SHiNE Together

Free Saturday morning courses for girls and boys in Years 5-6

Withington Girls’ School has organised and delivered a successful, community-focused series of Saturday School courses since 2007.

The WGS SHiNE educational programme is aimed at able students in Years 5 and 6 at maintained primary schools in and around south Manchester. The aim is to increase pupils’ love of learning, boost self-esteem in the classroom, and provide opportunities for academic growth and development.

The programme provides, free of charge, specialist teaching in a range of courses. There is some variation from year to year, and subjects on offer have included Art, Science, Computing, Creative Writing, Design & Food Technology, Classics, Spanish, Drama and Music. We also offer pupils interested in science and engineering the opportunity to take part in an independent project which could lead to a British Science Association Discovery or Bronze Crest Award.

Previously, our series of courses offered on Saturday mornings was known as the SHiNE programme, however, we now have a new name which reflects the importance of the partnership between Withington and local primary schools – SHiNE Together.

In normal times, girls and boys from local state primary schools are invited to come to Withington on a Saturday morning to take part in this exciting programme of themed courses. 2021 was somewhat different due to the pandemic, and the programme was delivered online.

The programme is coordinated by Withington colleagues Mrs Amanda Collard and Mrs Natalie Baguley who organise the wide choice of topics which are delivered by specialist Withington teachers, supported by WGS Sixth Formers.

Applications for this programme are managed between the applicants’ Headteacher and our SHiNE Together Coordinators.

Read our Impact Report 2021

Our 2020/21 courses:

In 2019/20, 91 children from 18 Manchester schools enjoyed attending SHiNE Together.

The programme was launched in 2007 with the help of funding from SHINE, a national organisation which funds projects to extend educational opportunities to children who would not ordinarily be able to access them, and the former Excellence in Cities programme. Withington has always hosted and run the programme, but from 2016, has also fully funded the WGS SHiNE programme.

The children work in small groups under the supervision of one or two teachers and two Upper Sixth students. This high adult to children ratio contributes to a very supportive and stimulating environment for the delivery of novel, practical sessions using our school’s facilities. These activities provide the children with the opportunity to cover exciting aspects of subjects such as Science and DT outside the scope of the National Curriculum.

Withington Girls’ School provides classroom facilities (including our purpose-built science laboratories, a design technology suite and food technology room), teaching materials and resources, teacher time and Sixth Form mentors. During the science course, the School funds an outing to the Manchester Museum. In 2019/20, the planning and delivery of the SHiNE courses involved approximately 377 staff hours and 175 student hours, with a benefit to 91 local children alongside our own staff and pupils. Over 591 local pupils, from 30 different schools have benefited from the SHiNE programme since it begun at Withington Girls’ School.

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