SPARK activities

Activity Summaries

Sociology Programme

Young people’s ideas about race, identity and difference need to be explored and discussed within an embedded and consistent approach. To help our young people grow into rounded, well-informed citizens living in a diverse world, we need to start and continue Courageous Conversations on sensitive and challenging issues that impact them and those around them....

To find out more, following this `LINK'

Old People's Home Friendship

At Walhampton, we want our pupils to become embedded in the community and feel a strong sense of belonging. Giving back is an important part of mental wellbeing.

Developing connections with a younger generation can help older adults feel a greater sense of fulfilment. They give the child and the older adult a sense of purpose, help to alleviate fears children may have of the elderly, help children to understand and later accept their own aging and provide an opportunity for both to learn new skills.

Visits may also:

  • Invigorate and energise older adults.

  • Help reduce the likelihood of depression in the elderly.

  • Reduce the isolation of older adults.

  • Fill a void for children who do not have grandparents available to them.

  • Help keep family stories and history alive.

  • Aide in cognitive stimulation as well as broaden social circles should a youth. introduce technology into the life a senior.

Philosophy for Children (P4C)

Philosophy for Children, or P4C, is an approach to learning and teaching which enhances children’s thinking and communication skills, boosts their self-esteem, and improves their academic attainment. It was established over forty years ago by Professor Matthew Lipman of Montclair State University in the United States and is now practised around the world.

During P4C, a stimulus, such as a story, video clip or image, is shared with a group of children. The children are encouraged to come up with the kind of big, engaging philosophical questions about the stimulus which are at the heart of P4C. Philosophical questions are open to examination, further questioning and enquiry. They are contestable, central and common – that is, there is more than one valid point of view, the question is important in the lives of the children, and it is a shared issue or concern. Children might come up with philosophical questions such as:

  • Is it ever OK to lie?

  • What makes you you?

  • Do we have to respect everyone?

  • Can good people do bad things?

  • Do we all have the same rights?

Through a vote, the children then choose the question they would most like to discuss. The children have time to think and reason individually about the question and then exchange ideas and opinions as a group. Over time, the children begin to think more deeply and philosophically by being encouraged to use the 4Cs of P4C – critical, creative, collaborative and caring thinking.

Schools Liaison: Partnership and Friendship

At Walhampton, we want our pupils to become embedded in the community and feel a strong sense of belonging. Staff, pupils and the whole Walhampton community have a great deal to learn from schools in the public sector. We also have knowledge, skills and assets which we would like to share. Working together has mutual benefits and above all, will be fun.

Milford on Sea Primary School (Miss Kate Crawford Headteacher) are keen to develop links. These could take many forms:

  • Sports fixtures and training

  • Drama productions - watching performance and/or a joint production

  • Music - watching/listening. Joint orchestra

  • Arts - make a mural

  • Conservation projects in the community

  • Social events/discos

  • School trips.

  • Join in with podcasts and radio show


Badminton is a fantastic full-body workout. The rapid movements, jumps, smashes and crunches while playing badminton will help build up your muscles to make them leaner, stronger and fitter in no time. It tones the legs, calves, glutes and quads, as well as the core, back and arms. Taking part in any form of regular physical activity helps to release our natural feel good happy hormones, endorphins. In turn, this can help reduce depression, anxiety and stress and improve our overall mood and sleep. Talking to other players and rallying in singles or doubles means that badminton is a social sport.

Kayaking & Fishing

The group will be split into 8 (maximum) kayaking and 8 fishing (maximum).

Both these activities make full use of Walhampton’s amazing grounds. We are so lucky to have the lakes to inspire and teach our pupils.

Kayaking sessions will focus on building confidence on the water and through fun, learning how to paddle kayaks and canoes. There may also be the opportunity to sail using these adaptable craft.

There are many benefits of paddle sports:

They are low impact activities. This means that even if your joints are weak paddling will help you benefit from aerobic fitness, strength building, and greater flexibility.

Activities are very sociable. They offer you the opportunity to find new friends. Many people go paddling in groups.

You can burn hundreds of calories an hour paddling.

Paddling helps improve mental health and helps lower stress levels.

It also helps improve core strength and stability.

Age is no barrier. Paddlers continue to paddle way into their 80s and beyond.

