At the John Henry Newman Academy we are lucky to be located in the beautiful city of Oxford; our vision at the John Henry Newman Academy is to ‘Let your Light Shine’. In order to do this, we create opportunities for children to explore the beauty, culture and wonder this city has to offer. It is the aim of the school to place a high value on diversity, treating every member of the school community as an individual. Through these exciting experiences we hope to promote character building qualities that lead to crafting well-rounded, global citizens. All educational visits are planned and assessed by staff members to meet the needs of every child as well as the opportunity to meet and learn from a wide range of experts. This will give them opportunities and experiences which allow them to experience their own cultures, have new experiences and put their learning into context. In doing this, we aim, therefore, to raise the achievement of all the children in the school. We are lucky to make many of these experiences a reality with help from our links with: Exeter College, The Jack Peers Outdoor Learning Centre, Science Oxford and IntoUniversity.
Twice a year, every class has the opportunity to visit the Jack Peers Outdoor Learning Centre in Great Milton. There the children spend the day immersed in nature where they are able to build fires, whittle wood, climb trees, hunt bugs, scavenge for artefacts and learn to abide by the countryside rules. This is always an exciting day out the children look forward to with our Forest School Leaders. Each class then evaluates their day, giving a chance for their voices to be heard, which the Jack Peers staff then use to improve their future experiences.
At the John Henry Newman Academy, each class is named after a college in Oxford and we love working with each of these colleges to help give the children something to aspire towards. Each class writes to their named college with the intention of visiting the college, learning all about what life is like and seeing their beautiful grounds. We are also incredibly fortunate to be twinned with Exeter College; they kindly provide a number of exciting opportunities for all year groups, for example: visiting the Natural History Museum in Oxford with Year 2 and creating a graduation ceremony for each Year 6 class to mark their transition from Primary to Secondary Education.
In Year 6 we also offer our yearly ‘Residential’ where the children visit a PGL centre within the UK, for example Osmington Bay in Dorset. At these centres, the children are able to take part in a unique experience which will create life-long memories while completing various activities including: abseiling, canoeing, zip-wire, aero ball, the giant swing and much more.
In order to offer these exciting opportunities, there will be times we ask parents for a voluntary contribution to help cover some of the costs. We will endeavour to fundraise through school fundraisers, shared experiences and writing to local businesses for support.
Each and every educational visit follows the Local Authority ‘Educational Visits’ guidance. Reference is also made to three further documents that are more recent: A handbook for Group Leaders, Standards for LEAs in overseeing Educational Visits and Standard for Adventure. Teachers carefully plan for every visit where they research the centres, speak to staff there, assess any risks that may arise and cater to the needs of all so that every child is able to access as many trips as safely as possible.