SHiNE Together 2021

Our SHiNE Together programme for boys and girls from nine neighbouring primary schools was delivered online this year and we are delighted that 82 children in Years 5 and 6 have taken part.

Children have participated in online lessons in: Art, Computing, Creative Writing, Design Technology, Drama and Spanish. Also on offer was the opportunity to take on the challenge of a Bronze CREST Award, which provides an introduction to independent STEM project work for 11+ year olds.

Below is just a flavour of what the children have experienced on their Saturday morning courses.

Art

During the first two Art sessions, pupils used the materials posted to them beforehand to create stunning watercolours of birds, as well as designing and colouring in Zentangle feathers. In week 3, children made some fabulous art decoupage birdboxes. We hope you enjoy the photographs of a sample of their amazing artwork. Miss Brown was extremely impressed with the children’s dedication and commented that they were always so engaged and creative.

Creative Writing

The Creative Writing group have had a wonderful time delving into the world of colours. They have learnt about connotation and synonyms and written some wonderful riddles and poems about colour. They have also become Disney animators and even named their own colours of paint! Mrs Edge informed the children that they are now experts in using colour to enhance their creative writing.

Coding

In the first session of the computing course pupils focused on coding and set up their own accounts in Scratch which gave them access to the class platform where they could play and share games. They quickly progressed in the following week to create their own Space Invaders game. Mr Eccles commented: “The children were delightful and engaged with wide eyed wonder and interest – zapping aliens is so absorbing!” In the final week, the children were introduced to Python (a programming language) which is considered quite a bit harder than Scratch, however they all coped brilliantly and made lots of progress. Mr Eccles was really impressed with the attitude and application from each of them and they covered so much that by the end of the session they were all able to start work on an adventure game. They should be very proud of themselves!

Design Technology

In the Design Technology sessions, children have enjoyed decorating their own party celebration boxes and assembling the nets which were included as part of the resource pack sent to them. In week 1, they produced their designs choosing their own themes and Mrs Cross used the facilities at Withington, including the laser cutter and print and cut machine, to create a range of products on different materials, to show how easily one or two basic designs can be made into a variety of products.  At the end of the three weeks, everyone had produced their own personalised items in their individual celebration boxes which included a ball bearing game, wooden pens, stickers and badges. Mrs Cross was extremely impressed by the very creative, unique designs which included superhero robots, ‘Inklings’ and rainbow pandas.

Drama

During our creative Drama lessons with Mrs Guest, students have explored acting skills in a fun environment.  They discovered how to find the drama in a can of beans and other household objects, made up stories inspired by pieces of fruit and household plants, and used cats, dogs and pillows to build funny, entertaining scenes to delight their audiences.

Spanish

Children on our Spanish course participated enthusiastically in a range of activities to find out how Spanish is used around the world.  They learnt how to greet people and introduce themselves, tell someone when their birthday is, and talk about their favourite colours. Mrs Wagstaffe said: “It’s been lovely to hear pupils speaking with authentic ‘Castilian’ pronunciation and we’ve enjoyed listening to some Spanish songs and playing interactive games together.”

Bronze Crest Award

Meanwhile, parcels have been sent out to the 16 children who are independently working towards their Bronze Crest Award. They have three projects to choose from: The Crispiest Crisps, The Perfect Cup of Tea and Insulating Fabrics. Alongside packets of crisps and boxes of teabags were carefully wrapped beakers and measuring cylinders to help them carry out their experiments. We look forward to seeing the work of these budding Scientists!

SHiNE Together Coordinator, Mrs Collard said: “Our teachers have thoroughly enjoyed working with all the children on the SHiNE Together sessions. Whilst our preference will always be to open Withington’s doors to local children on a Saturday morning, sadly it was not possible this year, but we’re thrilled with the success of these online courses. The pupils have been a delight and it was a real pleasure to work with each and every one of them!”

Read more about SHiNE Together here.