Paddling is inclusive. It offers opportunities for people with disabilities.


Fishing can be a wonderful way to learn some of life’s most valuable lessons and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Fishing gives children a better understanding of where their food may come from. It teaches children about ecosystems, gives them a break from electronic devices, teaches patience, the importance of being organised, having a conversation or being reflective. It also requires planning and problem-solving skills.

Book Club

At Walhampton, we want our students to be both passionate and enthusiastic about reading. The aim of the book club is to give the students the opportunity to enjoy reading a new novel together, and to discuss and debate the key ideas and topics in the story. We will explore different perspectives and the students will learn how to communicate their own opinions clearly and respectfully to each other. Equally, pupils will be taught that their voice matters and furthermore this should give them more confidence and build their self-esteem. The novels that they will be reading should build their curiosity and most importantly encourage the students to enjoy reading for pleasure.

Current affairs/news

Discussing the news with a child not only helps them share their thoughts and feelings, but also encourages them to develop empathy with others. In addition, it prompts them to become responsible citizens.

Sessions will:

  • Develop pupils' IT and research skills.

  • Focus on the pupils' lives and interests.

  • Use what's "trending."

  • Share news and ideas

  • Talk about news stories and discuss problems/solutions



Pottery is the process of working with natural material to create a unique clay project. It supports personalised learning, sensory development, fine motor skills, self esteem, self expression, problem-solving skills, discipline and pride in a child.


Studies have shown that children retain the spelling of a word much better when they are writing the word out by hand. Learning calligraphy and handwriting are an incredible way to develop fine motor skills and increase memory retention.


We have beautiful grounds, managed and looked after by our small, dedicated team of expert staff. This is an opportunity for pupils to help manage and learn about our local environment. Young people are naturally curious so this is a great time to get them involved, to build good habits to save the nature we love.

The conservation sessions will carry out essential habitat management tasks for the benefit of local wildlife. Tasks will depend on the season, but include coppicing, fencing, managing invasive species (such as Gaultheria and Cherry Laurel), tree planting and path maintenance.


Swimming is lots of fun for people of all ages and children especially love getting in the water and enjoying themselves.

Swimming is the only sport which can save your child’s life.

Drowning is still one of the most common causes of accidental death in children, so being able to swim is an essential life-saving skill.

Swimming also provides loads of health benefits which can help to keep children healthy and happy at the same time.

Swimming keeps the heart and lungs healthy, improves strength and flexibility, increases stamina and even improves balance and posture

Waterpolo is a sport which combines the teamwork and strategy of rugby and hockey as well as the toning benefits of swimming, then welcome to the world of water polo!

Water polo players come in all shapes and sizes, with different positions requiring different strengths. The sport also has a great social side, both in the water and out. It is a sociable sport requiring lots of problem solving and stamina.


Bushcraft is about acquiring and developing knowledge and understanding, in order to survive and thrive in the natural environment. It is a great way to help children connect with nature. Sessions will be based around our outdoor classroom. This is another opportunity to get outside in our lovely grounds. Pupils may learn how to find and collect water, how to build a shelter, how to navigate, how to make a bow and arrow, tips on tracking and foraging, outdoor cooking, how to light a fire and use a knife safely.

Sign language

Learning sign language breaks down barriers and increases empathy. When you learn sign language and practise it, it can actually help you with all aspects of communication; even children who aren't hearing impaired can benefit from it if they use it regularly. This short course will hopefully inspire pupils to value sign language, understand its potential and want to learn more.


Walhampton is building a reputation for great radio shows. This is an opportunity to learn from a master.

Inclusion - A School Radio station run by the students and for the students will help build an inclusive atmosphere in the school. Radio is all about communication and running a radio show takes commitment and teamwork in order for it to be a success. A school radio has many benefits:

Building Confidence - Most people find talking to a 'mic' in a closed room far less intimidating than appearing on camera or on stage. This allows pupils to express their views and build their confidence whether it is discussing important issues or sharing ideas..

Develop Speaking & Listening Skills - Radio is about speaking and listening. Whether you are presenting or just listening to a show, these vital skills are not only fundamental in radio but are essential for 'real world' skills

Improving Literacy - pupils will need to write scripts and prepare between links.

