Cultural Awareness in Redbridge Education


What does it involve?

We take a coach group and staff helpers to the Aosta valley in northern Italy for a week of skiing, ice skating and other activities during the term time in late January. ​

What impact does it have on our students? ​

Pupils have the opportunity to see European countries and the people of them. They are able to interact with people, using their language skills if desired. The geography of the region is mountainous with amazing views that many of our pupils may never have seen or experienced. ​

The activity of learning to ski over 6 days gives pupils an idea of the need for application of skills learned and the discipline required. For some of our pupils this may be the first time that they have had to persevere at an activity for a prolonged time. As most skiers pick up the basics within 3 days they understand the advantages of paying attention and listening carefully to their instructors. The thrill of being able to control their movement on snow, based on thorough learning of the skills and sheer hard work involved is rewarding. Many of the pupils do not spend time with adults in a supervisory capacity, apart from teachers in school; they enjoy being taught by instructors, many of them young and enthusiastic outward going people, who relate well. I think the experience is one that stays with our young people and gives them a sense of achievement and self-worth as well as self-belief.

Mr B Shearer, Head of Technology and Teacher of Resistant Materials ​



What does it involve?

Weekend away at Liddington, just south of Swindon. For all the Netball players of the previous year. The first year we took two teams, 18 girls and then last year we took 34, 4 teams. The get to play in a netball tournament throughout the weekend, whilst also joining in with other physical activities such as abseiling, high ropes and archery. We invite everyone and if there is someone that would like to come that is not in the team, they have to show their commitment to the team prior to gaining a place. Many of our students do not play in external clubs for netball making this a great opportunity. The girls get to stay in rooms of 4 with their friends and netball team mates.​ ​

What impact does it have on our students? ​

The trip is only one weekend away, so they get valuable experience of staying away from home. They have to ensure that they have all the correct equipment for both netball and the other activities. The weekend is very physically demanding, so they need to prepare themselves before hand, ensuring that they attend training at least twice a week – once for fitness and once for match play – instilling them with the values of responsibility and determination. During meal times on the trip, we insist that we all sit together on a table and have a no phone policy. We all wait for each other before we eat. Students often eat food they have never tried before. Students are also entrusted when not playing netball to walk around without a teacher to engage in the other activities that have been organised. They will also need to show responsibility for their belongings and their money, something which many students aged 11-13 have not been pushed to do before, and ensure they budget correctly and keep themselves and their belongings safe – practising this early will benefit them in ‘normal’ life as they grow older. ​

Mrs R Lang, Second in PE



What does it involve? ​

It combines the skill of canoeing through the spectacular Ardeche Gorge with an equally stimulating programme of land activities at La Savane, France. The possible itinerary for this 9 day expedition could include: high ropes, archery, caving, climbing, raft building, river swim and the highlight of the trip – using Canadian canoes to complete a 2 day descent of the Ardeche Gorge, bivouacking (camping outside) overnight. During the evenings a programme comprising of talent shows, karaoke, swimming, discos and local excursions will be arranged. The local excursions will vary trip to trip depending on the facilities open, weather and opportunities available. In 2019 we visited underground caves which have naturally been made over the centuries, the local village for ice cream in the evening and a local town for shopping. Students also get the chance to visit a supermarket to purchase snacks and sweets prior to their journey home.​ ​

What impact does it have on our students? ​

Travelling to France, this trip broadens the student’s cultural awareness and horizons by being exposed to some traditionally French experiences. They experience a small villages and larger towns where they can purchase a variety of tourist items, food and drinks. ​

Students are encouraged to use the native language as much as possible – especially in relation to etiquette and manners. They have three sit-down meals a day and are expected to share the chores around the campsite. This enables them to work together as a team and learn to have responsibility for themselves and others. Students are exposed to a variety of meals and food choices – not all of them are traditionally French some are just not what their family may have eaten at home. They are encouraged to try all options and activities. The main aspect of the trip is about the descent of the Ardèche gorge. This activity really challenges them – physically, emotionally, socially and mentally. It requires the students to show determination, resilience, and the ability to carry on even when they are really tired and want to stop. This is a physically demanding challenge. Although it really can test friendships, students have to learn to trust the other person in their boat to do an equal share of the work. The other adventurous activities also challenge and stretch the students’ ability across a range of activities. Ultimately though, the students have FUN in an environment far from school living in close quarters and learning new skills and together, learning about themselves and developing new skills. The underpinning ethos of the trip is about team work, resilience, trying everything and never giving up!’

