After School Clubs
At Larkrise we run the following clubs throughout the academic year. Choir club, Music club, Samba band club, ICT club, Art club, Drama club, Science club, Chess club, Library club, Bugclub reading club, Homework club, Football club, Athletics club, Gymnastics Club, Tag rugby club, Netball Club and Adventure trail club. This term, we also have Sugar Craft, Lego, Sign Language and Spanish clubs.
Some of the clubs are targeted at certain year groups, however throughout a child’s time at Larkrise they will have access to a range of clubs. These clubs are free of charge and run within the school facilities from 3:10pm – 4:10pm.
Every child will participate in regular sessions of music making as a normal class activity. Some parents will want their child to learn how to play a specialist musical instrument. At the moment we are able to offer violin and cello lessons through the County Music Service and piano, recorder, guitar (acoustic and electric) and drums through private tutors. These are generally available to children in Year 3 and above. Full details of the fees are available from the school.
Larkrise Samba Band
Larkrise is increasingly known around Oxford for its irrepressible Samba Band. The band has run for five years now and currently looks and sounds stronger than ever before.
Over the years we have played at a wide variety of occasions – the Food festival at Little Wittenham, Oxford Folk Festival, Donnington Doorstep, Oxford Castle, Easter Hat Parades, Summer Fairs and five Cowley Road Carnivals. We guarantee a sunny South American Carnival sound even on the dullest day.
Our Samba band consists of pupils and staff playing alongside each other on an equal footing. Children play in the band from year Three onwards – some choose to play with the band for a year, others stick with it to the end of their time at Larkrise. There are no auditions and we can find a place for children of any musical ability. Playing in the band can give participants a big boost to their self-esteem and raise their ability to focus and concentrate. However, playing in a Samba Band can be a powerful experience – even with the provided ear protection – and some children do find it overwhelming.
It has not usually been possible for parents and carers to join the band as our practice time, 3:10 till 4:10 on a Thursday afternoon is not convenient for the majority of working adults. However if you are free at that time and would lie to join the band we would love to extend you a warm welcome – Larkrise Samba is for the whole school community!
Larkrise/Jinja SDA School Partnership
Jinja SDA Primary School is an ordinary little school in Uganda that has a special link with Larkrise. For eight years our schools have been linked sharing ideas, learning and fun. The school serves a slum area of Jinja – Uganda’s second largest city – and has pupils representing a vast ethnic range. Despite challenging circumstances the school has an incredible spirit and the pupils often attain the highest exam grades in their area. The choir from Jinja SDA are brilliant and perform regularly at events all around Jinja – rather like our own Samba Band.
Over the years, eleven teachers from Larkrise have spent time teaching and learning in Jinja funded through a number of grants. They have brought back a better understanding of life in the developing world and a hugely boosted sense of commonality with our friends in Jinja. So far six colleagues from Jinja have come to visit us at Larkrise and we try to give them as warm a welcome here as we have received in their community. You can see pictures from our most recent visit at www.flickr.com/photos/mr_finch
An exciting development for 2012 has been the foundation of the Larkrise Teaching Centre in Jinja – we hope to have news about this soon.
The school also has close links with a school in India in the slums of Kalkaji, Delhi. Children attending the school are sponsored by each Year Group at Larkrise. By establishing a network of partnership schools, we can widen children’s experiences and give them a deeper understanding of a variety of different cultures and lifestyles.
Watch the Larkrise/Jinja SDA School video on YouTube:
Watch the Larkrise and JinjaSDA Schools ‘Happy’ video on YouTube:
Traditions and Celebrations
Every spring since the school opened, all pupils have taken part in the Larkrise School Hat Parade. Hats are unique creations, usually made at home and can be very imaginative. In recent years, the parade is led around the local streets by the samba band and has been followed by a Friends of Larkrise social event for parents and friends.
Eid, Diwali, Hanuka and Christmas are celebrated in school with class parties, traditional tales and art. Also at Christmas, Years 1 and 2 perform a nativity play for other pupils and parents and everyone is invited to sing Christmas carols at Oxford Castle.
International Evening is another annual event. Families are invited to the school in the evening to see children’s work and displays. Everyone is asked to provide a dish of food from their home country to share. Pakora, potato cakes and jam scones on one plate is a real treat.
We are keen participants in community activities in East Oxford. We always promote the Cowley Road Carnival and are recognisable elements in the carnival procession. We organise workshops run by community arts groups like Fusion and the Pegasus Theatre and present our work to audiences at the theatre and at community events.
As a member of the Isis partnership of schools we are involved in a number of projects that bring schools and families together as part of the Extended Schools programme. Groups of children work after school on projects which have included visits to the Ashmolean Museum , the Pitt Rivers Museum, the Jacqueline du Pre Music Rooms, the Museum of Modern Art and Botanic Gardens.
The Friends of Larkrise fund artists and performers to come into school to provide first hand experiences of live music and drama. These have included orchestras and actors performing in front of the school, calligraphy and meditation workshops, authors, illustrators, artists and dancers sharing their skills and expertise.