The sixth form have many community links to support students in developing relationships, friendships and understanding of their local community. These links also enhance the curriculum provision and opportunities for all students.
Hosting Events in School
The sixth form ‘Acorn café’, which is run by sixth form students, regularly invite parents and governors to enjoy snacks and drinks that the students prepare, sell and serve. In the summer term students also plan, organise and run a ‘pop up restaurant’ for parents, governors and staff to attend.
Spennymoor Community Allotment
Sixth form students are very lucky to be able to access the local community allotments. The Allotment Association have given the sixth form students use of a small plot with 7 raised beds and a small greenhouse. The members of the Allotment Association also offer students and staff guidance, support and help when needed.
St Paul’s Church in Spennymoor
Sixth form students visit the local church and have contact with the local vicar and other members of the community. They also make goods to sell at their craft fayres and the annual church Christmas fayre.
Shops and Cafes in the Local Community
All sixth form students visit shops, cafés and places of local interest at least once a week during ‘out and about’ lessons. They have built up good relationships with shop owners and local businesses. Members of the local community also greet students positively and will often stop to chat. Students have the opportunity to develop their own social skills and understanding of appropriate behaviours when in the community.
Spennymoor Leisure Centre
Sixth form students visit the local leisure centre to take part in a selection of sports activities, use the cardiovascular equipment in the gym and develop their swimming skills and water confidence in the pool. They have opportunities to build relationships with Leisure centre staff and other members of the community using the facilities.
Bishop Auckland College
Sixth form students attend Bishop Auckland College to take part in a selection of vocational courses including painting and decorating, building and hair and beauty. They are able to develop relationships with staff in the college and pupils attending other courses.
Sixth form students attend Houghall College to learn about animal care and horticulture. Students also have the opportunity to continue courses after they leave The Oaks, and can use the visits as an opportunity to get to know staff and other college users.
New College Durham
Students from the sixth form visit New College Durham to take part in a range of vocational courses and taster sessions. The Oaks Sixth Form also have a link with Durham New College through ‘World skills UK’ competitions, which they regularly attend together. Pupils develop friendships with similar students from other colleges through these competitions and visits.
Students take part in weekly contemporary dance and drama sessions delivered by a specialist ‘Tin Arts’ coach. Students have the opportunity to perform their pieces at local venues to other schools and providers. Students also get the chance to visit the ‘Tin Art’ venue at Durham to watch older students perform and learn about classes they can access out of school.
Durham County Cricket Club
Students within the sixth form are given the opportunity to develop their table top cricket and Kwik cricket skills through a specialist coach from Durham County Cricket Club. Students also attend competitions run by their members and compete against students from other school and colleges.
Students also develop skills to become good friends, role models and valuable members of their own community through a range of more formal PSHCE lessons, covering a range of topics and themes (see Curriculum overview)