The story behind Sacred Heart Summer School has been made into a short film produced by Leigh Neighbours, and is available to view here.
Building on its success in previous years, Sacred Heart RC Primary’s Summer School initiative has once again delivered on its objectives – improving the life skills of young people whilst giving them a chance to experience fresh challenges and embark on new adventures.
Aimed at primary school-aged children, the Summer School features a week-long programme which ranges from practical skills-based activities such as learning how to make sandwiches, through to arts and crafts workshops. The week aims to give children in need of extra support an added boost to their confidence, and to develop important life skills, for instance the benefits of team-building and working collaboratively.
Jennifer Warner, Deputy Headteacher at Sacred Heart, has organised the Summer School over the past five years. She says:
“Every year we explore a different theme as a means of engaging children and making the learning experience more fun. In previous years, we’ve focussed on media and broadcasting and the circus.
“The theme for this year’s Summer School was the natural environment and, as in previous years, we took the children out on day trips during the week in order to broaden their horizons. They thoroughly enjoyed their outdoor learning experiences at Lilford Park and Brockholes Nature Reserve in Preston. They especially loved the pond-dipping where they were able to learn all about the fascinating creatures that inhabit wetland environments. The children had access to cameras so they could create a record of their experiences. They also played hide and seek, drew landscapes, went bug hunting, made potions and explored the woodlands.
“Back at school, we continued with the theme of nature by learning about Beatrix Potter which involved character exploration and building models from junk and other recycled materials. Throughout the week, the children were being encouraged to develop their literacy and numeracy skills including ratios and measurements, as well as other life skills such as learning to ride a bike. It’s wonderful to see how they bloom during the course of the Summer School week, it really does make a difference.”
Chair of Leigh Neighbours, Susan Gredecki, explains why the charity supports the programme, saying:
“Sacred Heart Summer School supports children outside of their academic curriculum, giving them a boost as they move up to their new school year. The week of learning in a relaxed and fun environment helps them develop some of the ‘softer’ life skills as well as supplementing what they learn in the classroom. And of course it’s an opportunity to embark on new adventures and make new friends! For the board members of Leigh Neighbours, it’s a delight to support this kind of initiative in the community which makes such a difference in building young people’s aspirations and giving them the added impetus to strive for the future.”
Head of Sacred Heart, Helen Ahmed, adds: “We selected around 50 pupils, including 20 children specifically from the Leigh Neighbours project area, who we felt had the potential to derive the greatest benefit from this fabulous opportunity. We’re delighted that the children flourished over the course of the Summer School, growing in confidence and making great strides in their personal development.”