Every Wednesday afternoon sixth form students take part in some form of community service. Long established links to the wider community are regarded as exceptionally important and the contribution made by students at the School towards sustaining this relationship is significant.
There is a wide range of activities within the community service programme from which students can choose. The most popular options include: visiting local primary schools, where our students offer classroom support; visiting elderly members of the community either in their own homes or in nursing or care homes; assisting local families who have handicapped children; supporting local cub packs; working at a local youth club; assisting in local charity shops and supporting local school children in maths, Latin, music and art.
For one day each year the School hosts a visit from around 270 local primary pupils. A programme of different activities is laid on for our guests, complete with quizzes, a music concert and a fun run. At Christmas and in late May we welcome into the School those elderly members of the community whom we have visited through the year for a tea party with musical entertainment, bingo and a quiz.
COMMUNITY ACTION GROUPS:
Social Service Visiting
Take a Break
Rainsbrook Prison Drama Group (Theatre in the Community)
Rainsbrook Prison Reading Group
Bradby Young Persons Club
Helping at the Oxfam, Cancer Research, PDSA Charity Shops
Helping at the Bareboards Charity Shop
First Schools Teaching
Bilton Grange Pre-Prep After-School Club
Bilton Grange Sports
St Oswald’s Sports
Social Service Music
Social Service Art or Photography
The Artful Adventurers
Brooke School for Disabled Children
Primary Latin Club
Primary School Mentoring
Primary Maths Club
Supporting First Schools Art Projects
SCHOOL BASED PROGRAMMES:
Model United Nations
COMMUNITY ACTION GROUPS:
SOCIAL SERVICE VISITING
Pupils visit elderly people in their own homes and in residential homes. This gives the opportunity for companionship and conversation, and the chance to offer help in the home (cleaning windows, sorting, or just playing dominoes), shopping or unskilled work in the garden. The work calls for commitment and a strong sense of motivation; visits last at least one hour each week.
TAKE A BREAK
Take a Break is a Warwickshire charity, which offers support and friendship to disabled and terminally sick children in their own homes. Many of them attend special schools some distance from their homes and therefore lack the friends they make at school. Volunteers visit the children (often in pairs) and help them pursue their own interests, which might be swimming, cinema, shopping, etc. They are encouraged to build a relationship, which helps the child cope more easily with the world and makes their life more fun.
RAINSBROOK PRISON DRAMA GROUP (THEATRE IN THE COMMUNITY)
This group is a very exciting project in which we take part in joint drama projects with the inmates (aged 14-17) in the Rainsbrook Young Offenders Institute. It’s an initiative that has been recognised nationally for its value. Although a little daunting at first, both pupils and inmates have found the experience hugely rewarding. Projects have varied from ‘Songs and Scenes from Grease’ to a devised piece about bullying and updated fairy tales.
RAINSBROOK PRISON READING GROUP
This group assists with the reading programme by providing one-to-one help to the inmates whose reading skills are poor because of the limited schooling they have had. The Young Offenders Institute has an excellent education department, but good reading skills are a prerequisite if the trainees are to benefit from it.
This group concentrates on work at five centres: Horizon House, the Stroke Club, the Sesame Day Centre, the Bungalow Day Centre, the Age Concern Day Centre and Dewar Place, a residential care home. Horizon House is a centre for a large variety of mental disability, including Down's Syndrome, and here the help includes painting, pottery, play readings, knitting, etc. At the Stroke Club the requirement is much more for people to talk to those who attend, some of whom might be quite difficult to understand initially. The Sesame Day Centre is for adults with disabilities and involves joining in with various activities, and sometimes taking people into town. Age Concern is a day centre for adults in all states of health. Dewar Place is a residential home for the elderly.
Mayday Trust provides specialist support, accommodation and life skills training for vulnerable adults who find it difficult to manage with day to day living and need more than just a roof over their heads. Pupils are asked to support residents on a one-to-one basis, with things like literacy, budgeting, cooking, art and hobbies, or whatever seems appropriate.
BRADBY YOUNG PERSONS CLUB
Assistance is given in the clubhouse during most evenings each week from 7-9pm. Work includes helping behind the bar (soft drinks and sweets), supervising regular activities, such as table tennis and snooker, and helping with programmed events such as cooking, modelling, drama and computing. Assistance on the club's hard surface under lights is also part of the evening's activities. Qualified youth workers are always present to advise and assist.
Helping run a local Beaver, Cub, or Brownie pack has gone very well this year and we have built a close relationship with some local packs.
HELPING AT THE OXFAM, CANCER RESEARCH, PDSA CHARITY SHOPS
This involves helping at one of the many local charity shops and promoting their interests within the School.
HELPING AT THE BAREBOARDS CHARITY SHOP
Bareboards is a special local charity shop that collects and renovates second-hand furniture to sell, with profits going to charity, or give away to people setting up home on a very low budget.
