This year we had 143 children and young people aged 4 – 15 registered at our Summer School that ran at the Carnegie Building in Benwell. There was an average attendance of 80 attending every day, supported by 31 volunteers over the course of the 3-weeks.
Summer School provided children with a safe, fun and stimulating environment where they could make friends over the summer. It acted as a low-cost alternative to childcare allowing parents to continue working. The theme this year was STEM Around the World.
We ran activities linked to a scientist or engineer from different countries. Activities included making the perfect toothpaste and building a golf course out of recyclable materials. To add in a cultural and language element, the morning activities were also a time to learn languages and about different cultures in a creative way. We had a great time researching all about the culture in Belgium, Sierre Leone and Pakistan before Skyping someone from that country to ask them lots of questions about how they live. We made sushi with bamboo mats and seaweed, made Urdu numeral stamps and brought mummies to life.
In the afternoon, the idea was to get the children and young people outside. The children and young people were given the option each morning from the following activities; sport, cooking, music, dance, coding, gardening and upcycling, cycling, and mini trips out to local parks, farms, and museums. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Play in Newcastle, our partner, who led the Sports and their Kids Can Cook programme. We also linked up with Linda Lines who led our gardening and upcycling, Jess Johnson who led our Music, and Dance North East who got our children moving.
On each Friday we went on big trips out; at Gibside National Park we explored the grounds and conquered the low ropes challenge! At Beamish Museum we discovered what it would be like to live in the olden days. And at Alnwick gardens, we got to experience the beautiful gardens, got soaked in the fountains and water displays, and learnt all about poisonous plants!
‘We had lots of fun when we made airplanes out of paper and learning new languages. I know more about different countries and I might visit them when I am older.’
After chatting with the parents they thought that their children ‘thoroughly enjoyed the varied activities on offer and visiting different places. Staff team as a whole was very friendly, caring and supportive. Will be back next year.’
We would like to thank all of the volunteers who supported the Summer School. One of the volunteers said that ‘These two weeks have been really meaningful and I really enjoyed myself. I not only gained in confidence, which made me happier overall, but it was really useful for my degree. Thank you Success4All.’ You all deserve lots of rest.
Our Learning Hubs will be back in September and we hope for the Summer School to return next year.
Have a lovely Summer everyone!