Thursday Afternoon Activities

Senior School

The emphasis that Ipswich School places on personal as well as academic development is what makes us stand out from the crowd. Thursday afternoon offers an opportunity for pupils in Years 9-13 to participate in a variety of activities outside the classroom.  This encourages each pupil to develop their current interests and explore new ones. Years 9, 12 and 13 are able to opt for a different activity each term from the list below.


  • Additional Art (Years 12 & 13)
  • Art (Year 9)
  • Astronomy & Physics
  • Athletics
  • Badminton
  • Chess & Board Games
  • Cookery (Years 12 & 13)
  • Community Service
  • Design & Make (Year 9)
  • DT (years 12 & 13)
  • Economics
  • Five-a-side Football
  • Fives
  • Football (Years 12 & 13)
  • Golf
  • Indoor Climbing
  • MFL Film (Years 12 &13)
  • Spinning / Studio Cycling
  • Squash
  • Step Aerobics
  • Team Training (Hockey, Netball, Cricket, Rugby, Athletic Development
  • Tennis
  • Yoga for Health


If you like art and want to develop your skills more and experiment with different styles and materials. It is a fun, laid back atmosphere where you can improve your artistic skills. During art you can paint, draw, sketch and make collages. It’s always varied and themes change every year. Places
are limited for those in Year 9 and a keen interest in being creative is recommended.

Additional Art is available for those studying A Level where time can be used under the supervision of Mr Parkin to develop course work for the exam.

Astronomy and Space Physics

This is an activity for students who are interested in Astronomy and Space Physics. We’ll look at:

● Earth, moon and sun: observation, exploration, phases of the moon, eclipses, sunspots
● Planetary systems: our solar system, size and scale, planets and moons, comets and meteors,
● Stars: constellations, observations, distances, stellar evolution
● Galaxies and cosmology: the Milky Way, other galaxies, the history of the universe
Though it’s obviously daylight during Thursday afternoons, we still plan to carry out some astronomical viewing. We hope to be able to view (with care) the sun, and check for sun spots.

We’ll also take advantage of web-based telescopes around the world that let us schedule viewings in advance, meaning that we can acquire our own images of celestial objects. This activity should be of interest to any students with an interest in Astronomy and Physics.

Although the sessions will be relaxed and not too academic, we will be covering some of the topics that are included in GCSE Physics.

The activity will be organised by Dr Woodward and Mr Hawkridge.


This session is run by Mrs Carvell in the summer term and is a good option for those wishing to hone their skills in the athletics arena or get prepared for Sports Day!


The Badminton group go to the YMCA centre every Thursday afternoon to play a recreational, but high intensity game. It provides great exercise, and a social environment. Players can compete in either singles or doubles tournaments, and the YMCA centre provides one of the best Badminton
courts in the region. Mr Wilson who takes the group, says ‘It is so good to play a sport that is fun, energetic and benefits the community. The Badminton court at the YMCA has the best floor; it’s very easy on the knees!’ The activity is an experience for fun and games, and a chance for fitness.

Chess & Board Games

This is an enjoyable activity organised by Mr Hawkridge in which you play all your favourite board and card games. You can meet new people and grow your friendships. It is a fun atmosphere and really beneficial because it builds logic skills.


The Sixth Form cookery activity is run by Mrs. Brown and Mr Core. Set in the school pavilion kitchen, which is a good location with plenty of space and facilities. It provides an exciting opportunity to learn and try out new skills, as well as making different dishes and recipes each week.

The group learn to cook at least one savoury dish per week (the house curry has become a firm favourite), as well as puddings. Themed recipes are also made around Christmas. The activity is rewarding, as well as a platform for friendship, and trying out new skills. No previous experience of cookery is needed and everyone from beginners to the more experienced can take part.

Cookery is an extremely important skill, and is very helpful in later life.

Community Service

Community services options which are normally completed in Years 10 & 11 may also be available in
Years 9, 12 & 13 as listed:
● Care Home (Years 12 & 13)
● CCF (NCO Years 12 & 13)
● Chemistry Video Production
● Drama
● Journalism
● Music
● Primary Schools / Special Schools (Years 12 & 13)
● Stage Crew
Details are listed on the Community Service web pages.

