Our Summer School workshops are now available to book allowing you to create tailored maths, science or literacy-based creative days - or your own cross-curricular programmes! Whether you are looking for a one day workshop or something longer-term our sessions can be adapted in length and to accommodate different age groups - and we will always try to incorporate any theme or topic you may be exploring.
Our most popular Summer School Workshops include:
CSI: Michaela Maths
Combining football, murder mysteries and problem-solving, CSI: Michaela Maths is one of the most popular programmes, offering pupils an opportunity to apply their skills and understanding of shape and measurement in a unique environment. If it hadn’t been for the quick thinking of one of her teammates, Michaela Maths, one of Britain’s most promising young athletes, would be dead – slain by an unseen hand! The police are baffled by the crime and want the pupils’ help in solving it. Having been introduced to the crime, the suspects and their possible motives, students will work in teams on a carousel probing a range of mathematical skills. Taken together, these lead to the suspects being eliminated, one by one – until, if all the calculations are correct, the criminal is unmasked.
CSI: Bake Off
All is not well in the world of the Bake Off – one of the judges, Saul Pinewood, has had food poisoning – and he knows it wasn’t an accident! He’s narrowed the field down to six suspects – and hopes that pupils can use their understanding of fractions, percentages and measurements to help him take the final step.
The Trading Game
Our high energy Trading Games provide students with opportunities to think about maths in some very different ways. Working in an ever-shifting environment, they’ll come to understand that “value” can be a concept that changes depending on circumstances, that the ability to prioritise is an essential mathematical skill, and that the properties of 2D shapes allow them to be arranged in a variety of ways.
Working in small groups, each representing a different country, students first participate in warm-up activities – specifically designed to both support the development of team skills and get them thinking about shapes. The Trading Game itself begins – and the reason for its title quickly becomes clear as the teams realise that the only way they can succeed is by negotiating with other countries. The more they produce, the more points they get – and there are plenty of opportunities to win bonus points by answering explicitly mathematical questions (pitched at an appropriate level, after discussions with you).
And while the Game has its own intrinsic merit, of course, its greater value lies in the follow-up – where students are facilitated through a process allowing them to identify and categorise the skills they have had to use.
Fast, furious and fantastically engaging, our popular Trading Game workshops can accommodate up to 60 pupils at a time and can last anything from a double lesson to half a day – and require a large space, equipped with a data projector and screen. The Game can be conducted in a single lesson – but, in order to give the students a fuller experience, we prefer double that time. And, in addition to the “standard” format outlined above, we have developed variations that feature geographical, economic and ethical dimensions too.
Number Patterns: The Bunker
At the heart of maths, of course, lies the ability to identify, analyse and predict patterns. so, inspired by the work of Alan Turing and his fellow mathematicians at Bletchley Park during World War II, The Bunker is based in cryptology – the writing and reading of codes. Appealing to all age and ability ranges, The Bunker has a simple premise. Working in teams, and at their own pace, students need to identify as closely as possible the location of an Enemy Radio Transmitter by cracking a series of increasingly fiendish numeric, geometric and semiotic ciphers. The more codes they crack, the more precisely they’ll be able to pin the Transmitter down.
The Bunker has been so successful over the years that we've now developed the most challenging version so far (for those who wish to take it!). Calling on participants to manipulate numbers, geometrics and abstract symbols, it's ideal for high-ability mathematicians - and provides a perfect way of demonstrating just how far maths can take you!
Exploring (according to year group and time): number bonds, sequences and patterns, Rebus codes, ROT codes, ETA code-breaking.
Spotlight on Shakespeare
Shakespeare didn't write his plays to be read - he wrote them to be experienced, of course, as living, breathing narratives. So our. Spotlight on Shakespeare programmes offer pupils a uniquely "actor's eye view" of a text of your choice. Mixing whole group activity, classic drama exercises, structured improvisation and grappling with the text, pupils will explore the backstory, meet some of the principal characters, bring to life key "landmark moments" and respond to "unseen scenes". Our approaches can be used to explore any of Shakespeare’s plays – but for Year 6 we particularly recommend "Macbeth", “Romeo and Juliet”, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “The Tempest”.
Macbeth in a Day! (Literacy)
One of our professional theatre practitioners will bring our specially abridged "Forty Five Minute Macbeth" and spend a day directing your pupils as they rehearse it. By the end of the day they'll have explored all the characters, mastered the verse and learnt the moves - and we'll also provide you with a list of cheap and/or easy to make costume and prop suggestions. And by the end of the day, you'll have a performance fit for an audience!
