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Summer School 2021

OVERVIEW

Introduction

Market Field School Summer School 2021 ran from Monday 26th July - Friday 30th July 2021. Children arrived at 8:45 on the Monday and went in school transport to Danbury Outdoors Residential Camp, returning on Friday 30th July at 3pm. We kept the start time on the Monday and the finish time on the Friday in-line with our usual school offer.

Our view as a school was that the key areas of impact for our summer school were that it needed to provide enrichment opportunities, enhance the social skills of our learners, give access to enjoyable learning activities and build the trust of the children who attended in the school - that we could be their safe space that we were pre-Covid. We hoped that this would provide the children who attended a powerful transition tool into their next academic year and sharpen their enthusiasm. It also provided exhausted families with a week of respite, which we have not been able to provide with residential camps being postponed for the past two years.

We structured and ran activities based at Essex Outdoors Danbury, interspersed with hands on practical learning (life-skills, Maths linked to time and money, Literacy - reading instructions, bedtime stories, camp diaries) and activities to enhance collaborative learning and wellbeing (art sessions, lego therapy sessions, campfire preparation and campfire)

The programme was offered to the students whom our wellbeing therapy team felt needed additional intervention post-Covid. This may have been because of poor mental health, family breakdown or bereavement, regression in skills or students who were 'flagging' on our internal behaviour report systems regularly.  In total, 38 students were offered the chance to attend our summer school camp and 33 students took us up on the offer, which we were delighted with.

We did request that students who did wish to engage, fully commit to the 5-day offer and all students were able to do this, sleeping over in tents and completing the 5 days.

Financial Overview

The school was allocated £20,016.00 funding to support summer school. 

There resources were used as follows:

Staffing £10,000
Essex Outdoors activities £5,220
Accommodation (tents) and catering (Mon evening - Friday lunch) £2,720
Accommodation (log cabins) and catering (Mon evening - Friday lunch) £1680
Lunch (Monday lunch on arrival) £325
Diesel (6 minibuses) £71.00
Total £20,016.00

Outline of Summer School Programme

Traditional 'learning'

Whilst on camp, students took part in lifeskills activities linked to Maths and Literacy. These were linked to time and money - for instance, calculating the cost of meals for the entire camp if a meal for one person cost £6.50, working out how long they would have for morning activities if lunch was being served at 12pm and it was now 9:45am. Literacy activities included daily diary in groups - recapping on highlights of the day and traditional bedtime stories in tents read to the children by members of staff. Wellbeing activities on camp included artscape - sketching the views of the local landscape, lego therapy sessions - taking on the role of engineer, builder and supplier in small groups in order to develop social skills. Students also involved themselves in camp management - collecting firewood for the campfire, making their own beds and keeping their tents tidy.

Adventurous learning

Students were split into 7 groups whilst at Danbury Outdoors to take part in a range of activities as detailed below. Activities were planned to support students in acquiring 'learning skills' including:

  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Problem Solving
  • Managing Risk
  • Confidence
  • Concentration
  • Commitment 
Off-road biking Off-road biking promotes the key skills of confidence, concentration, commitment and managing risk. Naturally differentiated for all abilities, from obstacle courses to build  skills through to gentle woodland trails and more technical routes. 
High ropes Promoting the key skills of resilience, commitment, confidence and communication, high ropes offer challenging and exciting elements to push the children out of their comfort zone, working in groups for some activities (such as Jacobs Ladder) or on their own personal challenge for others.
Low ropes Low ropes promotes the key skills of resilience, communication, team work, problem-solving and concentration. Low ropes courses have a series of low-level challenges with interconnected ropes, planks, wires and tyres. The aim is to support your teammates to move around the platforms of the course without touching the ground

Designed to test and hone the group’s cooperation and communication skills whilst having fun. Reach as many checkpoints as you can to earn points towards completing your final challenge!

Vertical obstacle course Developing skills in resilience, communication, team work, problem-solving, concentration and commitment. The vertical obstacle course will test the physical and mental agility of even the most adventurous participants. There are 7 elements to try in all, including human Tetris and the wall of tyres. What is the best route to the top? Can you find a way to use the obstacles to help you achieve your highest climb? How can your teammates on the ground help you to achieve your goal?
Zip wire Zip wire develops skills in resilience, confidence, communication, concentration and managing risk. A personal challenge, participants are connected to a wire 12 metres above the ground and need to step out into thin air on a 100-metre descent.
Quad Bikes Promoting the key skills of confidence and managing risk. The children start off by learning the basics of turning and stopping safely before navigating around the twists and turns of the skills course, then progressing to the exciting off-road course around the wooded site.
Canoeing

Promoting the key skills of resilience, managing risk, commitment and confidence, Canoeing enables the children to learn a new skill - which is new to all of them and therefore the starting point is the same. After a session with the instructor, the children will practise their newly acquired skills - paddling and exploring the local waterway.