In the Lower Fourth all pupils work towards the Bromsgrove Badge, which offers a variety of experiences from campcraft, orienteering and climbing to public speaking, local history and knowledge. One of the first challenges involves a challenging map-reading and walking exercise across the Malvern Hills. The course culminates in a weekend camp at Symond's Yat on the River Wye, where the pupils apply the skills they have acquired in a range of activities which include abseiling, camping, canoeing, cooking, and rock climbing.
Bromsgrove Service stems from the heart of the Bromsgrove School Mission Statement. The key characteristics included in the statement lie at the centre of a progressive modern society and it is our aim to hone these special personal traits which are necessary to enable Bromsgrovians to take their place positively and successfully within it. The experiences faced by our pupils and the work they undertake is based squarely on building and sustaining relationships within our local community and further afield; quite often this means working with those who may not have the same advantages in life as our pupils.
Much of the work undertaken by our pupils undertaking Bromsgrove Service might be unseen and unsung, but it is a vital part of the IB Diploma CAS component and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, although some pupils join in simply out of a desire to volunteer to work in the wider community. A number of activities in Bromsgrove Service can be used to contribute towards nationally recognized award schemes, such as the Crest Science Award; Language Mentors and Sports Leaders.
The variety of activities we offer in Bromsgrove Service allow pupils in Years 11-13 to develop as young adults; to build further on current skills and help them to discover other strengths and talents that till now they may not have had the opportunity or experience to discover in themselves. Some activities require more obvious personal qualities like compassion, respect and humility that are needed when visiting a residential home or local special school or participating in charity fundraising, for example. Bromsgrove Service allows pupils to have an awareness of personal growth; a useful tool when thinking about their future further education path and career so pupils will be encouraged to reflect on their experiences and evaluate their performance in their chosen activity. Watch our Bromsgrove Service playlist on YouTube
The reviews and reflections completed by our Bromsgrove Service students show that the overriding message is one of positivity and a greater appreciation of the chance to give back something to society:
“The Language Leaders course was a great success, and helped me to gain confidence. It encourages you to think outside the box.”
“I really enjoyed the Language Leaders course because I felt rewarded by the children as their confidence rose.”
“As the elderly started to leave after the Tea and Carols event, and voiced just how much they and their carers appreciated what we had done, it put everything into perspective for me; it was not just a CAS project, but it was making a difference to these people's lives, in one way supporting carers, and in another giving the residents something outside of their normal routine.”
The School has an outstanding tradition of military service as reflected in the roll of the fallen commemorated in the Memorial Chapel and the selflessness of the five Bromsgrovians who were awarded the Victoria Cross. The endeavour of the CCF today is to reflect these values and to encourage the young to discover themselves through teamwork, challenge and disciplined good fun. It may be considered as a source of practical experience which follows up the theories expounded in Chapel, in Head of Year and in Personal and Social Education, and in parallel with the other opportunities for development available in sport and cultural activities. It is accessible to all, whatever their gender, skill or temperament. All that is required is a willingness to succeed.
Often those apparently least suited have the most to gain by joining what is at one and the same time a superb vehicle for personal development, for fulfilment of dreams, for learning skills, for visiting beautiful places, for discovering hobbies for a lifetime, and also the most wonderful nationwide club which builds friendships far and wide. It is noteworthy that some universities are now shaping to amend offers to candidates who have contributed in character developing activities such as CCF and D of E. Further qualifications such as the BTEC First Diploma in Public Services, and the Standard (Adult) First Aid Certificate are obtainable through the CCF.
Clubs and Societies
Beyond CCF, DofE and Community Service, Clubs and Societies play a big part at Bromsgrove. Take, for example the thriving Debating Society. Pupil teams won the National competition and represented the country in the International Final of the European Youth Parliament in Kiev. . On a local level, it regularly takes part in district competitions such as the Three Counties Debate in Malvern as well as the English-Speaking Union Competition and University debates at Oxford and Cambridge.
Or consider the Chapel Choir and Choral Society which regularly perform at venues such as St George's Chapel, Windsor, York and Gloucester Cathedrals and Pershore and Bath Abbeys. Or Drama Club, where pupils get the chance to work towards The Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA) certificate at Bronze, Silver or Gold level.
And on the list goes, demonstrating that a Bromsgrove is education is as much about what happens outside a classroom as within.
