At St Francis Xavier School, we believe in a holistic approach to education, that stretches beyond academic excellence by striving to develop and nurture the whole child.
We aim for our pupils to leave our care with a love of learning and memories that will last a lifetime. Each child's journey at SFX should provide them with a wealth of opportunities and experiences to develop and pursue their talents and interests.
Pupils are encouraged to explore their potential in many fields, with a number achieving musical and sporting excellence. By offering a wide variety of enrichment possibilities we aim to fulfil every child's potential.
Developing their lifelong skills and qualities, our young people leave St Francis Xavier School as active citizens who can make a positive contribution to society.
89% of students at SFX attended an enrichment activity in academic year 2022-2023
Enrichment offer at SFX
There is a wide range of enrichment activities on offer. These take place over lunchtime or after school and all students are actively encouraged to participate in as many as possible.
This enrichment club is perfect for students who love to ask "why?", "what if?" and "how?", for those students who are curious about the world around them, and beyond!
The Big Questions, held on Wednesday lunchtimes, is a forum for exciting, relevant and topical discussion and debate. Students are given the opportunity to explore and discuss philosophical, theological and ethical questions, to help them come to know and understand more about the world, themselves and one another.
Questions often fall in line with the school's theme of the week, which means our school values and ethos are reinforced and explored further.
We ask questions such as:
- "Are we all equal?"
- "Why do we exist?"
- "Is everyone deserving of forgiveness?"
- "Is there an afterlife?"
- "Does charity begin at home?"
- "Why does God allow suffering?"
Many of the questions raised in this group correspond with topics explored in our RE curriculum, adding breadth and depth to students' learning and understanding of a topic. Students are encouraged to think of their own big questions, giving them a chance to explore topics close to their heart. Debating and public speaking skills are enhanced and developed through our discussions and the safe and welcoming environment in which the forum takes place helps build self-esteem and confidence in our students. This club helps students to become more tolerant of other people's values, principles and beliefs, strengthening their ability to actively listen and respect one another.
Book Club Vision
The Book Club, currently in the form of the Brilliant Books team, allows students in Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 to share and foster their love of books - fiction and non-fiction. Through Book Club students will explore new authors, share recommendations, take part in and organise activities and events such as World Book Day and World Book Night. The group also forms a focus group which guides library purchases, keeping them fresh and relevant.
Developing student character through Book Club
Research has shown that students who read for pleasure have a significant advantage, academically. The Book Club gives students the space to explore new ideas and genres, and encourages them to explore new genres and their own critical voice . Students in Key Stage 4 have become informal mentors, helping younger students to progress in their reading by being fantastic role models and by recommending often more challenging reading. By sharing their reading, students also serve the wider school community in shaping the school library and helping to promote reading in the school in a relevant and vibrant way.
Chaplaincy Team Vision
The vision of Chaplaincy at SFX is to make Christ known and loved by living-out our school ethos and values. This vision permeates the whole school, but is enriched and enhanced on a much deeper level through the groups and events provided by our Chaplaincy.
The Chaplaincy Team meets every Tuesday lunch time, and is made-up of students across all year groups. Students are given the opportunity to plan, prepare, deliver and participate in acts of worship, be these collective or individual. The research involved in doing this means students are developing ICT and literacy skills in order to produce PowerPoint Presentations, create posters, write prayers and create reflections. Their ability to speak publicly is strengthened, and confidence levels are increased as students are encouraged to lead the worship and share thoughts and ideas with one another.
Developing character through Chaplaincy Team
The Chaplaincy Team provides an open, welcoming and non-judgmental space for students to come together in faith, feeling safe and comfortable to express and explore their beliefs and relationship with God.
Through the Chaplaincy Team, students are able to further explore liturgical events and celebrations as well as special cultural occasions such as Remembrance, Advent and Lent, or Black History Month, and National Holocaust Memorial Day. There may be lunch time liturgies to reflect and celebrate such occasions, or forums for discussion and debate. All of these things give students the opportunity to put our school ethos and values into action, allowing them to make Christ known and loved within our school and in wider society.
All students of any faith background or none are encouraged to come along and be part of our ever-growing Chaplaincy Team.
