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At Reading Girls’ School we believe that learning doesn’t just stop at the class room door and the school gates. To enable students to learn outside, and to develop the skills and personal qualities they need to excel in all areas of their life, we strive to provide as many varied enriched opportunities, through our extracurricular programme including trips and our House system. 

The RGS PLEDGE initiative ensures that students understand the value of extra-curricular involvement within and outside of RGS. Through meeting the eight pledges that range from attending enrichment activities to organising fundraising events, students gain confidence and valuable life experiences that will help to prepare them for life beyond RGS.

By demonstrating that they have completed their PLEDGE choice/choices for the year, pupils will be able to showcase to staff and parents the great variety of skills and interests they have outside of school, as well as during lessons and extra-curricular clubs. Pupils participate in activities within their Academic Mentoring time, plan and record their progress towards achieving their pledges within their Pledge booklets.  We ask that parents also sign off each Pledge that their child completes within these, and to celebrate the successes of their child with us. 

We are not alone in seeing the importance of students learning and growing outside of the classroom. As part of raising awareness of the value of participating in enrichment activities a series of short interviews were conducted with four people from a range of backgrounds including current and past students, a leading marketing manager in a local technology company and a local doctor who is also involved in interviewing students for Oxford and Cambridge Universities. These interviews have been shared with students during their Pledge programme.

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Pledge 1: Regularly attend an after-school activity for one term. This can be two half terms of different clubs.    

Why is this beneficial:  Being part of a club outside the curriculum develops so many different skills which are essential for later life, including within future careers. The list of skills you develop is enormous but to name a few; teamwork, leadership, communication skills including presenting to others, commitment, patience, discipline, organisation and confidence. 

Taking part in different activities allows you to develop different hobbies and interests which will lead to you meeting new people, expanding your social circle and providing a range of skills and activities you can do as part of your time for me tool kit.

Pledge 2:  Represent RGS in a sporting, cultural or academic event.

Why is this beneficial:  This pledge links very closely to pledge 1.  Representing the school in sports, performing arts or academically will lead to you developing heaps of skills that will benefit you personally. Additionally, these experiences will make you stand out from the crowd when it comes to further education applications including college, apprenticeship and universities as well as when it comes to applying for jobs. It is a win win all around and with so many opportunities at RGS its one that really can’t be missed.

Pledge 3:  Attend a trip/event including residential experiences

Why is this beneficial:  Not only will you have an amazing time but its also a great way of seeing what’s out there and broaden your horizons in terms of what’s on offer outside of RGS, outside of Reading and even outside of England. All of these experiences lead to personal development and may provide the light bulb moment of what you may wish to do in your future.

Pledge 4: Take part in a RGS production or community event

Why is this beneficial: One thing that makes this school unique is the feeling of community amongst the school, showcased by events within the school calendar. To name a few: the school production, Black History month showcase, Culture Day, the Christmas and Summer Showcase. These are the types of opportunities where memories are formed for you and everyone involved. You will also gain lots of personal skills along the way such as confidence, organisation, team work and communication skills.

Pledge 5:  Play an active part in a charity event

Why is this beneficial: There are a variety of fund-raising events that take place throughout the academic year, from the Christmas jumper save the children £1 donation, food bank appeals to the selling of Cultural food on Culture Day. To gain this Pledge you need to play an active role within one of these events rather than just donate as part of the event. For example, as part of the form rep role you could lead on the promotion of a whole school event within your form ensuring everyone participates, or your form could host an event as a group or create a campaign to raise awareness within a certain area

Pledge 6: Take part in a formal presentation to an audience

Why is this beneficial:  Within your futures, including within the work place, you will be in many situations where you will be presenting to an audience or leading a group of people. This could be within your team where you may be managing or presenting an idea to be considered. Gaining this experience, and building your confidence, to stand up in front of a group and present is key, and school is a safe space and a great place to gain these first experiences and build up your confidence.

Pledge 7: Champion your House- be a team player

Why is this beneficial: Two of the many reasons the House system was introduced at RGS was to create another RGS family for people to belong to and to provide further opportunities for student enrichment and personal development. As the House system becomes firmly embedded into our school and culture so will the feeling of House pride and sense of belonging to your House families. To gain these benefits there is only one thing you need to do, get involved with all of the great events that come your way.

Pledge 8: Play an active role in sustainability and support of our school environment and culture

Why is this beneficial:  Our school environment, be it the physical building and the environment within, is one reason why our school is such a special place. As we are all aware, environments need to be maintained and if neglected can quickly deteriorate. To sustain an environment each and every person needs to play their role to support it. This takes place through our daily interactions, such as ensuring we use kindness and consideration towards others, and by looking after our physical environment and leave the spaces we use clean and tidy for others.

To gain this Pledge however, there is a need for members of our community to go further than the daily interactions and to have an impact on a greater scale in the sustainability and support of our school environment and culture.