Exchanges, Trips and Tours
Bromsgrove's field trips and cultural visits acknowledge that we live in a global community, though the School does not ignore the many riches on its own doorstep.
From Art and Drama trips to such places as New York, Bilbao and Barcelona, to Business Studies tours to cities in Eastern and Central Europe, travel is varied and extensive. Recent expeditions to Asia and South America were especially successful. Annual fixtures include exchanges with pupils from European schools.
The School takes full advantage of its position in an area rich and varied in culture, history and geography. Pupils regularly attend concerts at Symphony Hall, Birmingham, productions by the Royal Shakespeare Theatre Company at Stratford-upon-Avon and exhibitions at the National Exhibition Centre. Visits are also made to Art Galleries and Museums. Field Trips in Biology and Geography are also arranged as an extension of the Curriculum.
In keeping with Bromsgrove's philosophy that stimulation outside the classroom is as important as hard work within, field trips and cultural visits are a fundamental component of the Bromsgrove life. Breadth of experience is simply essential.
Bromsgrove has exchange links with schools in France, Germany and Spain. Pupils visit the schools and stay with a host family at Easter and receive a foreign guest at various times in the year. The pupils find the experience enjoyable and make huge progress linguistically.
St Vincent in Rennes is much like Bromsgrove in that it comprises three schools and educates pupils from 2 to 19. Many pupils go on to gain places at the prestigious écoles normales, the French equivalent of Oxbridge. The school is a catholic foundation and offers the pupils a broad and outstanding education.
St Luis in Pravia, Northern Spain is a small private school in “green Spain” near some breath-taking countryside. It is another hugely successful school offering an excellent education and dedicated group of pupils.
Gymnasium Hermannswerder in Potsdam is unusual for Germany in that it has a boarding house and a strong Christian ethos. The school is on a peninsula in the river Havel and enjoys an exceptionally beautiful location. The pupils are friendly, ambitious and hard working. Bromsgrovians participating in this exchange have the opportunity to see the modern sights of Berlin and the historic palaces of Potsdam.
Weekday and Saturday Activities
During activity sessions timetabled during the School Week, pupils make good use of specialist facilities and staff expertise in Art, Design, Technology, Computing, Drama, Electronics and Music. The options for all Bromsgrovians are huge.
Bromsgrove runs extensive and intensive Saturday activitiy programmes which encourage initiative, discipline, qualities of leadership, self-motivation and the ability to work with and for others. In many respects the skills acquired from activities are as important as those gleaned from academic work.
So important is the programme that the following sample list includes many activities that require long hours of dedication and commitment from pupils and staff. Competitive activities such as Debating and Young Enterprise involve healthy competition against other schools and colleges. Indeed many of the following could fill a website of their own.
Present options include: Young Enterprise, World Language Club, Weights, Tae Kwondo, Sub Aqua, Studio Recording, Street Dancing, Sailing, Riding, RADA, Photography, Music Appreciation, Kayaking, Jewellery Making, Italian, Guitar Workshops, Film Club, Debating, Crafts, Chess, Ceramics, Aerobics.
All Bromsgrove pupils come to realise the School values breadth as an essential route to adulthood. Happy young people need challenging options outside the classroom.
Duke of Edinburgh Award
Hundreds of Bromsgrove pupils are involved in the Duke of Edinburgh ’s Award scheme at Bromsgrove School at Bronze, Silver and Gold level. Participation at all levels is voluntary. All Lower Fourths are given an introduction to the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme though Bromsgrove Badge, with the majority of students opting to participate in the Bronze Award in Upper Fourth.
All levels of the award require participants to undertake four sections:
Physical Recreation (sports)
The Skill and Physical Recreation requirements can be met through our extensive extra-curricular programme. However, pupils with interests outside of the School are equally encouraged to develop these further.
The expedition programme begins in the Lower Fourth Form with Bromsgrove Badge and runs throughout the years, becoming increasingly more challenging. At Gold level, there is an additional Residential section to be completed. This involves a 5 day, 4 night experience in unfamiliar surroundings and aims to broaden young people's experiences through involvement with others who are not known to them.
Further information about the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award can be found on the Award website: https://www.dofe.org/
. For information regarding the Award at Bromsgrove please contact the DofE Co-ordinators:
Bronze Mr Farnes
Silver Dr Short
Gold Miss Baker