Giving Students A Voice and Empowerment- School Radio offers a platform for your pupils to discuss the issues that matter to them in a non-confrontational format. Whether it is discussing important issues or sharing the music they love.

Teamwork - Planning and presenting radio shows requires a great deal of teamwork.

The New Forest/Walhampton History

National Parks are important and special areas covering 10% of the land area in England and Wales. They protect vital landscapes and wildlife habitats, are important places where people live and work, and provide a focus for recreation and tourism for millions of visitors each year. We are so lucky to live in one of them and it is important pupils learn about their local history, culture and heritage. Pupils will learn what makes the New Forest National Park so special. This may include studying:

The outstanding natural beauty, extraordinary diversity of plants and animals, unique historic, cultural and archaeological heritage, the historic commoning system, and the New Forest pony.

Walhampton Manor was recorded in the Domesday Book in 1086. It was owned by gentry, monks and monarchs over the centuries, before being bought by the famous Burrard family who resided there for over two centuries (1668 – 1888). In the early 1900s it was bought by Lady St.Cyres who renovated and added greatly to the house such as it appears today. In 1948, having been used as a convalescence home for American forces during the war, Walhampton was bought by Audrey Brewer and became a school. Learning about this rich heritage will bring History to life and help develop a strong sense of community and shared identity in pupils.


A tremendous amount of skill is needed to succeed in any sport, but field hockey is one of the most skill-based sports out there, as using a stick to move the ball around needs a high level of coordination. Pupils will be given a chance to develop skills covered in their games lessons, have fun, improve their fitness and perhaps learn about the history and ‘great’ players of the past and present.

Horse management

Walhampton is a special place with horse riding and carriage driving very much on the menu for some. This session gives all pupils a chance to engage and learn about horses with our fab riding team. It may spark an interest, but will certainly help develop pupils' sense of responsibility. The overall care of horses (or any pet), including feeding them and keeping them healthy teaches children about caring for others. Dealing with horses helps children develop respect and discipline.


Through debating, children can broaden their horizons, begin to explore big ethical questions and build self-esteem. Pupils will be asked for their opinions, and be taught that their thoughts and voice matter. They will learn to respect other opinions and points of view, while communicating their own clearly and with confidence. They will learn empathy and arguing from a different perspective. Pupils will develop their ability to express opinions and views in front of an audience, to build a sense of confidence and courage.

Cooking Master Class

One of the best ways to help children and teens eat healthily is to encourage them to cook. Learning to cook helps pupils find out about nutrition and what it means to eat healthy. This is a basic skill in life that we all need and is a truly ‘cross curricular’ subject. Cooking time is a bonding time for teachers, friends and family. It allows pupils to relax and share what is going on in their lives. Preparing food helps pupils appreciate their food and those who prepare it. Cooking expands our palates and making a meal can boost confidence. Following a recipe teaches Maths and improves reading comprehension. Cooking food also demonstrates principles of chemistry. There may be opportunities for grocery shopping to learn where food comes from. Recipes helps educate us about other cultures.


Plogging is a combination of jogging with picking up litter (merging the Swedish verbs plocka upp (pick up) and jogga (jog) gives the new Swedish verb plogga, from which the word plogging derives). It started as an organised activity in Sweden around 2016 and spread to other countries in 2018, following increased concern about plastic pollution. As a workout, it provides variation in body movements by adding bending, squatting and stretching to the main action of running, hiking, or walking. Plogging is considered a perfect activity, as it is positive both for the body, and for the environment. An estimated 2,000,000 people Plog daily in 100 countries. What a fab activity for our pupils to engage in.

Risk/Board games

Board games can be a mental workout. Using that brain power helps pupils to perform better in the classroom. Games are fun, but also help pupils develop their thinking skills. Risk and chess are great examples.

When playing chess, your brain is challenged to exercise logic, develop pattern-recognition, make decisions both visually and analytically, and test your memory. Chess can be enjoyed by any age.

Risk is a strategy board game of diplomacy, conflict and conquest for two to six players. It is played on a board depicting a political map of the world, divided into forty-two territories, which are grouped into six continents. It is a great way to learn Geography. Playing Risk also teaches patience, the reality of actions and consequences. Pupils learn to be good sports when they play. It teaches pupils to think strategically and learn how to control their emotions (frustration!). Children who play Risk learn to think ahead. It is intense enough to draw children away from their devices and screens whilst encouraging healthy competitiveness.