Design & Make/DT

Design & Make is an activity for people who enjoys using their hands to make thing and enjoy the practical side of DT. You complete a series of small projects and you can take home the finished project. In addition you get the use machines that you wouldn’t usually use in lessons. There is a
small group so you can get more advice from the DT teachers running this activity than you do in regular lessons. If you are considering taking DT for GCSE this would be a good activity for you.

The activity provides a chance for creative thought, as well as a fun, enjoyable way to spend an afternoon. DT sessions are also available for those in the sixth form.


This is a two-year course following the WJEC Electronics GCSE specification. The activity is a mixture of theory and lots of practical work. The course covers all of the basics required to understand electronics and includes transistors, amplifiers, logic, timers, comparators, and all the circuit theory needed to design and debug your work. There is a piece of controlled assessment work to be completed in the second year
and a final exam too. 


Every Thursday afternoon, the Ipswich School Fives team gathers together to practise and develop new skills. Fives is a high intensity, active sport which requires fitness and skill. Ipswich School has a long history of Fives, with one of the best teams in the region. The Under 14s team recently had
national success, qualifying for the national finals. It provides a chance to develop new skills, enjoy exercise and meet new friends, whilst being a unique selling point, and a different activity to try out.

Five-a-side Football

This takes place in the Summer Term for Year 9, 12 &13 on the astro at Ipswich School Sports Centre. Mr Calver & Dr Sterno run this very popular activity.

Football (Years 12,13)

In the Michaelmas and Lent Term this session takes place with Mr Calver, Mr Blunden and Mr Clark at Notcutt’s.


Beginners are welcome and Mr Molenaar takes a small group to the local golf course and driving range in the Summer Term to learn the basics or practise their technique. Golf Pro lessons are organised as required.

Indoor Climbing

This takes place at AVID which is the new bouldering facility in Ipswich. Mr Orbell supervises the group with professional climbing instructors and pupils have the chance to progress from beginner routes up the climbing walls to the more advanced. This activity is not roped.

MFL Film (Years 12, 13)

The MFL Film Club is run by the Modern Languages Department and is a chance to experience world cinema at its best. Films are shown in different languages from around the world, in French, German, Spanish, Russian, even in Japanese and Swedish. The activity is a wonderful experience for
those studying modern foreign languages at A Level, as it portrays the language used in a natural setting, which supplements the foreign experience. It also is good for anyone with a taste for culture, giving a broader understanding, or a passion for cinema, showing niche and exclusive films from worldwide.

Spinning / Studio Cycling

This class is available at Ipswich Sports Club where they have “spin” cycles available in their studio.

This is a high energy session with music and the opportunity to burn a lot of calories and increase CV fitness considerably.

Step Aerobics

An activity run by Mrs Blee in the pavilion at Westwood Boarding House, performing exercises and fitness to music. It comprises of stepping onto an adjustable step which can be used for increasing levels of difficulty, keeping in time with the upbeat music. It provides great health benefits, including a
good cardio workout and muscle building, as well as being fun and enjoyable. It also provides a community, and social aspect of working out together. This fun, social activity is a great way to meet new people who also enjoy a good workout.

Team Training -Netball/Rugby/Hockey/Cricket/Athletic Development

These sessions are run on Thursday afternoons according to term, year groups and squad requirements by the Games Department.


A very popular activity during the Summer Term led by Mr Blunden who is keen to make this a fun and energetic session for all levels.


Held at Ipswich Sports Club on Henley Road for Middle School pupils, the squash activity is a great chance to play for all abilities, from expert competitions and tournaments to recreational playing.

Led by Mr. Boyle, pupils can use the sessions for informal playing, or developing new skills. Squash is a highly active sport, which involves a good cardio and muscular workout, and skills can be built up over time.

Team Training (Focus Sports) Cricket, Hockey, Netball, Rugby & Athletic Development

Training for A /B team squads take place according to the term and are by invitation on Thursdays.

Yoga for Health

This session is run by Ms Walker in our peaceful Lower School Common Room. It has many health benefits including physical benefits as well as developing mindfulness and helping you to focus inwards. Overall fitness is also improved and can help with muscle strength and flexibility, endurance
and tunes up your heart, lungs, and blood vessels.