St Helen's Catholic Primary School

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St Helen’s Catholic Primary School

School Experiences In Barnsley

People can assume that the school experience is nothing more than back-to-back lessons and the same old routine of Maths, English, and Science on repeat with no real variety or excitement. Well, those people would be pleasantly surprised by the calendar here at St Helen's!


Children learn through interactivity and this is exactly why we strive to provide a variety of experiences and activities to engage our students, powering their imaginations. Here are just a few days where the students have been able to get some hands-on learning and step out of their comfort zones.



Surprise Days


Birds of Prey

Our Birds of Prey experience was one of the regularly scheduled surprise days that we provide to keep the children on their toes and challenge their thinking. We welcomed the wonderful SMJ Falconry and their collection of beautiful birds, ranging from owls, falcons and hawks, explained the differences between the various birds, anatomy and characteristics, food and nourishment, how birds of prey are trained, conservation, and then got the students stuck in with some tricks and handling!


Circus Day

Another Surprise day that was a huge success, was our Circus Day, which was run by the fabulous Circus Sensible. There are a lot of benefits to circus skills, like physical coordination and fitness. Having circus workshops in school is a great way to enrich physical education and offer a range of different skills and techniques.


The day began with an assembly where a 30-minute demonstration was performed for the whole school, which included juggling knives over a member of staff! (Don’t worry, no teachers were harmed during the fun!) From there, each class went to a session and worked on a variety of skills, from juggling, to balance and some Chinese Diabolo.


The children were full of excitement and eager to get stuck in with learning a whole host of new and interesting skills!


EIS Sports Day


The EIS Sports Day is a key event in the school calendar. The benefits of sports enable us to live a healthy life, both physically and mentally. The English Institute of Sport offers a wide range of sports and they make their equipment and facilities available to St Helen’s and our children for a full day of activities. All our children attend, from FS2 to Year 6 and from all three Federation schools, which we have been doing for many years (excluding Covid years) and the children have a lot of fun!


Our sports partners, Active Fusion, arranged the day and invited coaches to help with different activities. There is a wide range of sports set up for the children to experience and they are set on a rota so everyone gets a turn at every activity. This has included boxing, long jump, dance, golf, cricket, sprinting, speed stacking, javelin, kurling, tag rugby, basketball, and they even met Olympian Sarah Stevenson with her Olympic medal who ran the Taekwondo sessions!


Days like these really inspire the children to find something they love and encourages them to take this on outside of school time!


St Pius Days


We very often coordinate with St Pius Catholic High School to arrange visits so that children can see what secondary/high school is like.


They Provide a variety of different experience days to show the exciting things they bring to their students and to their learning experience. They will often have a Science day where the children can get involved in science experiments, get to use Bunsen burners and work in the science labs.


They have a Design Technology day where students will have the opportunity to design and make a product, and this designing has more recently been on IT programs and they have seen 3D printers in use, as well as using saws and other exciting tools.


On their designated PE days, children will often have a PE sports day morning, and then have a performance in the afternoon. This encourages physical activity, sports-personship and teamwork that they can take forward into other parts of their lives.


Humanities day is an important and thought-provoking day where the children will have more structured lessons, but this time looking at World War 2. They have the chance to experience roleplay, with wardens patrolling, informing them about sirens and the students then jump under the tables whenever they heard the siren - which they love and it teaches them in a real way what historical events were really like.


They also run transition events for children to prepare for the next steps from primary school to secondary/high school.


Parent Afternoons


Our Parent afternoons are a firm favourite with the children and their mums and dads. Each session focuses on a topic that the students have been studying and gives them the opportunity to be creative and to work as a team with their loved ones.


The family teams have produced some truly lovely pieces together in their joint crafts and vary from making shoebox creations, to aquariums, football pitches, beach scenes and Picasso-inspired art to name a few!


Working together with their families and sharing their learning experiences in a fun way with parents can be incredibly bonding and encourage their excitement in what they are learning.

Learning In New Ways


The school experience in Barnsley offers children a lot more than the typical curriculum schedule of sit-down lessons. By offering a wide range of activities and different, fun ways that they can absorb information, they enjoy learning and it ignites their imagination. They have the confidence to try new things and grow as little people.


Think your child would benefit from an environment that encourages them to experience new things and grow? Why not contact St Helen’s to discuss our enrollment and come for a visit?

One family, growing together in love and faith, flourishing in an ever-changing world. We love, we believe, we shine, we achieve.