Students in The Development Stage are involved in six Flexible Learning Days each year, when the regular Academy timetable is collapsed, and students work on projects, competitions or challenges that they would not usually have the chance to experience. Themes for each Flexible Learning Day are chosen that link to at least one strand of spiritual, moral, social and cultural education.
Each Flexible Learning Day sees one year group go out on a visit to a place of local or national interest to explore the world outside the school gate. This academic year, students will attend Erasmus Darwin House in Lichfield, visit Lichfield and Coventry Cathedrals, visit the Leamington Gurdwara and a mosque in Birmingham, attend the National Holocaust Memorial, ThinkTank in Birmingham, and the Black Country Museum.
Our House tutoring system allows students to interact and support others from a range of year groups on a regular basis. The smaller tutor group sizes and the inclusion of sixth formers in tutor groups allows the teacher more time with individuals; it also encourages a range of activities to take place on a weekly basis, from inter-house competitions to discussing current affairs. Within the tutor group, all students have opportunities to develop leadership skills.
All students attend an assembly once a week on a theme linked to an SMSC strand. Students take an active role in tutor group led assemblies, and guest speakers from the local community introduce richness to our programme.
Staff plan explicit links to spiritual, moral, social and cultural education within the focus of each lesson. Students are given opportunities to reflect, discuss, share and develop their SMSC skills and understanding within the context of their studies in all subjects.
At Erasmus Darwin Academy, there is something for everyone in lunchtime clubs and after school activities. Opportunities in sport and music are wide-ranging, while other clubs and extra-curricular opportunities include the China club, the Science club and the Mock Trial competition.
Erasmus Darwin Academy encourages students to broaden their understanding of the wider world. The Academy enjoys an active link with our partner school in Shanghai. Staff from both schools have exchanged visits and keep in regular communication. Students communicate with their peers in China via e-mail and took part in a visit to China in October 2012. Another visit is organised in 2014. A host of other foreign visits take place to different parts of Europe and beyond.