12 May HT Blog 31 – Colours
Although it may seem like it’s quite a few weeks away yet, we have booked our latest Colours award ceremony for the final week of the school year, on Wednesday July 17 at our usual venue of King’s House. Our Colours system is an important and unique part of what makes Daubeney Academy so distinctive and such a special place for our students to attend as much of what we do in our school is geared not only to lead to the excellent academic outcomes that are so vital for our young people but also towards our students developing their characters so that they are equipped with the skills, experiences and cultural awareness that they will need when they leave us to begin the next chapters of their educational careers at the age of 16. The easiest way for our students to develop their characters is to get involved with some of the many ECAs (Extra Curricular Activities) and clubs that our teachers schedule for them each half-term and which are published to parents via ParentMail during the first week of every new half-term period. This half-term, for example, we are offering PRISM club to any students during Monday lunchtime who wish to discuss issues of equality with Miss Williamson, homework club, choir and German club (with Greta Lassen, our latest foreign language assistant from our wonderful link with Bamberg University) during Tuesday lunchtime, GCSE Music and GCSE Spanish support sessions on Tuesday afternoons, which is also the time when our Year 7/8 athletics fixtures take place, keyboard club and Warhammer club on Wednesday lunchtimes, more GCSE Music and athletics (this time for Year 9 students) after school, along with our Eco Team sessions (with Mrs Steele), Music club during Thursday lunchtime, with recorder club (led by Miss Saunders), (more) athletics and (more) GCSE Spanish after school, along with our table tennis club, with games club on Friday lunchtime and our sessions with the coaches from MK Dons SET finishing the week off on Friday afternoon. Character, of course, isn’t just made by attending clubs, as the drop-down options available on the website that our students use to log their credits will attest, but it certainly helps our students to develop as well-rounded individuals if they take part in as many of the sessions, LOTC opportunities and other activities that we provide to them during their time with us as part of our commitment to character education and their wider curriculum experience.
In order to ensure that our students have enough credits to earn one of their badges and thus be invited to our Colours ceremony, they need to be organised enough to have logged on to the Colours website regularly and indicated exactly what they have done over the course of each half-term. Being organised, of course, is not only a key skill for all effective people, young and old and in whatever line of work or study they are involved, but also one of the LORIC skills that we are building explicitly into our curriculum. If our students make it part of their normal routine to log credits as regularly as they can, then the mad rush to log as many as possible in the final few days before the deadline for applying for an award is avoided. Also, it’s up to our students to remember the log in details that they are all given at the beginning of each school year – it’s not the responsibility of their teachers to remember them for them – so the excuse of I would have logged them but I lost my password is, quite frankly, something that we would rather not hear. When our students move on to the next thing that they do after their time at Daubeney is up, whether it’s to further study at one of the many post-16 options in Bedford or to an apprenticeship with a workplace, they will be competing against more people than ever before and they will need to stand out from the crowd, and having achieved awards which indicate that they have developed effective characters would do exactly this job. The chances are that many applicants for college or university places or even for career programmes will have more or less the same academic qualifications as each other, so college leaders and employers will want to know what makes the young people in front of them different to everyone else. Daubeney Academy is a proudly distinctive school, we’re not just an identikit version of everywhere else, and much of this is down to how we nurture, grow and develop our young people towards being the best versions of themselves. Our Colours programme is something that all of our students should buy into if they also want to really stand out in a manner that makes them as distinctive as the school that they attend.