Rhyddings Business and Enterprise School have been welcoming their new students with a fantastic summer school packed full of arts and culture activities. Through funding from the Department for Education, matched by funding from Lancashire based arts organisation Curious Minds and funding from the school, Rhyddings have introduced their September intake of year 7 students to the school and the rich cultural offer the school provides to their students.
The Department for Education funded Summer school programme allows schools to offer a specific intervention at a crucial stage of education that can help pupils start secondary education ready to learn. Allowing the students to become comfortable in the setting they will be studying in from September but also allowing them to make those crucial friendships with fellow students as they move to ‘big school’.
Curious Minds coordinated the arts and cultural provision over the last two weeks, bringing some of the great arts organisations we have in the Lancashire region together to work with the students. Students have had the chance to take part in carnival arts with Burnley based Mid Pennine Arts, puppetry workshops with Burnley Youth Theatre, performances from Horse and Bamboo Theatre, drama workshops with Bolton Octagon Theatre and drumming workshops with Dhamak Beats. As well as providing support so all students taking part in the summer school achieve the national recognised arts qualification ‘Arts Award’.
Mrs Cunliffe from Rhyddings Business and Enterprise School has said the summer school programme has been:
a huge benefit to the students and a chance for them to experience the world of secondary school before they start in September. Students are able to make new friends and learn new skills. We’ve seen students come to us very shy and quiet but with the help of the summer school and the arts and drama workshops they have come out of their shell and opened their eyes to what they can achieve and do when they come to secondary school. They and we can’t wait to get cracking in September now.
On a visit to evaluate the impact of the activities, children told Curious Minds:
Summer school helped me think of new friendships…I’ve made three or four new friends.
We invented new fashions, like a new flat shoe then you press a button and they turn into high heels.
When I started I thought Rhyddings were boring, but I met my footy mates here who go to different Primary schools, and now I know I’m going to be happy here.