Bradgate Education Partnership Summer Scheme 2021

For two weeks we have had 200 children from 25 different primary schools attend a summer scheme at Wreake Valley Academy. All the children who will be starting at Wreake Valley Academy and The Roundhill Academy were invited to join us, and we were delighted by the positive uptake.
The summer scheme was funded as part of the governments catch up strategy for Year 6 children who will be making the transition from primary to secondary school this summer. Unfortunately for these children much of the usual transition programme has been cancelled or postponed because of the pandemic and for many children they haven’t been into a secondary school. We were therefore delighted to be able to offer this opportunity to local children.
The two weeks were set up as a bridging experience from primary to secondary school, so not a playscheme but not quite secondary school. Each day there were three activities with a balance between sports, creative activities and core subjects of English, Maths and Science. We know this is not going to make up for the learning that has been lost through the pandemic, but it has triggered an interest and enthusiasm for learning new skills and trying new subjects and sports.
Some of the highlights were cooking chow mein, apple crumble and making smoothies, learning to computer programme, making animated 3D models in design, a version of Escape Rooms where the children had to escape by problem solving and decoding in maths, learning new sports such as lacrosse and badminton, experiments in science where the children created and tested an electromagnet using powerpacks, and we can’t forget the ice cream van, the sports afternoon and disco on the last day!
‘Isla has had the very best fortnight and has loved every minute! She’s thoroughly enjoyed all the different experiences and range of curriculum you have put on for them in such a fun way!’
‘My son’s enthusiasm has blown me away, and I’ve been so impressed by the activities you’ve put on for so many children, especially given the circumstances’
For many children the real value has been the opportunity to meet up with old friends and begin to make new friends, practice getting to and from school on their own and start to feel more independent.
One parent commented, ‘It has been so valuable to practice coming and going from school and loosening those apron strings!’
Our staff have been delighted to see the sheer enjoyment of the children and the fun they have had. Parents commented that their children went home buzzing from their day and raring to go the next day. The children impressed staff with their resilience and readiness to try new experiences and meet new people.
‘Thank you so much for the last 2 weeks. My son has enjoyed all the activities and he is so excited to start Wreake Valley in a few weeks. This scheme has given him extra confidence, a good knowledge of the school and an idea of what he can expect to be doing in some of his lessons. He has met his form tutor and made some new friends, so we are both delighted’.
This programme has felt very worthwhile doing and hopefully the children who did attend will be able to support those children who didn’t attend. The benefits will ripple out. We hope the children will feel ready and excited about starting at secondary school.
Hopefully the government will see the benefits of the progamme this year and make it possible for this to become the norm and an opportunity we can offer every summer.
We would like to make a heartfelt thanks to all the staff for giving up their holidays to run the sessions and making sure the children had the best time. It has been a fabulous experience. The whole team – premises officers, support staff, teachers and some of our students all working together. Hopefully this will be an experience the children and staff will treasure.