted Grundy 11 with smokey the kitten and Carmen White 10 with blossom the guinea pig.''Picture: Paul Jacobs (142970-6)

Pictured L-R Niamh Denham 10 with sammy the snake, Ted Grundy 11 with smokey the kitten and Carmen White 10 with blossom the guinea pig.''Picture: Paul Jacobs (142970-6)

At the start of the academic year the children will have selected a number of subjects that have interested them from our university prospectus.

Our staff co-ordinators then work hard to ensure they get to try the majority of their choices over the year.

The range of choices for the children is so varied. This year’s options have included maths challenges, circus skills, zumba, martial arts, loom bands, hair and beauty, photography and many more.

It’s a great way to involve our community partners and expand the options to include activities outside of the school grounds.

It’s wonderful how the children work together across all year groups and it gives them the opportunity to build self-esteem and develop the whole child.

It goes without saying, we also have a lot of fun. The university groups have been responsible for all manner of events that staff, children and parents have been a part of.

It’s been great for getting everyone involved and feeling part of the Peel Common community.

Our university enterprise group is responsible for organising a fundraising event of their choice.

This term the children very bravely opted to hold a pet show. This is a first for us. The group are responsible for the entire event, from planning to execution.

All funds raised then go towards the running costs of the university. So it’s really important that these events are a success.

The children organised three groups of dogs, small animals and reptiles. They had considered that this might be a challenging combination so the dogs were judged out on the field with a small agility course laid out.

Luckily, the weather was kind to us. All the other pets were in the school hall and it was a wonderful combination of kittens, rabbits, guinea pigs and reptiles.

When it came to judging, the group were very thorough.

Some endearing, creative awards had been dreamt up including cutest reptile, tallest dog and most intelligent pet, to name but a few.

The enthusiasm from the parents and children that had bought their pets in was contagious and soon turned into a bit of healthy competition.

It was such a lovely atmosphere and I wonder if it will now become an annual event for us.