Hodge Hill College

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Summer School 2021

 

During Summer 2021, Hodge Hill College proudly hosted a 4 day Summer School event, made available to 140 lucky Year 7 pupils.

The event itself took place between 23 August - 26 August and provided our newest pupils with the exciting opportunity to meet some renowned faces from the world of literature, science and sport. We were also pleased to offer every pupil a free breakfast and lunch as part of each day’s festivities and the event itself culminated with a Hodge Hill College sports day, a party for our hardworking students and a streamed performance and Q&A session with Boy Band ‘Here at Last’.

Day one started with a bang as all students attended a live, loud and highly exciting demonstration of the work of Peter Wright of Wonderstruck, an organisation that focuses on the building of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) skills. Affectionately known as ‘The Rocket Man’, Peter introduced our students to the world of physics via a series of exciting experiments and demonstrations, which included breaking the sound barrier! Peter was also around for days two and three and treated our students to the unique opportunity to participate in one of his famous rocket building workshops and on day three, constructing and racing a battery-powered vehicle designed and constructed entirely by our pupils.

Also included within day one’s offer was a trip to the Explorer Dome, within which students were given an entertaining and informative tour of our solar system within the organisation's purpose-built inflatable dome. Students were guided through the mysteries surrounding black holes, a bio on each of our solar system’s planets and impressive high-resolution images of our galaxy as never seen before. Following on from this, students took a trip of their own to put this new knowledge to good use to complete a solar system treasure hunt activity in one of our IT suites to begin building essential IT skills required for secondary school life.

At the planning stage of our Summer School event, we decided that following large periods of enforced inactivity throughout the pandemic and severe disruption to collaborative and competitive elements of learning that students would appreciate daily PE sessions which were led by qualified coaches from Sport 4 Life. Activities included dodgeball, basketball and cricket and the organisation also assisted our PE team in planning and delivering our final day Hodge Hill College sports day.

Day two and three brought the arrival of two renowned artists from the world of literature to Hodge Hill College to lead creative writing and poetry workshops that were a huge source of enjoyment for both pupils and staff. The author of the acclaimed ‘Vampirates’ series, Justin Somper, tasked our students with following a detailed narrative plan which was spread across two days, whilst the hugely entertaining and immensely popular Poet Adisa wowed our students with his love of language and his focus on poetry that celebrates diversity in all its forms and how identity is established. By the end of day three, students were producing some truly impressive narrative ideas and were writing poetry of their own.

Day four was the celebration of what had been a hugely enjoyable week for all involved. The morning began with the students being tasked with reflecting upon the experiences of the week in the completion of their learning journals. Following on from this, it was time for our four working groups: Team Courtesy, Team Achievement, Team Respect and Team Empathy to go head to head during our Hodge Hill sports day. Events included a team relay event, hula-hoop races, an adaptation of an egg and spoon race and finally a team tug of war event.

After working incredibly hard over day one to the morning of day four, we decided that our kitchen staff deserved the afternoon off and we celebrated a fantastic week with a much-deserved pizza party attended by all pupils and staff followed by some musical entertainment from ‘Here at Last’, who provided our students with both performance and the opportunity to ask questions about their own school experiences, with a focus on cyber safety.

Finally, we’d like to thank our local community for showing such a great interest in our 2021 event and we were pleased with the uptake of between 100-120 places for each day of our event. A couple of special mentions must also go out to our new Year 7 pupils that worked extremely hard during the week and demonstrated an excellent attitude to learning throughout the event. Last, but certainly not least we would also like to thank the Hodge Hill College staff that made the event happen, with staff ranging from our Pastoral Team, to Art, English, Maths, Science and PE teachers that made the week one to remember for our new Year 7s.