Mrs L Mason, Head of Health & Social Care, Head of Outdoor Education & Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Manager ​



What does it involve?

As part of KS4 study the department offers a variety of trips which over recent years have included: Dr Faustus, Metamorphosis, The Oresteia, The Play that goes Wrong, The Birthday Party, Things I know to be True, The Woman in Black, The Caretaker, 1984, Lord of the Flies, DNA, Noughts & Crosses and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.​ ​

What impact does it have on our students? ​

This provides students with exposure to live theatre and all the conventions that come with this as well as providing an experience of a huge variety of genres and styles which have included Farce, Naturalism, Pinter, Physical Theatre, Brechtian Theatre. It enables students to appreciate, understand and discuss vital theatre work as well as forming valid opinions and justifications for styles that they enjoy. It also provides aspiration for University as we have visited a number of contrasting cities such as Bath, Winchester, Chichester, London and Brighton. ​

Mr A Harrison, Head of Drama ​



What does it involve?

​ For this trip to London, we always try to take students who have not had the opportunity to visit our capital city. We visit the historical Bletchley Park, a crucial site to the British war effort. We also attend the Bing Bang Fair – a fantastic event which includes hundreds of employers from around the UK based around STEM.​ ​

What impact does it have on our students? ​

This trip is a cultural experience taking in the sights and sounds of London. The EXPERIENCE AT Bletchley is a chance for students to learn and experience what the code breakers there did to help us win WW2 through workshops and a tour. The Bing Bang Fair gives students the opportunities to talk about and experience what the UK has to offer young people in terms of future careers in STEM based industries. A complete hands-on day out! ​

Mr S Scott, Teacher of Maths



What does it involve? ​

This is a day trip with 36 KS3 (Y7 & 8) students to Lille, France, to visit the Christmas markets in early-mid December. Students wander round in small groups to buy gifts for family and friends, and can sample French food and drinks from the stalls too. The day runs from approx. 4am-9pm, travelling by coach and Eurotunnel.​

What impact does it have on our students? ​

Many of our students will not have travelled abroad before, so this is the perfect opportunity for them to experience French culture, sample French food, and for those studying French, also practise their language skills with the vendors. The market is one of the biggest in France, so is a great example of authentic French culture, whilst providing a great deal of variety for students buying things. ​

Students are entrusted to walk around without a teacher (in a specified zone) for some parts of the day, with regular meeting times, pushing them to show responsibility and maturity whilst outside of school. They will also need to show responsibility for their belongings and their money, something which many students aged 11-13 have not been pushed to do before, ensuring they budget correctly and keep themselves and their belongings safe – practising this early will benefit them in life as they grow older. Many students have requested to go again! ​

Miss K Hunt, Teacher of Modern Foreign Languages ​



What does it involve?

Students from years 7, 8, 9 and 10 are taken to Southampton University to experience various different departments such as medicine. They spend the day listening to current students, lecturers and professionals talk about the industry and are given useful information on ways to get into the particular subject at degree level. These workshops also include a guided tour as well as interactive activities such as blood pressure readings and fingerprint analysis.​

What impact does it have on our students?

​The Into-University partnership with Redbridge Community School allows the young people involved to gain an insight into life beyond secondary school. The workshop’s based at the University and occasionally at professional places of work, providing the pupils a chance to witness a day in the life of a university student in a variety of different subjects. ​

The ability to ask direct questions to both students and professionals on these visits encourages Redbridge pupils to broaden their aspirations for their own future’s, as well as develop their own knowledge of the different professions. Interactive activities excite and stimulate the pupils to ensure their experience includes useful information that they can take away and share with family and friends. In addition, pupils are given an opportunity to enhance their awareness of a diverse range of avenues they can take after college that they might not previously have been aware of. ​

Mr J Burge, Teacher of PE ​ ​



What does it involve?

