Story: Ethan’s story

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Ethan was bullied a lot at primary school and, despite being bright, he lacked confidence.

Ethan was bullied a lot at primary school and, despite being bright, he lacked confidence. His teachers were really worried about how the move to secondary might affect him.

But at St Mary’s Academy he joined the SHINE High Flyers group, which gave him access to mentoring, workshops, outdoor pursuits and personalised support.

The SHINE-funded programme aims to ensure a smooth transition, and narrow the attainment gap that can be exacerbated by the move up from primary.

Ethan found the group has helped build his confidence, raise his aspirations, and improve his writing skills. He is much less worried about writing essays, or tackling homework – aspects of life at secondary school that he had previously found daunting.

Now in Year 8, Ethan is loving school and his confidence levels have soared, along with his attainment. He is excited for the future and is planning what he might do for a career after school.