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The Good Schools Guide Review of Beech House

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Graduation Dinner for Pupils that Shine

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Forty one pupils from five Bolton primary schools and their proud parents enjoyed a "graduation dinner" at Bolton School as they celebrated the completion of the SHINE: Serious Fun on Saturdays programme.  

The Year 5 girls and boys have attended Saturday morning sessions at the school since early November, enjoying a mix of traditional subjects such as geography, history and the sciences as well as more unusual offerings such as Russian, martial arts, ceramics and Japanese.  The pupils also enjoyed field trips to the National Space Centre in Leicester and a geography field trip to Rivington Pike.  All the activities were firmly focused on pupil enjoyment and participation whilst stretching and inspiring their young minds.  The sessions were aimed at motivated and able pupils who had shown a high level of academic engagement or were perhaps of limited means and who would benefit from furthering their educational development by attending the course. 

A range of the pupils' work was on display on the night and included giant totem poles, CDs of carols sung in French, ceramic pots and dvds.  The evening was very well attended by parents and pupils and also included the Heads and teachers from Bolton School and Sixth Form students.  A buffet supper preceded the awarding of certificates of merit.  Pupil Sam Dawson said: "Chemistry was my favourite lesson and I really enjoyed burning the different materials.  The visit to the Space Centre was a great day out too, it was very hands-on and you got to learn all sorts of interesting things.  His father, Mr Dawson, said: "Sam has been buzzing every Saturday morning.  This has given him an advance taste of what secondary school education will be about.  He has found the sessions inspiring and the good thing is he has been learning as well as having fun!" 

Ashleigh Gawman, another SHINE pupil, reflected on the programme, saying: "I wish that SHINE never ends.  I liked learning new subjects that I had never done before and meeting new people."  

Miss Louise Dickinson, Bolton School's Coordinator of the SHINE programme, was delighted with how well the programme had gone: "It has been wonderful to watch these bright children flourish over the time they have been with us as they have their horizons widened through a broad curriculum and whilst they make use of our facilities and expertise.  I know our teachers and our Sixth Form students, who have been excellent mentors, have really enjoyed watching the children develop through the programme."

Sanjay Patel, a Sixth Form student who helped out throughout the course said: "As a mentor, SHINE has been a very rewarding experience and, over the past couple of months, it has been great to see the kids having fun whilst they learn in the classroom."

The scheme is run in partnership with the SHINE charitable trust, with fifty per cent of the funding for the project coming from the educational charity and with Bolton School providing the other half.  Although the cash injection from SHINE will cease after the initial three years, the intention is to continue to run the scheme into the future through school funding alone.

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Miss Dickinso and pupils

Two graduating pupils with their certificates of merit and SHINE Coordinator Miss Dickinson

Mr Britton

Headmaster Mr Britton addresses the audience of proud parents and pupils

SHINE children

SHINE children completed the programme having had their aspirations raised