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Shining Example of Independent-State Sector Partnership

Saturday, 09 February 2013

Record numbers of local children have taken part in this year’s SHINE: Serious Fun on Saturdays’ programme, held at Bolton School. Funded jointly by the School and the SHINE Trust, the scheme is in its fourth year and sees the independent day school open its doors to allow children from the maintained sector access to its resources, facilities and expertise.

Saturday evening at Bolton School saw forty five Year 5 pupils from twelve local state primary schools attend a silver-service “graduation” dinner. Pupils, parents and their teachers celebrated the culmination of the 11 week scheme, along with teachers and Sixth Form students from the School who had helped run the programme.

Brandon Bowling, aged 10 and from nearby Devonshire Road Primary School, had certainly enjoyed himself: “I have learned a lot of new things. I can count from one to a hundred now in Japanese. I loved having a go on an indoor hovercraft in Physics and scrunching up a can of Coke by immersing it in scalding hot water and then in freezing cold water. It was funny in Physics when a machine made everyone’s hair stand on end through static electricity. It has been a great opportunity and I am really glad I came.”

An equally delighted Roksana Rudzka, aged 10, said: “I’ve loved SHINE and getting out of bed on a Saturday programme has not been a problem at all. My favourite bit of the whole course was making our own ceramic tiles but I liked the story of Henry II and Thomas Becket and how he was murdered in the church.”

Miss Olivia Sullivan, SHINE Coordinator, reflected: “All the girls and boys taking part are Gifted and Talented pupils who have shown high levels of motivation and yet many of them do not, ordinarily, have access to such an opportunity. Ever since week one and a ‘Burning Bonanza’ session in Chemistry, we have offered a broad curriculum encompassing mainstream subjects such as English, Mathematics and the Sciences but we have also used our specialist staff in Senior School to offer more unusual courses including five modern languages, Ceramics, Food Technology, Psychology, Drama and Business Studies. We still have an exciting visit to the Jorvik Viking Centre in York to come. It has been a delight for our teachers and Sixth Form students, who act as mentors, to watch the pupils develop and progress over the course of the programme.”

All sessions are free for the participating children, the costs being met equally by Bolton School and the SHINE Charitable Trust. SHINE is a national programme, which involves the country’s top independent schools offering practical learning to children from state schools who are otherwise unlikely to be able to access such additional educational opportunities.

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The Mayor and Mayoress of Bolton helped local children celebrate at the SHINE Graduation Dinner

The Mayor and Mayoress of Bolton helped local children celebrate at the SHINE Graduation Dinner

Forty five Year 5 children took part in this year

Forty five Year 5 children took part in this year's SHINE: Serious Fun on Saturdays programme at Bolton School

The children's work was displayed around the Dining Hall