We've been supporting the annual Summer School at Venerable Bede Academy in Sunderland since 2015. I spent the day there again on Wednesday - and it's become one of my personal highlights for August.
The students, all of whom will be starting Year 7 next month, are always brilliant, the staff are incredibly supportive - and the whole thing is run by Jason Exley with an air of cheerful ease that completely masks the organisation and thought behind it. And it's also, from my point of view, a fantastic example of the value of collaboration - one of the cornerstones of creativity. Jason, on the one hand, knows as creatives and believes in our approaches - while we, on the other, have come to a deep understanding of the needs of the students that the Summer School caters for. And that combination inevitably means that, year after year, we're able to work together to design a programme that will both engage and challenge the cohort - and support them as they begin the transition to secondary school.
Collaboration also, of course, allows us to learn from each other. "I love your eyebrows, Jackson," one student told me. "They're wild!" The learning outcome? To seek an appointment with a barber as soon as possible.
Find out more about our Summer School programmes.