This is an immersive experience looking at the Day of the Dead in Spanish-speaking countries around the world. All Spanish students in Year 9 have a double lesson at beginning of Term 2 where the teacher delivers informative and creative activities about the traditions and culture of the Day of the Dead festival. Students learn about cultural differences between Halloween and other British traditions around death and those of Spain and Hispanic countries. Activities include sugar skull decoration, ofrenda designs, pan de muerto tasting and a quiz on what they have learnt.​ ​

What impact does it have on our students? ​

There are many interesting festivals in the Spanish-speaking world and the Day of the Dead is one of the more well-known ones. It is important that the students understand the real meaning behind the Day of the Dead in order that they are more culturally aware. It is an excellent opportunity for them to learn about the world beyond the UK and to understand that Spanish is spoken across the world, not just in Spain. The festival is colourful and interesting and therefore has proven to be a very engaging topic to look at. ​

Having considered student feedback in previous years, we adapted our provision for this event and now offer the experience in school to include more creative and interactive elements. The chance for the students to influence their cultural awareness and the event through feedback has been a positive approach and we have continued to seek and act on such feedback. At the end of the session students have a better understanding of the Day of the Dead festival and the differences between British and Hispanic cultures. Opportunities such as this help to raise the students’ cultural awareness and add more purpose to language learning from the students’ viewpoint.

Mrs A Reason, Teacher of Modern Foreign Languages ​



What does it involve?

​Rehearsals taking place from September- March, students give a final performance at Southampton Guildhall in competition with other hopeful local schools and colleges.​

What impact does it have on our students?

​The rehearsal process requires self-discipline, time management, commitment, and the desire to improve – all skills transferable to life experiences. The whole experience builds confidence and gives them a sense of community as they take on responsibilities and are trusted with aspects of production. The competition aspect is fierce but friendly, so teaches students about healthy competitiveness. When we have placed or won, the sense of pride and achievement lasts with students and the experience they gain is something they really treasure. Lots of our students go on to join the college Rock Challenge teams, even if they are not taking performance subjects as part of their timetable. ​

Mrs S Winner, Head of Dance ​ ​



What does it involve?

​ Students experience looking at Candlemas Day in France. This is a reward morning for the 12 best students in Year 9. We spend a morning in a food room and the teacher delivers informative and creative activities about the traditions and culture of Chandeleur. Activities include creating a carnival mask and making/eating crêpes.

What impact does it have on our students? ​

Although it is a secular country, France is of Catholic heritage and follows some of the Catholic traditions and events. La Chandeleur (Candlemas) is one of them. It is therefore important for students to understand what that tradition is about, especially knowing it has previously been mentioned in the GCSE exams. We spend the first part of the morning making colourful masks as Chandeleur in France is accompanied by a carnival where people walk on the streets in fancy dress. Students are encouraged to attend the day in fancy dress, and they are free to take their finished masks with them at the end. The second part of the morning is spent making crêpes in the food room and finally, eating them using different toppings that would be used in France. This is to teach students that in France, during Chandeleur, people have crêpes as their dinner. Those are savoury as well as sweet! ​

Last year was the first year we attempted this event in school as we thought it would be a good way to reward the hardest-working students and let them taste a bit of France at the same time. At the end of the session students have a better understanding of Chandeleur and the differences between British and French cultures. Opportunities such as this help to raise the students’ cultural awareness and add more purpose to language learning from the students’ viewpoint. It is an excellent opportunity for them to learn about the world beyond the UK. ​

Mrs A Miles, Head of Modern Foreign Languages



What does it involve? ​

A five day overseas residential aimed at expanding pupil’s knowledge and awareness of different cultures and customs. It provides pupils with a unique opportunity to spend time in a foreign country/city taking in the differences in language, architecture, traditions, foods and past times. 2018 was the first trip to Barcelona and it was a huge success.

The itinerary included:​ ​

  • A visit to ‘Sagrada Familia’ Barcelona’s cathedral
  • A half day spent in ‘Poble Espanol’ – an attraction where pupils enter a microcosm village of Spain highlighting all the various regions and customs
  • A visit to ‘Camp Nou’ football stadium and museum showing history of football in Barcelona
  • A traditional Spanish meal in a beach side restaurant
  • A visit to ‘Parc Guell’, an incredible portrayal of Antonio Guadi art

What impact does it have on our students?

​From the above experiences the pupils:

  • Developed their independence
  • Increased their knowledge in other cultures and traditions
  • Opened their minds to the world
  • Developed greater appreciation for foreign languages
  • Sparked their interest in travelling and it’s benefits

Mr D Baines, Teacher of Modern Foreign Languages



What does it involve?

