Youngsters got an early taste of life at high school when they headed to Summer School. Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan threw open its doors to welcome some of those who will become new Year Seven learners in September.
Summer School Co-ordinator and maths teacher Georgie Owen says the scheme is designed to help children with their transition to secondary school. She said: “They will all arrive in September and it can be a daunting experience if they don’t know the school, teachers or other children who are moving up from other schools.
“Every day we do work on numeracy and literacy and then move onto to other sessions around science, drama, art, Welsh, design technology and history.
“The children are split into groups and move around so it’s fun and engaging. Summer School is about being relaxed, having fun and meeting new friends.
“It can be a very difficult and stressful time moving up to a secondary school from a small primary school. This scheme means they have already broken the ice. It also gives us a chance, as teachers, to assess where the children are up to and how they are likely to cope. It means we can draw up lessons plans and ensure the children get off to the best possible start.”
“We have 15 members of the teaching staff, including classroom assistants, in school and helping run the scheme. We also have several older learners who attended past Summer Schools who have volunteered their time to help too.”
Year 9 learner Emma Copeland, said: “I volunteered to come in and help the teachers as I remember how nervous I was when I first came to secondary school.
“I went to Summer School and it really helped me. I help teachers oversee the younger pupils and give them a hand if they need help. I enjoy helping them and seeing them make new friends.”
Emma, who is considering a career as a teacher, added: “Very often they will ask me things they wouldn’t ask a teacher, like what they can expect from older pupils and what are the teachers and lessons like. It gives them confidence. I also helped out at the induction evening the school held. I think it’s important to help younger pupils settle down so they get the most out of school.”
Emrys ap Iwan maths and Summer School teacher Dave Simons said: “It’s a great opportunity to address problems that youngsters may shy away from when they arrive in September.
Andy Goodwin, Emrys ap Iwan head of transition, said: “We have a lot of fun through high impact activities - there’s a planetarium, we will be designing a roller coaster and building air pressure rockets which we will fire into the sky.
“It’s fun but teaches some important lessons while giving us as teachers the chance to get to know pupils before they arrive here in September.”
Summer School proved popular with learners Leah Tulsie and Emily Williams, who are both moving from Kimnel Bay’s Ysgol Maes Owen.
Emily added: “I’m pleased because I have got to see what the teachers are like and it means I won’t worry over the summer. It’s been great getting to meet pupils from other primary schools who are coming here too.”
Summer Steens of Ysgol St Elfod, Abergele and Georgina Brown of Christchurch School, Rhyl, agreed.
Summer said: “It’s a great chance to meet new people and I’ve already made three new friends. I wanted to learn my way around the school so I don’t get lost in September.”
Georgina added: “It stops us getting bored in the summer holiday and it’s a good idea to get to know a few of the teachers and other new pupils.