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Monday, 08 February 2010
A celebration dinner at Bolton School saw prizes and certificates handed out to thirty eight Year 5 pupils as the 'SHINE: Serious Fun on Saturdays' programme came to a successful conclusion. The pupils from state primary schools across Bolton were accompanied by their parents and guardians at the silver service dinner. Bolton School's first running of the SHINE project was also celebrated by Rachel Wedderspoon, SHINE's North-West envoy; the Girls' Division Headmistress, Mrs Gill Richards; the Project Manager Mr James Rich; Project Coordinator, Miss Louise Dickinson; Miss Janet Rhodes from Bolton Local Authority; and school governors. During the celebration, every child received a prize and certificate for their efforts and Miss Wedderspoon read the children a message of congratulations from Shine ambassador and patron David Beckham.
SHINE began on 7 November 2009 and ran across eleven term-time Saturday mornings until February. It was designed to challenge and stretch pupils and to raise their aspirations through exposure to specialist teachers and outstanding facilities. The pupils undertook a range of activities, from traditional subjects such as Maths, History and the sciences to more unusual offerings such as Russian, Japanese and Martial Arts.
Emily Gregory, aged 9, said "I've really enjoyed myself and I am going to miss the classes." Her mum said: "It's been great and every Saturday morning Emily has been excited and eager to go to school. She has come home and taught me things! She has particularly liked learning new languages."
Anna McCrory, a Year 13 student at Bolton School who acted as a mentor during the programme, enthused: "It has been really nice to come into School on Saturday mornings and to help out and have fun with the Year 5 pupils. This has not seemed like work at all and I shall really miss these sessions."
During the programme, many friendships were made and, for many, the closing evening was an emotional event. Mrs Richards, Headmistress of the Girls' Division, commended the Sixth Form students and teachers from both the Boys' and Girls' Divisions, who had helped make the programme such a success. She also praised the Year 5 pupils who had worked hard and were going away having genuinely had their aspirations raised.
The success of the project was further reflected in the feedback from the pupils, which included comments such as: "My favourite thing about the programme was the mentors because they were really kind and helped me"; "I didn't like science but now I do!"; "The teachers and mentors were helpful, clever, kind and cool"; "On SHINE I learnt things that I would not have learnt until I was at secondary school"; "My favourite activity was technology because it was interesting making things with wood and I've always wanted to take a woodwork class"; and "During my time at SHINE I learnt a lot about friendship. It was great making new friends."
Fifty per cent of the funding for the project has come from the Shine educational charity and Bolton School is only the second school outside of London to be funded to host this particular scheme. The other half of the funding comes from the school itself, and 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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