Dance clubs and performances at Saint Francis Xavier School give students the opportunity to showcase their talents and express themselves beyond the classroom.
Dance encourages strength of character, and the pursuit of excellence giving students the self- confidence to create and perform their own work to an audience.
Developing character through Dance
Dance teaches fundamental life skills, such as resilience, teamwork and compassion for and understanding of others. As part of the performing arts department, dancers have opportunities to perform in whole school productions, and with that gain an understanding of commitment, collaboration and self-confidence. In addition dance choreography club provides a different medium for self-expression, and an exploration of current world and political issues.
Debate Club Vision
SFX's Debate Club provides a lively, safe environment for students in both Key Stages 3 and 4 to explore the rules of formal debate. Students currently debate a range of self-selected issues in teams, and have entered wider competitions such as the Catenian Public Speaking Competition. It is our vision that we take part in inter-school debates as a debate team.
Developing student character through debate club
Successful debate requires students to not only be skilled at articulating their opinions, but also to research them well and to listen to others carefully. They are required to think on their feet! These are skills that are beneficial to all students, not only those who will find themselves in academic debates in post-16 study. The society is student run, with team captains and a Chairperson, elected each half-term, who is responsible for admin and the running of the debates. At Debate club, students increase in confidence as they find their voice and help others to do the same.
Duke of Edinburgh
Duke of Edinburgh
Duke of Edinburgh vision
At St Francis Xavier School we believe that the Duke of Edinburgh Award is a great way of helping our students develop into well rounded citizens. It is our vision to offer the Bronze and Silver D of E awards to as many students as possible during their time at SFX to allow them to progress on to the prestigious Gold award in the future.
Developing character through Duke of Edinburgh
The Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme covers four areas: Skill, Physical, Volunteering and Expedition. Through all these sections we encourage students to try new activities, learn new skills, interact with new people and develop the interpersonal skills that we rely on so heavily in our lives. Students will learn how to organise their time, create relationships with others through their projects and ultimately how to take responsibility for their award, as the emphasis is always on them to take ownership of it. The Expedition section brings with it many further skills including the need to work as part of a team and, perhaps most importantly, the confidence to be resilient and self-sufficient in unfamiliar, and at times demanding, situations.
Drama Club Vision
Drama at Saint Francis Xavier School encourages pupils' creativity and builds confidence through self-exploration and teamwork. Pupils develop their care and compassion for others through character study and explore several social, moral and ethical issues through performance opportunities. Pupils can take part in a variety of performances throughout their time at school, enriching the SFX experience and providing them with memories and skills to take with them beyond their adolescent years.
Developing student character through Drama Club
Pupils who study extra-curricular Drama become well-rounded individuals with excellent communication skills and an improved dedicated to their studies. They learn to care for themselves and others and can approach challenges with confidence and resilience.
Equality Group Vision
To continue to maintain a climate of anti-discrimination amongst all members of the school community promoting the ethos of 'Love of God and Love of neighbour'.
- To have more positive role models present in the curriculum from diverse backgrounds
- To teach sensitive topics inclusive of all backgrounds
- To continue to promote independent thought around issues relating to equality
- To raise pupil awareness so that if discrimination occurs students feel empowered to raise the issue and speak out
Developing character through Equality Group
Our students will develop their communication skills. They will improve their listening and speaking skills as they work together to bring about change in school through their assemblies. They will also improve their use of IT as they work on a whole school poster campaign to raise awareness. The work they do in the Equality working party will also help them to build a support network and resilience.
Gardening Club Vision
Under the umbrella of the Eco Team, the gardening clubs enables students to have hands, practical experiences in gardening with the aim of understanding the need to help the environment, including local wildlife, to understand how to grow and nurture seasonal vegetables and fruit; how to develop nature corridors and the active role we can all take in the stewardship of our environment. The groups also helps to develop the conversation about the environment and build camaraderie through cake and chat sessions at the end of each evening session.
Develop character through Gardening Club
Children can connect with their environment, a known method to reduce stress and improve wellbeing. They develop a sense of respect for their environment and understanding of the part each individual can play in improving the future of our planet through a thoughtful and considered approach to the way we live and look after the planet.
