Forty-one year-five SHINE pupils from 11 different local schools celebrated their graduation through this year’s ‘serious fun on Saturday mornings’ programme at Bolton School with a dinner and award presentation. The programme ran over ten Saturday mornings with the aim of widening pupils’ learning and challenging with the possibility of higher achievement. Pre- and post-programme tests recorded the development of the children. Rachel Wedderspoon of SHINE North West and the deputy leader of Bolton Council, councilor Linda Thomas also attended the event where children received certificates and special awards for commitment and academic excellence.
Bolton School teacher and SHINE organiser Katie Wrathmell said: “It has been a wonderful ten weeks, where gifted and talented pupils have experienced subjects they may not have otherwise encountered. The ethos of the programme is that pupils learn best whilst enjoying themselves and consequently the activities have been both stretching and fun. We have seen real progression and development over the course of the past few months and I hope we have instilled in the children the belief to aim high.”
The children studied a mix of traditional subjects, including maths, English, the humanities and the sciences, but were also introduced to language modules in Russian, Spanish, French, German and Japanese. The children also undertook sessions in food technology, ICT, classics, DT/art and drama.
Co-organiser Sarah Gunshon added: “Each week we have introduced two learning and thinking skills so that by the end of the programme the pupils have built up some very positive habits of mind. We must also offer much thanks to teaching colleagues from across the campus who have helped out with the sessions and sixth-form students who have offered invaluable assistance.”
This was the sixth year that the programme has run at Bolton School. The sessions are delivered across the country through a partnership between SHINE and independent schools, with the aim of raising educational aspirations of young children whilst allowing them to develop teamwork skills, make friends and have fun. The sessions are free for the participating children.