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At Reading Girls' School, we expect all students to achieve the PLEDGE, this is a combination of ten experiences that we believe all students should participate in at some point in their five year journey at Reading Girls' School.

The RGS PLEDGE initiative ensures that students understand the value of extra-curricular involvement within and outside of RGS. Through meeting the ten 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 others the great variety of skills and interests they have outside of school, as well as during lessons and extra-curricular clubs. Pupils will record their plans throughout the year which will be supported and recorded by teachers who will also act as advisors to aid the pupils with tips and hints.

Pledge 1: Regularly attend an after school activity

In School
There are many after school enrichments, which are offered by different curriculum areas in school. The most important thing is that students enjoy the enrichments, which they take part in, but they can also offer wonderful opportunities.

Sports enrichments offer students the opportunity to develop teamwork, leadership and communication skills. There are many different sports clubs and teams, many which have achieved national success. 
Music enrichments also develop cooperation and communication skills, as well as expanding other areas such as commitment, patience and discipline. Music examinations beyond Grade 6 are worth UCAS points in the same way as academic qualifications. 

Subject enrichments allow students to demonstrate their deep interest in a subject and build up skills, which will allow them to study subjects at a higher level. Attending subject enrichments, which are not related to the area of study or work, which a student hopes to follow, demonstrate broader interests.
Although students only need to attend enrichment for one term to gain their pledge we hope that they will find an interest, which they can pursue for much longer.

Outside of School
Although enrichments outside of school do not count for pledges, clubs and teams, which students attend outside the school offer the same rewards in developing experiences and skills, which will be attractive to universities and employers; preparing students for further education and work.

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

In school
Representing the school in sports, performing arts or academically can make a job or university application really stand out. Being one of the best students in school in a particular area is a real accomplishment. There are several opportunities to excel at RGS. Our students have played sports at county and national level and entered regional and national performing arts festivals. Other students have represented the school in a foreign language spelling bee, taken part in the National Maths Challenge or entered science projects into the National Science and Engineering Competition. As well as the transferable skills which students achieve from entering these competitions; the pride of representing RGS is immeasurable.

Outside of school
Although it would not count for an RGS pledge, competing at a regional or national level in sport, music or drama or representing a local sports team gives students the same opportunities and experiences as when they represent the academy.

Pledge 3: Take part in an residential programme

In school
Students are offered the chance to attend a residential programme at Ufton Court. This trip is physically and mentally demanding as well as being great fun and allows students to practise teamwork, communication and resilience; excellent qualities which stand them in good stead for future study or work.

Outside of school
 The scouts, guides and cadet units also take part in similar activities, along with a wealth of other opportunities, which their members can access.

Pledge 4: Attend a national sporting, academic or cultural event

In school
RGS offers many opportunities each year for students to attend national events. These include watching World-class sportsmen and women competing at top venues and attending performances at one of the major UK theatres. These experiences broaden a student’s horizons and interests.
We also visit national exhibitions in a variety of subjects. Students choosing a course to study at university must show that they have researched and selected the right course for them. Attending national exhibitions can help to demonstrate understanding and passion for a particular subject.

Outside of school
Students do not have to complete this pledge within school. There are many sporting, academic or cultural events which students could attend with friends or family and gain the same benefits from.

Pledge 5: Take part in a RGS production or event

In school
There are a number of concerts and productions each year such as Black History and the Dance Show. Taking part in a production requires organisation, confidence, cooperation and communication skills. These transferable skills are invaluable in study and in the workplace so completing this pledge allows students to develop and demonstrate these skills, whether on the stage or behind the scenes.

Outside of school
Although this pledge must take place in the school to be counted, students will gain the same benefits from performing with a community choir, orchestra or drama group.

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

In school
Students are offered many opportunities in and out of lessons to complete this pledge. Standing up in front of an audience requires confidence and communication skills. Many jobs require presentations to be given and it is often a large requirement of the assessment during university study. Students who are able to demonstrate these skills on applications will benefit from standing out to other applicants.

Outside of school
Students may have the opportunity to present to different audiences through extracurricular clubs, teams or societies, which they attend outside of school.

Pledge 7: Be actively involved in an international experience

In school
RGS is currently building links with schools throughout the World and there are several chances for students to become involved with students from other countries. Whether this takes place within school via Internet links or involves visiting another country, students can obtain valuable transferable skills and qualities from their international experiences. Communication is very important in this pledge but resilience, confidence and cooperation also feature highly. Students who have been involved with international events will be able to write assuredly about their experiences in applications.

Outside of school
Students can develop their own international partnerships beyond the experiences done in school. There are several programmes available for students to undertake voluntary work abroad.

Pledge 8: Be actively involved in a community experience

In school
This is made available to all students through PLEDGE lessons. All students take part in either charity or community projects throughout the school year, every year.

Outside of school
Community experiences are a wonderful opportunity for students to volunteer within their local communities. This is particularly relevant to those students who wish to enter a caring profession in the future such as medicine, nursing, dentistry, physiotherapy or veterinary science to demonstrate an understanding of and commitment to the subject. Spending time volunteering within a nursing home, for example, demonstrates an understanding of the requirements of a caring profession while volunteering in a kennels or at a farm helps develop a good understanding of healthy animals for potential vets.

Pledge 9: Participate in a fund raising event

In school
There are a variety of fund-raising events, which take place throughout the academic year, and students who are passionate about a particular charity can apply for permission to run their own fund-raising event. In terms of UCAS or job applications the organisation of a fund-raising event has many transferable skills such as organisation, communication, cooperation, creativity and resilience. A charity, which is relevant to future ambitions, would be a good idea – a charity such as Sight Savers International for a student who wishes to become an optician for example.

Out of school
Again, for this pledge to count students must complete the fund-raising within school but the benefits of completing fund-raising activities on the development of skills and qualities will also be relevant when completed outside of school.

Pledge 10: Help with the sustainability of RGS

In school
Sustainability is about looking after our environment and there are many ways, which students can contribute to the sustainability of school. A way in which this can also impact on desirable attributes for university or job applications is for students to become involved in coordinating or promoting the sustainable projects.

Out of school
Again, promoting or coordinating sustainable projects outside of RGS can demonstrate the same teamwork, coordination and communication skills as when the projects are done within school.

PLEDGE Lessons

To enhance the provision of PLEDGE, Reading Girls’ School has now launched its’ PLEDGE strategy in lesson time for all pupils, pupils have at least one PLEDGE lesson a fortnight where they work collaboratively in groups where they take on different roles linked to charity or community events.

Pupils are expected to run a charity or community event throughout the school year. 

Examples of what these activities/events may be include:

  • Fundraising for a local or national charity
  • Running an after school club throughout the year
  • Organising an event to raise awareness of their chosen topic/ charity
  • Regular organised visits to care homes