Note: Macbeth in a Day can accommodate a maximum of two classes in a single day.
Those pupils who claim they don’t like poetry will be writing furiously at the end of this magical workshop. Realising the power of “sound”, they’ll design and perform two contrasting soundscapes, working to topics/themes of your choice. We’ll then guide them through a structure supporting them in crafting richly descriptive poems that tell both individual and collective stories.
Longer workshops will also see pupils gaining experience in presentation skills as we support them in exploring the most effective ways to deliver their poems vocally.
CSI: Reading Skills
Students who tell us they don’t like “reading” are always amazed when they realise quite how much skilful reading they’ve accomplished by the end of this fun and busy workshop. From inference and deduction to skimming and scanning, from previewing to predicting and from context to content, CSI: Reading Skills makes no bones in drawing connections between the everyday skills required to interpret infographics and play computer games and those required to delve into more formal texts.
Specifically designed to support students in making those connections between different ways of “reading”, CSI: Reading Skills sees them working in small teams to help out in a time of national emergency – because a briefcase containing some Top Secret plans was discovered on the 8.42 to Little Padworth, destined for an Enemy Power. The only clues to the identity of the traitor are to be found in a pile of old train tickets, recipe, book reviews and faded photographs. If “read” correctly, however, they’ll allow the pupils to discover who took the plans and why.
From Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon to the photographs sent back by Juno on its historic and ongoing mission to Jupiter, we’re all entranced by our neighbours in the solar system. And space exploration nowadays, of course, is a collaborative and multinational affair, bringing the world closer together. Taking things one step further, this intriguing workshop asks pupils to imagine the day when interplanetary tours are possible. Informed by the endeavours of such new space actors as Virgin Galactic and Space X, they’ll plan, prepare and present short plays exploring the problems posed by visiting the sulphurous volcanoes of Venus, the gaseous storms of Saturn or the icy plains of Pluto. Just remember one thing: “In space, no-one can hear you scream …”
Thinking Back, Looking Forward: The Story so Far...
As your new Year 7s look forward to the next phase of their lives, this workshop offers them space to reflect on what they’ve gained from primary school and what they’re looking forward to about secondary school. After participating in creative activities allowing them to reflect on both the past and the future, they’ll design book covers for the story of their lives so far. What will their designs tell us about them and their achievements and, perhaps more importantly, what exciting plot twists will the blurb on the back promise…?
Outcomes: Individually designed book covers; a consideration of personal achievement and aspirations.
Cross-Curricular Links: Art, literacy, DT
"Thanks for your energy and enthusiasm – were really looking forward to the final performance" (Year 6 teacher, Mosspits Primary School)
After working individually to create their own cardboard ‘tiles’, celebrating their personal strengths, pupils will collaborate to produce an overarching design for a rich and stimulating collective banner that can be displayed in the school.
Outcomes: Individualised cardboard tiles designed and hand-crafted by the children (which will then be produced into a collective banner); a consideration of personal strengths.
Cross-Curricular Links: Art, literacy, DT
“I really can’t speak highly enough of what the as creatives team put together for my class – we’re really hoping to work with you again in the future!” (Class Teacher)
The Power of Puppets
Your new Year 7 pupils will be amazed at how easy it is to make our engaging and colourful sock-puppets from textiles, found materials and everyday objects. And you will be too, as they develop their mascots into characters who can guide them through life’s changes – and create simple puppet shows in which there are no hurdles that can’t be leaped!
Outcomes: Individualised textile puppets designed and hand-crafted by the children; increased motivation towards problem solving; increased peer support; increased understanding of narrative structure.
Cross-Curricular Links: Art, literacy, DT
Putting it into Words
We all know how difficult it can be to identify our own experiences and put them into words - so this delightful workshop helps Year 6s think back on their years with you through the “eyes” of a range of inanimate objects that have witnessed them growing up - the clock in the hall, perhaps, or the goalposts on the yard! We’ll support them in recalling the sounds, sights and scents of the past this way, then guide them through a process that will allow them to craft poignantly evocative poems. And in longer workshops we’ll give some guidance on performance, too, so that their verses can be shared with others.
Cross-Curricular Links: Art, literacy
"Jackson's approach was relaxed but well-paced. He quickly realised the ability of the children and responded to that." (Class Teacher)
Although we’ve given examples of topics, we’re also able to work with you to design your own Summer School programme.