Photography a fun hobby and it’s a way to capture special moments forever.

With such a dependency on social media, being able to take captivating visuals is an important part of our society. Our dependence on images and videos means that the industry calls for more creators now and in the future. Photography is becoming an even more important skill and produces more job possibilities. Photography is so much more than clicking a button and taking a picture. Many of the skills you learn as a photographer can be transferred into real life. As a visual art, photography teaches pupils how to analyse and observe situations.

Photography also helps pupils develop their fine motor and visual spatial awareness. Photography, like every other visual art is a great outlet to express creativity. It also teaches children that making mistakes can often lead to something better or at least how to resolve problems in a variety of different ways.


Participating in football, like any sport, provides many health benefits for children. It's a physically demanding game that provides an opportunity for players to improve their speed, agility, strength, hand-eye coordination and overall cardiovascular endurance. It develops social skills, which are necessary to be successful in not just football, but in life as well. It is a game for both sexes and all ages. It presents an opportunity to make life long friends. Playing football helps develop team chemistry and a sense of community.


A Thunk is a simple question about everyday things designed to stop you in your tracks and to help you to look at the world in a completely different way. Thunks help individuals to develop philosophical thinking, confidence in their own opinions and the ability to listen to others, through open-ended questions where there are no right or wrong answers. Some examples….

Can you be prepared for a surprise?

Can you have too much money?

Would you want to remember everything if you could?

Can you trust anything on the internet?

Learning to think critically is a vital part of pupil's development. It helps them make sense of the world around them, ask further questions and make value judgements. We want pupils to try to figure things out if they don't make sense.

Outdoor Fun

Outdoor learning lends itself to practical engagement and appropriate risk taking. Children need these opportunities in order to build their confidence, spatial awareness, physical strength and the ability to keep themselves safe in an ever-changing and unpredictable world.

We have fantastic grounds and this is a great opportunity for pupils to play while learning how to interact with the environment and each other in a safe, respectful way.

Library & quiet reading

Time in the library helps pupils' learning and satisfies a thirst and curiosity for knowledge. Reading is vital for personal growth and development. The library provides opportunity for pupils to research and discover while accessing authentic and reliable sources of information. It is also time for pupils to relax and lose themselves in a book at the end of another busy Walhampton day.

Team building/problem-solving.

Team-building games and activities are a great tool for helping pupils learn to work together, listen carefully, communicate clearly, and think creatively. They also give them the chance to get to know each other, build trust and, best of all, have fun!

Teamwork, leadership and communication are vital skills for life. The most successful people, often possess these skills in abundance. Through a range of guidance and tasks, we can learn these skills and enhance them. Pupils will learn:

  • Listening.

  • Straight talking.

  • Non-verbal communication.

  • Stress management.

  • Emotion control.


One of the most rewarding aspects of the human experience is our ability to connect with others. Being able to communicate with someone in his or her language is an incredible gift.

People who speak more than one language have improved memory, problem-solving and critical-thinking skills, enhanced concentration, an ability to multitask, and better listening skills.

Language is the most direct connection to other cultures. Being able to communicate in another language exposes us to and fosters an appreciation for the traditions, religions, arts, and history of the people associated with that language. Greater understanding, in turn, promotes greater tolerance, empathy, and acceptance of others.

Traveling as a speaker of the local language can revolutionise a trip abroad.

The more you use your brain to learn new skills, the more your brain's functions work. Learning a new language pushes your brain to get familiar with new grammar and vocabulary rules.

Language skills can give you a significant competitive advantage and set you apart.

Having another language increases your chances of making friends and even finding a ‘special’ friend!

Emergency Aid

Learning first aid is an invaluable life-skill. It helps children become more risk aware and equips them with skills to keep themselves safe and help themselves or others if involved in a medical emergency. It could save their life.

We have an amazing medical team at Walhampton who are keen to share their skills and knowledge with the whole Walhampton community.

There is rightly increasing pressure on schools to provide it as an integral part of the school curriculum.