FIRST SCHOOLS TEACHING
This group goes into local infant and junior schools (age range five to eight, eight to 11). Activities include reading, art and craft, D&T, games and computing. A genuine interest in younger children, as well as a willingness to take some authority and initiative in helping the staff, are essential.
BILTON GRANGE PRE-PREP AFTER-SCHOOL CLUB
We have started to become involved with after-school clubs run for children who cannot go home when the normal school day ends. This may involve organising games, helping with homework, reading etc., usually with younger children.
BILTON GRANGE SPORTS
This is a group of four boys and two girls with all-round sporting ability and good rapport with eight to nine-year-olds who help with the sport at Bilton Grange, a local prep school.
ST OSWALD’S SPORTS
Pupils help at one of the local junior schools with their after-school soccer and netball clubs. This is a challenging job requiring an ability to manage large groups of children.
SOCIAL SERVICE MUSIC
This group consists of singers and instrumentalists who provide light entertainment on Thursday afternoons in local homes for the elderly, social clubs and schools. Musicians who enjoy rehearsing and performing are warmly invited to join.
SOCIAL SERVICE ART OR PHOTOGRAPHY
These artists have produced artwork for various places in the community, like doctors' surgeries, the local hospital and community centres. They also produce posters and canvasses for School and House plays and for School societies.
THE ARTFUL ADVENTURERS
This very successful Thursday afternoon club takes place in The Lewis Gallery. Enthusiastic primary school children take part in fun art and craft activities. These range from painting magical plates to making flying bats, moving owls, coil pots, love lines and expanding caterpillars. Great fun – not for the faint hearted!
BROOKE SCHOOL, a school for pupils with additional needs
We visit Brooke School, which is a local school for children with additional needs. Each Rugby School pupil is attached to a class. We either assist with activities planned by the teachers, or plan a learning activity in agreement with the teacher. Preference is given to LXX (Year 12) pupils and those completing their Duke of Edinburgh's Award service section. Reliability and good humour are the chief requirements.
PRIMARY LATIN CLUB
A few Upper School Latinists run an after school Latin club at a local primary school, teaching small groups of 10 and 11-year-olds from the ‘Minimus’ textbooks and telling mythological stories and playing games such as Caesar dicit (Simon Says).
PRIMARY SCHOOL MENTORING
This is an exciting opportunity to make a real difference to some children’s lives. Rugby School pupils are each attached to one primary school pupil for the year and every week help that child in reading, arithmetic, carrying out research projects etc. Training in one-to-one mentoring is provided at the start of the academic year by a specialist agency called “The place2be”. The purpose of the initiative is to raise aspirations in local school children by stimulating them to consider higher education as a prospect for themselves and to encourage them to realise their own potential.
PRIMARY MATHS CLUB
This is another new venture. D Block (Year 11) pupils run a maths club for pupils from St Marie’s Junior School. The pupils prepare activities, games and lessons and deliver these each week to a group of gifted and talented pupils from St Marie’s.
Philosophy Zone is designed for groups of students from local 6th form centres, who are all preparing for Extended Projects. Zone sessions involve group discussion of philosophical and ethical ideas, such as genetic modification, cloning, animal rights, abortion and euthanasia, the mind/body problem, mental illness, personal identity, science and religion.
SUPPORTING FIRST SCHOOLS ART PROJECTS
We welcome groups of primary school pupils to engage in art workshops led by Rugby pupils.
SCHOOL BASED PROGRAMMES:
The group supports Amnesty International in its work on behalf of political prisoners worldwide. This includes writing letters to prisoners and to governments who hold them, raising funds, increasing people's awareness of the issues and developing the group's website.
MODEL UNITED NATIONS
The Model United Nations (MUN) programme is a student-directed simulation of the United Nations. It allows students to participate as ambassadors of the UN, discussing global issues such as finance and economics, disarmament, science and the environment. The fundamental aim is to facilitate debate and positive solutions to critical issues of today under the banner of diplomacy and open perspectives.
The aim of the Club is to allow Rugby School members to come up with new business ideas, and if viable, set up and run their own company. Pupils will be expected to produce a business plan, detailing how they aim to bring the product/firm to market. This will include extensive market research to assess the viability of the project, and a plan of the financial and logistical requirements of the business. Pupils will be encouraged to develop a relationship with a business mentor in the field that they have chosen to enter. It is hoped that this will involve contact with OR’s who can oversee and provide advice to individuals regarding potential problems and possible routes to success. Profits that accrue from successful initiatives will be ploughed back into Beanstalk, a national charity that recruits, vets, trains and supports volunteers to work in primary schools with children who have fallen behind with their reading.
An editorial group produces a termly Modern Languages online magazine called Page Polyglotte. The publication is entirely coded by pupils, a difficult language in itself. Click here to see the latest version.