During the Summer, Smithills School ran a summer school for the children who are starting year 7 with us in September.
We all know how disruptive the pandemic has been across so many aspects of life but it has been particularly difficult for children, not least because of the lack of continuity in their education. The children who start year 7 in September have not had a ‘normal’ school year since year 4.
As a school, we thought it was really important to offer a summer school to this group of children. We aimed to help them feel prepared for starting secondary school: we decided early on in our planning that our focus would be on the children’s well-being and mental health.
The children have loved making new friends and meeting the staff, getting to know their way around school and getting to grips with school systems, such as how the canteen works at lunchtime.
The activities this week have been a mix of classroom based activities and getting outdoors. Children have developed new knowledge and skills such as baking, using Design Technology tools to laser cut images whilst printing designs onto cupcake boxes, then learnt about how businesses work – by setting budgets, advertising and pitching products.
The outdoor activities were planned to get children back in touch with nature with events such as den building, putting up tents and making camp fires. Orienteering allowed them to understand how to read maps and to get to know their way around school in a fun and engaging way, whilst the sports day gave children chance to work in teams.
All of these sessions have centred around children feeling familiar and comfortable in our school.
The weather has been really kind to us: the sun has shone every day. But what has shone even brighter is the efforts of the staff and children, who have been absolutely amazing.
What a great week!
What our new Year 7's said about Summer School...
Cole-Lee, “This has been the best week of my life”.
Robyn, “My favorite thing that I did at Summer School was the Fair Trade game with Miss Heywood, I really enjoyed it”.
Owais, “The best thing about Summer School is making friends and seeing new people”.
Read the Summer School story in the Bolton News HERE.
Click HERE to view the breakdown of costs September 2021 document.
Click HERE to view the Summer School reconciliation document.