Students are given the opportunity to visit Southampton City Gallery and the John Hansard Gallery as part of their coursework research in year 10. They are given a tour of the Southampton City Gallery by an art history expert of their current show (we were once lucky enough to see the Leonardo Da Vinci exhibition) and then focusing on key pieces of historic significance in the gallery’s main collection and pieces that are relevant to their projects. Then a practical art workshop is led by one of the gallery’s artists. We then go to the John Hansard Gallery – previously we have seen more unusual installations and video work there.​ ​

What impact does it have on our students?

Despite the galleries being on their doorstep, most of the students have never considered visiting before. It allows the students to experience the gallery setting and consider the practical elements of how they would display their own work in a gallery setting and make it engaging for visitors.

The trip gives them a chance to experience the scale of many works or the details and textures in person rather than on an artist’s website which is so important. Many come away forming their own (occasionally critical) opinions of the works, in particular the unusual light and video installations. This helps develop their own artistic styles back in the classroom. We have also seen a handful of the students meeting at weekends with friends, visiting the gallery in their own time and documenting it further in their work since the original trip. ​

Ms C Penny, Teacher of Art ​



What does it involve? ​

We take a day trip with Year 10 Business option students to Paultons Park, which is a local leisure business. There is a talk from their education team about how the business was set and how it is strategically run today.​ ​

What impact does it have on our students?

​ The trip to this theme park business enables us to show students some of the concepts they have been taught in a business environment. The talks cover many aspects of business such as set up, growth, ownership, marketing, finance and human resources.

The visit to Paultons allows students to think beyond the classroom and visualise all the topics we have learned in real life. We allow the students to go and explore the park with their friends and undertake an audit of the activities. We show students that we trust them to be independent and manage their time successfully. The impact of this is that students feel valued and trusted by the teachers. We use the trip as a reward too and this is something that motivates students intrinsically. We see impact in the classroom with the engagement in the students learning. ​

Mr M Flynn, Head of Business Studies ​



What does it involve? ​

Past trips have included Mama Mia at the Mayflower Theatre, A visit to London for the premiere of the Fidel Castro musical (students composed a track for this) and a trip to see the Welsh National Opera at the Mayflower.​ ​

What impact does it have on our students? ​

Many of our students have never seen a live performance, let alone performed anywhere other than school. By giving them the opportunity to experience professionals performing cultural literacy is improved. One example is the WNO trip. A group of male and female students from years 8-10 experienced sections of an opera for the first time. ​

Confidence is improved as a result of experiencing a different activity. Most of all the students’ aspirations are increased as they see what can be achieved and this in turn improves their engagement and performance in musical activities in school. Many were there as I encouraged them to go – they really did not think that it ‘was for them’. However, at the end two Year 10 boys stood up spontaneously to give the performance a standing ovation. They were then joined by the other students. From that moment onwards they were much more open to other styles of music. ​

Miss S Wilcocks, Head of Music ​ ​



What does it involve?

We have taken 6 groups of students over to China. They have taught in schools and been sightseeing. We also have hosted 8 groups of students from China, who have then shadowed Redbridge students, attending their lessons and completing activities together during tutor time.​

What impact does it have on our students? ​

Being shadowed by a Chinese student opens your eyes to another culture and work ethic. What they eat, how they spend their time, their aspirations and relationships are all different and yet the same to our students. Lifelong friendships have been formed and life lessons learned. The trips to China have changed students and teachers lives, learning about another culture and global citizenship. ​

Mr J Colebrook, Assistant Head Teacher and Teacher of Maths ​



What does it involve? ​

We spend two nights in Berlin and two nights in Krakow. Whilst in Berlin, we do a tour of Second World War and Cold War sites, visiting the Topography of Terror museum, the Jewish museum, the Berlin Wall and Checkpoint Charlie. In Krakow, we do a tour, focussing on the History of the city, specifically exploring the Jewish Quarter. We visit the Oscar Schindler museum and Auschwitz Death Camp. They finally attend a talk given by a Holocaust survivor.​ ​

What impact does it have on our students? ​

The students get to experience German and Polish culture, food and historic sites and visit significant historical sites, broadening their horizons. Many specifically describe their visit to Auschwitz and the holocaust survivor talk as being life changing. The students often get extremely emotional during these experiences. It’s incredible to see how deeply it affects them.

