Featherstone: Purston E-ACT Academy pupils head back to class this summer

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While most youngsters are gearing up for their six-week break, dozens of new students in Featherstone will be heading back to the classroom.

The Purston E-ACT Academy – formerly Featherstone Technology College – is running a free summer school for primary school pupils preparing to join the high school in year seven in September.

Around two-thirds of the new 68-pupil intake have already signed up for the two-week course, which aims to boost numeracy and literacy skills.

Although the sessions will focus on reading, writing, speaking, listening and maths skills, there will also be a number of day trips and sporting events including an army-style assault course in North Yorkshire, a visit to the Jorvik Viking Centre in York, and the chance to see the musical Hairspray at the Grand Theatre, Leeds.

The children will also have the opportunity to work with a theatre director to produce a play about their move up to secondary school, which will be performed for parents.

Kim Little, associate assistant principal, said: “The aim is to improve the pupils’ numeracy and literacy skills but in a fun way so it doesn’t feel like a school lesson.

“So for example, we’ll be taking the pupils to the Able Project in Wakefield to help develop their environmental skills in an outdoor setting.

“We’re also having a historical tour of Featherstone, followed by a creative story writing afternoon with local author Ian Clayton.”

Ms Little said as well as supporting the curriculum, the sessions aimed to make pupils feel more comfortable about the transition from primary school.

She said: “It’s a really good way for our new pupils to become part of the school so hopefully it will be less daunting on their first day of secondary school.

“They will be able to meet members of staff and start making friends while getting a feel for the school environment.

“We’re delighted that both parents and pupils have supported us so much with this, it’s the start of a rewarding school relationship.”

The sessions will be funded through the Pupil Premium – Government cash given to schools to support disadvantaged pupils and close the attainment gap between them and their peers. And local business Munchbox is providing food for the summer-school students.

There are still places available. Email admin@tpea.org.uk. The activity weeks are July 29 to August 2 and August 19 to 23.

Holy Family Catholic Primary teacher Joanne Nicholson with Harry Boutell, Julia Filipiak and Ava Harley.

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