School starts early for Hartlepool students

St Hild's Summer School.
St Hild's Summer School.

Children in Hartlepool prepared themselves for the step up to secondary school by foregoing part of their summer holidays and taking to the classroom early.

A total of 73 students who were due to enter Year 7 at St Hild’s Church of England School attended a week-long free Summer School at the end of their six-week break.

St Hild's Summer School.

St Hild's Summer School.

And their enthusiasm was matched by 14 members of staff who volunteered to come into school and support the initiative.

As well as taking part in a series of academic tasks covering English, maths, technology and science, the students were also able to get involved in a range of other practical activities, including dance, wall climbing, music and drama.

The drama students even put on a 20-minute production of Bugsy Malone for parents and other children.

The whole week was wrapped up with a trip to Flamingo Land theme park.

The summer school ended with a trip to Flamingo Land.

The summer school ended with a trip to Flamingo Land.

Head of Year 7 Suzanne Sotheran said: “We were delighted that 73 students attended each day, which is a massive improvement on previous years.

“The Summer School is part of our transition process for new Year 7 students.

“It aims to help them make the often difficult leap from primary school to secondary school and ensures that they are “ready to learn” when the school year starts properly.

“It also helps to allay students’ concerns by helping them to familiarise themselves with their new school.

“In addition, school staff are able to get to know their new pupils, identify any additional needs that they might have and ensure that their educational attainment in primary school is not lost.”

Prior to the end of last term, St Hild’s also held a Transition Fortnight which was attended by around 150 pupils from 13 primary schools across Hartlepool.

The initiative aimed to give pupils an insight into secondary school life and gave them a chance to familiarise themselves with their new school, meet staff and experience a standard Year 7 timetable.

Mrs Sotheran added: “I believe that the Transition Fortnight held in July and the Summer School had a genuine and positive impact on the students, leaving them feeling confident and excited about coming to St Hild’s.

“I would like to congratulate all of the students who took part on their commitment and enthusiasm, and I would also like to thank all the members of staff who made both initiatives possible.”