Schoolchildren in the North East will benefit from two projects aimed at helping them navigate the daunting move from primary to secondary school.
SHINE has invested more than £130,000 into school-led programmes on Tyneside and Teesside, through a partnership with regional schools’ network Schools North East.
The two projects are the first to be funded through the partnership, which is bringing investment of £500,000 to schools in the region. The projects are facilitated through the Ednorth programme which aims to inspire change in classrooms across the North East; promoting an educational culture led by informed debate, research, and collaboration.
Both projects will help to bridge the gap between primary and secondary education that can be challenging and stressful for many pupils -particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
A project at the NEAT Academy Trust, a partnership of five of primary and secondary schools in the east end of Newcastle, has received £57,300. Meanwhile a scheme run by the Endeavour Academies Trust, in Middlesbrough, has been awarded £74,000.
The Newcastle project focuses on the wellbeing and mental health of primary schoolchildren. It seeks to identify any pastoral issues that may lead to a child struggling with the move to secondary school.
The Middlesbrough initiative will see children from feeder primary schools attend greater-depth maths classes at Macmillan Academy. The sessions, led by a specialist maths teacher, will both increase the children’s knowledge of secondary maths and give them a flavour for life at secondary school.
Debi Bailey, CEO of the NEAT Academy Trust said she was “over the moon” to receive the funding. “With this project, we will be able to make a much earlier identification of young people who are struggling a little bit with things like self -confidence, or social skills,” she said. It will also enable us to be much more proactive in the support that we put in place for these children.
“The ultimate aim is to see a successful transition into secondary school, and beyond, because if children transition successfully, they are much more likely to be successful in class and therefore go on to future success after school.”
Amy Tumelty, Director of the Teaching School at Macmillan Academy, said their new initiative would help children and teachers in a number of ways.
“Firstly, it helps children to achieve greater depth in maths, and they become much more confident in answering tricky, problem-solving questions. Secondly, the children become used to working with students from different primary schools and they feel more confident about coming to a secondary school, which can be a scary move for them. Thirdly, the primary teachers and teaching assistants also attend the classes, so they become better equipped and more confident in teaching the greater depth maths topics that are really tricky if you’re not a maths specialist.”