SHINE funds 15 new projects across the North

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We’re delighted to announce that 15 projects across the North of England have recently been awarded funding from SHINE.

The schemes, all aimed at giving children more chances to succeed, have been funded through our Ready for School, Bridging the Gap and Flying High funds.

We have received some fantastic applications this year for projects to support disadvantaged children in the Early Years and during the transition from primary and secondary school. We’re very much looking forward to seeing the impact of these projects on children across the North.

Ready for School

Giving children the best possible start to education in the Early Years

Easy Peasy, North East and North West of England

To reduce the number of disadvantaged children arriving at school without the communication and language skills they need to thrive, SHINE is supporting 20 nurseries and schools across the North East and North West of England to trial the Easy Peasy app with parents and children. Easy Peasy is a fun, engaging digital app that introduces parents and children to exciting, accessible games and activities, from counting with strawberries to reading stories while dressed up as characters from books. The app helps children and parents to learn through play at home, strengthen relationships and boosts children’s communication and language skills.

St Edmund’s Nursery, Bradford

St Edmund’s Nursery is tackling the communication and language gap in the Early Years by introducing the 50 Things To Do Before You’re Five method into 20 primary schools and 35 childcare settings across Bradford. The 50 Things To Do Before You’re Five team will support parents to take part in new activities with their child such as woodland wandering and trips to the seaside, along with group activities with other families. Parents will also have access to a digital app that sends them reminders of activities to do, helping them feel consistently supported to build on their child’s learning at home.

Making A Difference Together, Sheffield

To address the communication and language gap, Monteney Primary School is introducing the Making a Difference Together programme to eight primary schools across Sheffield to boost early communication and language skills. Teaching staff will visit children before they start school in their childcare setting and at home to identify their current strengths and areas of need. They will then introduce strategies for parents and resources to help them develop their child’s skills and continue to support them at home and in workshops as their children start primary school.

Watercliffe School, Sheffield

In response to the Early Years communication and language gap, Watercliffe School and Save the Children have developed a digital app for parents and their children giving them access to exciting games and activities to help boost skills and confidence. Each parent and child will join a team and compete against others to win stars. Parents will also be encouraged to spur other parents on and have the opportunity to become ‘Parent Champions’ and inspire others to nurture a love of learning in their children.

Building Capacity With Community Learning Champions, York

To tackle the communication and language gap, York City Council has established a network of volunteer ‘Community Learning Champions’ to work with 3 primary schools across York to support parents before their child starts school. Parents and children will be engaged in storytelling sessions and a range of other exciting workshops focused on themes such as storytime, exploring outdoors and number hunt. By learning together, children can develop communication and language skills and parents can develop greater confidence in supporting their children in the Early Years.

Me, You and Science Too, North East of England

To boost communication and language skills in the Early Years, Me, You and Science Too is a pioneering project led by Battle Hill Primary School in Newcastle helping parents to develop their children’s reading and language skills. It also gives children an early introduction to science. Each workshop involves exhilarating reading activities guided by a teacher to boost confidence amongst parents and children. The sessions also focus on themes such as ‘Family Space Explorers’ giving them a unique insight into science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Parents are armed with the knowledge and tools to develop their child’s love of science, communication and language at home.

Thinking With Tales For Children, Sheffield

In response to the gap between the communication and language gap, Sheffield Hallam University is introducing traditional stories and philosophy into 6 primary schools and nurseries across the region to boost skills. The project delivers interactive story sessions for parents and children in school to help develop language skills and encourage children to think, make and evaluate choices before they start primary school.

Chatta East Yorkshire

The ‘Chatta’ method of teaching is being introduced into the nurseries of 12 schools in Hull. The aim of the project is that all those youngsters taking part will have exceeded age-related expectations by the time they start the reception year at school. The project will involve staff training and parent workshops, with training and termly outreach support being provided by Pocklington School, which is a regional centre of excellence for Chatta. Parents will receive weekly activities for their children to take part in.


Bridging the Gap

Helping children who need extra support at school to thrive when they move from primary to secondary school

Unique Transition, Leeds

Parklands Primary School and Leeds East Academy have found that many low achieving disadvantaged children at primary school are left even further behind when they start secondary school. This is often because of the new demands of school work, the new school environment and the pressure to form new bonds with teachers and friends. In response, the schools are funding a Transition Coordinator to provide educational and emotional support for children during the transition. Parents will be engaged and provided with extra tools and resources to help support their child at home. By offering personalised, holistic support, the schools aim to help children thrive at secondary.

Arvon, Redcar and Cleveland

To support low achieving children as they move from primary to secondary school, the education charity Arvon is giving children in 3 primary schools access to a week-long creative writing course and workshops led by professional writers. The course and sessions aim to offer the time and space for children to write and study, helping them develop a love for literacy to carry into secondary school.

Next Steps in Science Learning, Rochdale and Manchester

To support low achieving disadvantaged children, the University of Manchester has designed a project to gain a better understanding of the challenges that children face as they move from primary to secondary school. Their project also aims to improve achievement in science education by building stronger collaborations between primary and secondary teachers. Through peer-to-peer coaching and critical reflection and analysis, the teachers will develop new teaching models, training courses and resources together to improve the teaching of science education during the move from primary to secondary.

Future First, Sheffield

To help to boost achievement and confidence during the move from primary to secondary school, Future First is buddying primary school students with high achieving secondary school students to provide academic and emotional support. Parents will also be engaged in the mentoring programme to make sure they can support their child at home. By developing the project, Future First is also encouraging greater collaboration between primary and secondary schools.

Learning By Questions, North East of England

SHINE is helping schools across the North East of England to support low achieving disadvantaged children as they move from primary and secondary school by trialling the Learning by Questions app. The digital app supports children in the classroom by asking them ‘real-time’ questions in Maths, English and Science and giving them instant feedback. Students can quickly learn from feedback and teachers are also able to gain an immediate insight in the classroom into who needs extra support.


Flying High

Supporting children who do well at primary school to stay on their path to success as they move to secondary

St Mary’s Catholic Academy, Blackpool

Many high achieving disadvantaged children start secondary school feeling unchallenged and unmotivated in lessons. This is often because they are re-taught the same things that they were taught in primary school. They also might not have access to the extracurricular activities, tutoring or learning support at home that better off children have. St Mary’s Catholic Academy School aims to tackle this by delivering a summer school programme, teacher and parent meetings, peer mentoring, and career and university advice sessions to stretch the abilities of these students as they move to secondary school.

Allerton High School, Leeds

To help high achieving disadvantaged children to succeed as they move from primary to secondary school, Allerton High School is engaging them in workshops, a summer school programme, access to a Higher Project Research Qualification and extracurricular activities to build their confidence and expand their abilities. The school is also inviting their parents to take part so that they can support their child’s learning at home.