Hartlepool teens show appetite for success

Jack Jarvis and Dyke House teacher Adam Whitehead with Holy Trinity Primary School pupils .
Jack Jarvis and Dyke House teacher Adam Whitehead with Holy Trinity Primary School pupils .

A mentoring programme that has boosted pupils’ confidence levels had all the ingredients for success.

Two students from Dyke House Sports & Technology College helped youngsters cook up healthy meals with the help of an Olympic athlete and backing from Morrisons supermarket.

We have had nothing but positive feedback

Teacher Adam Whitehead

Year 10 pupils Jack Jarvis and James Pearson were selected to benefit from the AQA Unlocking Potential programme which is run jointly with the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust.

The programme motivates and inspires young people aged between 14 and 19 by providing them with eight months of dedicated support from high-achieving athletes.

They received mentoring from Northumberland Olympic swimmer Nick Gillingham and had to plan and deliver a community project.

Adam Whitehead, a PE teacher at Dyke House school, said: “They came up with the idea to promote healthy eating to the younger generation in some of our feeder primary schools.

“The idea was Healthy For Less and Morrisons agreed to provide all the ingredients for free.”

Supported by Adam and Nick, James and Jack showed youngsters at Holy Trinity and Stranton primary schools how to rustle up leek and potato soup and spaghetti bolognese for cheaper than the cost of buying them in a tin or as a microwave ready meal.

They also introduced the children to a variety of unusual and exotic fruits.

Adam added: “The programme is all about raising aspirations in pupils who are lacking in confidence.

“James and Jack had to do a Dragons Den style presentation in Leicester where they had to sell their idea and get approval.”

And with one final cooking demonstration to go at Brougham Primary School, Adam said the project has been a great success.

“We have had nothing but positive feedback,” he said. “It has worked really well. It is the first time we have run this programme but I think we will definitely be doing it again next year.”

In July, James and Jack are due to attend a celebration event in London to share their project with other members of the course from all over the country.