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Summer School 2021

Due to the restrictions placed on schools during the Covid 19 pandemic, traditional transition days had to be halted at short notice. This left secondary schools unable to allow students to visit the school site, forge new friendships, and to ease the anxiety of transition from primary to secondary education. With the help of extra government funding, The Skipton Academy was determined to ensure that Year 7 students joining them didn’t miss out on this experience. Teachers volunteered to run the summer school during their annual break.

Richard McManus, Principal of The Skipton Academy, stated transition days are "a very valuable part of the journey from Primary to Secondary schools familiarising pupils with their peers and their new school sites, and taking away some of the anxiety involved in starting somewhere new. All these activities usually take place in the summer term over a number of days and are a complement to the annual Open Evenings, none of which have been able to take place during the pandemic.”

“Normally these transition events allow the children to see what goes on here at The Skipton Academy but these children haven’t had that opportunity. This week has given them the knowledge they would have gained at transition so that they can go away for the rest of the summer and enjoy themselves knowing what is going to happen in September. We are really pleased to have offered this.”

Richard went onto pay tribute to the commitment and dedication of the staff who have once again gone the extra mile to ensure all students are fully prepared and ready to learn in September.

The summer school invited all the year group, the largest in the schools' recent history, to attend and take advantage of the wonderful activities, opportunities, and challenges that had been organised for them. The aim of the summer school was to allow students to learn, play and interact with peers from other schools all on this transitional journey.

As important as it was to ensure students had the opportunity to play, it was crucial to allow students to develop their English and Maths skills. During their English lessons, students took on the role of a journalist working for a fictional news organisation called NewsFeed. They had to curate, write, edit and publish their news articles. Whilst in Maths they explored the use of ratios, fractions, and traditional maths techniques to adapt and change recipes to cater for a class full of students.

In addition to this, students took advantage of the amazing facilities available to them at The Skipton Academy. where they participated in a range of activities including inflatables and developing their circus skills in a Big Top. Problem-solving skills were also tested with some challenging activities and tasks. But most of all the team-building helped them all make new friends.

The students then developed their creativity by designing a tile in the style of an artist of choice, these tiles will be used to create a mural of work to symbolise the year group, their interests, and hobbies. They then looked at how they can care for and play an active role in protecting the environment by making a sustainable bird feeder. Finishing off an exciting week by taking part in bubble football. As a thank you and well done, all students were awarded their own copy of The Secondary School Survival Guide Go Big.

Helen Williams, CEO of Moorlands Learning Trust, added “We have had a significant number of students taking advantage of this amazing opportunity. The students have demonstrated the school values of belong, challenge, and inspire in abundance this week and their enthusiasm has been infectious. It is so important for them to have this interaction with us and each other before they join us. These children have lost out a lot through Covid and this week gave them the opportunity to get back some of what they have missed out on.”

Former St Stephens pupil, Chae Tyrer, said “Everyone has been so kind and it has been really fun and I am looking forward to coming here after the holidays”

Amanda Dudley, Assistant Principal, and SENCO, said “This has been a lovely opportunity to familiarise the children with the Academy, but also to be able to continue their learning to help them catch up some of what they have missed throughout the Covid pandemic”

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