Blackwood Comprehensive School’s Physical Education Department aims to provide opportunities for all pupils to achieve their full potential in PE. We hope to offer a variety of activities that will appeal to all pupils; we work in collaboration with the 5 x 60 scheme to provide opportunities that pupils would otherwise not access. Blackwood Comprehensive pupils are the county’s top attenders at 5 x 60 activities. Excellence is important in Blackwood’s PE department and we endeavour to provide the necessary challenging opportunities for pupils to achieve this. Enjoyment shares the same priority as excellence and we are highly confident that the vast majority of pupils take away positive memories of the Physical Education experience.
Blackwood Comprehensive School is proud of its sports facilities with a large All Weather Pitch, two gymnasiums and a purpose built Dance Studio as well as a rugby/football pitch and facilities for tennis, athletics, cricket and baseball in the summer months. Our pupils have the opportunity to participate in a huge range of sporting activities, including rugby, football, netball, hockey, gymnastics, tennis, cross-country running, and many more. Many of our pupils represent the school at district and county level whilst several have gone on to earn national honours. All pupils are actively encouraged to participate in all activities, regardless of ability and we have close links with our primary schools through PESS and Dragon Sports initiatives.
The school is a centre of excellence for trampolining. The school was successful at the British Schools Championships in 2016 and pupils have been selected for the Welsh team.
The school has a thriving Music department. Peripatetic music teachers attend the school on a weekly basis offering lessons in singing, woodwind, drums, strings, guitar and the harp. There is a cost to the music lessons, currently £120 per academic year, with a choice of payment methods from monthly through to annually. The lessons are heavily subsidised by the school to enable equal access to all pupils.
Pupils are encouraged to join a variety of music ensembles including the Celtic band, the Swing band, Ukulele group, rock bands to name a few. The department has undertaken some very successful overseas visits; this year’s visit was to New York. The department works closely with the after school drama club to produce shows and musicals. Last year the Music and Performing Arts Department staged an outstanding production of ‘Fame’ the musical. The pupils also perform outside of the school and have recently performed at St David’s Hall and entered Caerphilly Musician of the Year with pupils receiving awards in their categories.
Pupils have the opportunity to take part in a wide range of extra-curricular activities. One example is our radio station which gives pupils an opportunity to explore the world of broadcasting from not only the presenting point of view but research and radio technology.
The school promotes entrepreneurship and pupils annually enter the Young Enterprise competition, recently gaining success in local and regional competitions. Collections for charities focus on local and national concerns and are driven forward by the pupils. In Key Stage 4 the Duke of Edinburgh Award is open to all, providing support and training to enable pupils to gain their Bronze Awards which include two overnight expeditions.
Homework and revision clubs are run by all departments during lunch times and after school, whilst the Learning Resources Centre offers the opportunity for independent study, as well as a highly competitive chess club and many other activities. The school allotment has provided the opportunity for pupils and staff to learn about the cultivation of plants and growing of vegetables. We are expecting a bumper crop of potatoes this summer! All this has been recognised through the awarding of the prestigious Green Flag for the third time.
At the end of July, our Art students and their teachers, turned a disused shop in Blackwood into a ‘Pop Up’ Art Gallery. This was a fantastic experience for all involved. There were many visitors to the gallery, all of whom praised the high standard of work.
Blackwood Comprehensive School is concerned with all aspects of education. Our pupils are given fantastic opportunities to develop both inside and outside the classroom. Through these activities we try to develop leadership in our pupils. Many achieve accreditation through sports leadership and Enterprise, and we cultivate leadership skills in so many ways.
The school has a Travel Plan which encourages pupils to use alternative means of getting to school other than by car. To support this, Mr Rodrick, is a trained ‘Bikeability’ Instructor (similar to Cycle Proficiency) and offers courses to pupils throughout the year. Following successful completion of the course, pupils are encouraged to cycle to school and leave their bikes in our bike shelter, which is locked during the school day.