In the past, Success4All have ensured that they have run a summer school every year. Over the years the locations have changed, from our Kids Kabin Centre to Walker Technology College. This year, we aimed high, running 3 Summer Schools at Walker Technology College in the East End of Newcastle, and 2 Summer Schools in the West End of Newcastle; one at the Apostolic Church and one with our WEYDA group.
It was our third year at Walker Technology College and over the two weeks 142young people got to enjoy afternoon activities such as rock climbing and beauty school, as well as keeping their mind stimulated with Numeracy and Literacy in the morning. The students were able to get a sample of their future school life, from walking to and from school, to meeting new friends and potential teachers.
Not only did the students get in to the WII competitions, drama performances, sports and baking, but the teachers, volunteers and even parents and siblings of the Y7s did too! The young people’s families were invited to a family fun day in the first week and the awards ceremony in the second. As well as feeling proud of their children, they also bagged free seats to the drama performances, witnessing the hill billy meets Made in Chelsea cast that I believe was a personal highlight for everyone! Our aim was to give the students fond memories that they can look back on, and the familiarity of the school that would enable them to begin Y7 with confidence and ease. In an attempt to keep the mind active after they left us for the rest of the summer, we offered them a prize for those who could complete a holiday booklet with a 100% score! The holiday booklets that have been returned are currently being marked so we can announce the winner/s.
Over in the West side of Newcastle, 2 summer schools were also in full flow. In our previous blog ‘WEYDA Summer Action’, the 1st of 2, was talked of. WEYDA (West End Young Digital Artists) is a club ran by Success4All, built up of a group of 11-17 year olds that help their community through commissioned digital projects. The Summer School was their first social action project that brought groups of various religious backgrounds in the West End together, through fun events like the Multi Faith Football Tournament, Bake Off and West End History Hunt – please see http://www.s4a.org.uk/weyda-summer-action/ for more information on the WEYDA social action project.
As mentioned above, groups from different cultures and religions were invited to all events, which lead us to the 3rd Summer School. The children and young people at the Apostolic Summer School RSVP’d ‘yes’ to the Bake Off held by WEYDA at the Beacon, where they baked yummy pizzas and cakes. The Summer School was held in the Apostolic Church in Fenham, was a week-long and attended both by kids from the church and others who live locally. Starting the day with numeracy and literacy, the children practised journalism and took part in activities like arts and crafts and Scratch Computer Programming. They went further afield to enjoy the Woodhorn Colliery and Beamish Open Air Museum – the first time for many of the kids. The summer school was very popular – one boy even said ‘it should go on every single day of the holidays.’
We believe that Summer Schools are an excellent way to engage children with education in a fun way. We aim to keep running various Summer Schools every year, as the research from our previous Summer Schools at Walker Technology College show that it eases the transition for students by reducing the negative impact of the summer break. The Summer Schools are carefully designed to give the children and young people a head start in school. In 2012-13 46.7% of students who attended Summer School moved up 1 to 3 levels compared to only 29.6% of students who did not attend Summer School.
Please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in organising a Summer School with us!