Through our Music ensembles and performances at St Francis Xavier School we hope to give students the opportunity to engage with a wide variety of music, to feel the joy and satisfaction of performing with others, to experience the excitement of a live performance and to strive for excellence. It is our vision to provide these opportunities to as many students as possible, whether this be through joining the school choir or concert orchestra, taking part in school productions or joining with the worship band as we provide music for our whole school services and celebrations.
Developing student character through Music Club
Music will help students develop many key life skills including: perseverance, resilience, teamwork and communication. With our regular weekly rehearsals musicians will develop an understanding of commitment and sense of belonging and from our regular performances musicians will experience a sense of pride, confidence and ownership of their work.
Sports Clubs Vision
We have a real passion for extracurricular sport and the role it plays in the holistic development of our students. Our strong extracurricular program ensures opportunities for all whilst also promoting the importance of competitive sport.
Gospel values through teamwork, respect, inclusion, fair play, integrity.
Talents are recognised, fulfilled and celebrated, with young people leaving their journey with us as the best version of themselves, believing that anything is possible.
Developing character through Sports Clubs
We believe these experiences will help to shape their aspirations, build character and confidence. We firmly believe that by offering sporting opportunities in a wide range of sports, both in and out of lessons, we are contributing to the mental, physical and social well-being of our students. Whilst giving them the opportunity to further develop their God given talents.
Sketchbook club vision
Students who participate in Sketchbook club become more aware of their surroundings by drawing in 'the moment'. Sketchbook club serves as a safe place for students to think creatively and improve their academic and personal well-being.
In Sketchbook club, students develop a greater awareness of their surroundings by drawing in the moment. Sketchbook club serves as a safe place for students to think creatively and improve their academic and personal well-being.
Developing character through Sketchbook club
Through the weeks, the students will be encouraged to develop their drawing skills but also, as we are working in a small group, each student will develop their communication skills by their interaction with the other group members. Hopefully, they will also grow in confidence as their listening skills lead to improving relationships with their peers and they share thoughts and experiences. This should bring benefits for their futures as they go out into the world with enhanced skills to work with others.
To see the Christ in themselves so they can envisage a life as part of a technological and demanding society that supports and reflects the school values; compassion, courage, stewardship, and service.
STEM opportunities create an interactive and inspiring environment that allows students to explore the relevance of their learning beyond the classroom. Giving them the freedom to develop their attributes and skills to enable students to flourish and thrive in an evolving global, social and economic climate.
Developing character through STEM Clubs
Through the following club and activities, we enrich our students with opportunities to see beyond the STEM curriculum.
- Chemistry club
- External speakers and workshops
- Sixth form visits
- Scholars club
- Glaxo Smith competition
- Medical applicant programme
- Science week
- Oxbridge tutorials in science
- Big Bang retreat day
- RE/Science project
- EEF Research project
- Science quiz national challenge
Eco Team Vision
The student Eco Team provides the opportunity for students to live out Pope Francis' 'Laudato Si' in a very practical way. The team actively promotes enhancing Biodiversity through their work to create a green corridor for wildlife and their gardening activities, litter picking and reducing waste (such as Food Waste, Energy Usage and Single-Use Plastics), and to speak up for the environment by delivering whole school and key stage assemblies which help to inspire other students to embed care for the environment at the heart of the school.
Developing character through Eco Team
The students learn that their actions (and voices) can make a difference. With the Climate and Ecological emergency being the most pressing issue of our time, it helps them to increase their understanding and awareness of the environmental problems that we face today in a positive way as well as develop a sense of responsibility to be part of the solution.
Computer Science Vision
Through computer science clubs we enrich our students with opportunities to develop their knowledge and learn new skills in the 3 pillars of computer science.
We aim to develop a curiosity amongst our students to develop and/or design solutions to problems.
computational thinking and programming skills and extend their creative knowledge. Clubs involve preparing for a national computational thinking competition, Photoshop club, and Mindcraft club.
Developing character through STEM Clubs
Through the following club and activities, we enrich our students with opportunities in Computer Science
- Photoshop club
- Minecraft club
- KS4 coding club
- Bebras computation thinking competition
- OUCC challenge (Bebras winners)
- Hello world (University trip for girls)