​Mr C Spurgeon, Head of History (Redbridge Lead Practitioner) ​ ​



What does it involve? ​

This is a national competition involving the most able mathematicians in the country. Junior Challenge involves years 7 and 8 and Intermediate Challenge involves years 9, 10 and 11. Students complete an hour long, multiple choice assessment and are awarded Bronze, Silver or Gold if they score well enough. If they perform significantly well then they are entered into the next round and compete against only those who have also graduated onto this round.​ ​

What impact does it have on our students? ​

Students have a competitive experience which allows our most able mathematicians the opportunity to have their minds stretched. The style of questions are distinctly different to that of “normal” maths lessons. ​

Students get to compete on a national level, being involved due to their choosing – a great lesson that rewards those who are willing to put themselves forward to be challenged. Students also gain the chance to prove themselves on a national scale. There is the opportunity to be recognised amongst the best 5%, in the whole of the country, for their age range at mathematics. This provides the opportunity of real achievement beyond their socio-economic setting. ​

Mr J Diaper, Second in Maths



What does it involve? ​

The trip to London consists of leaving early on a school day around 8am to travel to London via mini-bus. They then travelled into and around London using the Underground Tube system, visiting Madame Tussauds and experiencing the London Eye.​ ​

What impact does it have on our students? ​

Students are offered the opportunity to experience new things with a trip to London as a reward experience within Edu-K8. This trip gives them a focus while in school to reflect on positive behaviours and attitude with an overall goal to achieve. For most, if not all of Edu-K8 students the trip provided them with a new experience outside of their local area and Southampton (which some may have never experienced before). It gave them opportunity to learn about new things, new cultures and travel in ways in which they have never done before. It also allowed them to build relationships with their peers outside of a school setting. ​

Mr B Agnew, Teacher of Edu-K8 ​



What does it involve? ​

Students and staff take a trip to the V&A creative quarter in London.​ ​

What impact does it have on our students? ​

Students get to see objects and art from around the world in a large London gallery location which some of them have never seen or visited before. They get to complete workshops and have talks from professional within art, fashion and media which helps them with confidence and also careers in Art and Design. They get ideas and research for their GCSE projects which gets them marks and is invaluable towards a good GCSE grade. ​

Mrs J Clemmens, Teacher of Art ​ ​



What does it involve? ​

AUB offers a free Summer school for year 9 – 11 students. Students can opt for a workshop (Art, photography, 3D design, dance etc.) in which they complete tasks with university level equipment and software. Lasting 3 days, the school concludes with each workshop delivering a group presentation – promoting cooperation, teamwork and collaboration with other schools. Parents are invited to the final presentation to celebrate their achievement.​ ​

What impact does it have on our students? ​

This summer school benefits students from Art, Textiles and Photography GCSE. Students gain first-hand insight into the day-to-day life on an arts university campus. They receive welcome a lecture in the auditorium, a tour and free access to the materials, equipment and software needed. ​ Small group tasks provide the scaffolding for a larger collaborative project which develops planning, communication and time management skills. They gain access to equipment and materials not available at to them at school and at home. They work in a new and exciting environment, with other similar aged children from different backgrounds. Students enjoy the experience which motivates them to consider further or higher education within the arts. ​

Mr S Solomon, Head of Art



What does it involve? ​

Within the English Department, we offer students the opportunity to embark on a trip to the theatre to watch one of their key GCSE texts on stage. So far, we have seen Blood Brothers at the Mayflower in Southampton and Romeo and Juliet at The Globe in London.​ ​

What impact does it have on our students? ​

Not only does this trip provide students with an experience of the theatre (something they may never have had the opportunity to experience before) but it also enables them to deepen their understanding and engage further with the core GCSE texts that they study so that they are able to show a broader knowledge of plot, character, staging and context within their exams. ​

Miss R Phipps, Second in English ​ ​



What does it involve? ​

On this trip, students spend the day exploring the making of the Harry Potter films. Students are taken on a 3-hour tour where they see the sets used in the films, discover how the special and visual effects are created and see a variety of props and costumes from the films. Students also receive a free greenscreen broomstick experience and get to visit the iconic gift shop.​ ​

What impact does it have on our students? ​

This trip provides students with the opportunity to broaden their cultural horizons by engaging with how films are created behind the scenes, whilst stimulating their minds as they discover the different professions within the world of filmmaking. As well as discovering how the films are made, the trip also inspires students to engage with the Harry Potter novels, which ultimately aids to inspire a love of reading for pleasure and enjoyment. ​

Miss R Phipps, Second in English

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