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Saturday, 05 April 2014
Forty six Year 5 pupils representing eleven primary schools enjoyed a SHINE Celebration Dinner at Bolton School, which was attended by the Mayor and Mayoress of Bolton, Councillor Shaw and Mrs Dee Shaw. Rachel Wedderspoon of SHINE also attended the evening which saw proud parents watch their children graduate from the 11 week programme with certificates and special awards for commitment and academic excellence.
It is the sixth year that the School has run the Serious Fun on Saturdays programme. 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.
Over the weeks, the pupils study a mix of traditional subjects, but are also introduced to more unusual offerings which they are unlikely to access in the normal curriculum, for instance this year’s sessions included four modern languages modules in Russian, Spanish, French and Japanese. Other highlights included a visit to York to learn all about Vikings. Work from the children was displayed on the night and included some beautifully painted ceramic tiles and spectacular totem poles.
Reflecting on the programme, Khadija Patel of Sunning Hill Primary School said: “‘My favourite session was ceramics because it is something I have never done before!” Mya Entwistle of St Gregory’s Primary School’s favourite memory was “when we made the pizzas and learning Spanish!” whilst Hamza Patel of Brownlow Fold “loved Chemistry because I used Bunsen Burners for the first time!’ Ammara Rafiq of Devonshire Road Primary School recalled all the help she had been given by Sixth Form volunteers from Bolton School when she said: “the mentors were helpful and always there for me when I got stuck.”
At the celebration evening, which was held at Bolton School, attendees enjoyed a graduation dinner and a display of pupils’ work and photos from the programme. In his speech, Councillor Shaw told the young pupils: “I hope that this experience will foster in you a lifelong passion for learning and success in your academic studies.” He also reflected that: “SHINE places Bolton School at the heart of its local community and supports links with local schools to raise educational aspiration.”
Special mention must also be made to the forty or so Sixth Form mentors, who have supported pupils to succeed at SHINE on a weekly basis in lessons. Community action by sixth form mentors at SHINE this year alone would total over 500 hours of voluntary work.
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