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
Inspired by the work of Alan Turing and his fellow mathematicians at Bletchley Park (work that, it’s generally agreed, shortened World War II by a good couple of years), 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 a 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.
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 …”
Memory Lane – Year 6 Leavers Show
Working with professional theatre practitioners, your Year 6 pupils will be supported in remembering the things they’ve learnt, people they’ve met and the places they’ve been to while they’ve been at your primary school. They’ll then be introduced to a structure which will allow you and them to devise and script their very own year 6 leavers show. You’ll need to carry on rehearsing after we’ve gone - but you’ll have all the elements in place to produce a performance that’s guaranteed to wet the eyes of every member of the audience!
Outcomes: Personalised, tailored performance – but with a structure you can adapt for use in future years; opportunities for parents / carers / families to share in their children’s happy memories; acquisitioned skills in script writing, performance and stage management.
Cross Curricular links: literacy, Art, Music
Creating Clay Heads
What do sculptors do to transform a misshapen lump of clay into an animated mask? This workshop leads children through a step-by-step process allowing them to design their own lifelike (if scaled down) clay heads – that can later be painted and taken home.
Outcomes: Individualised clay heads designed and hand-crafted by the children; a consideration of personal strengths; an exploration of the changes that moving to the juniors might bring; an increased understanding of narrative structure.
Cross-Curricular Links: Art, literacy
"Thanks for your energy and enthusiasm – were really looking forward to the final performance" (Year 6 teacher, Mosspits Primary School)
Banners of Life
Using a range of drawing techniques, children will explore through participatory art the theme of transition. After working individually to create their own fabric ‘tiles’, they’ll collaborate again to produce an overarching design for a rich and stimulating collective banner that can be displayed in the school.
Outcomes: Individualised fabric tiles designed and hand-crafted by the children (which will then be produced into a collective banner); a consideration of personal strengths; an exploration of the changes that moving to the juniors might bring.
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 Year 6 pupils will be amazed at how easy it is to make our engaging and colourful 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
Thinking Back, Looking Forward
As your Year 6s 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 - all while creating a tangible legacy for those who will follow them. After participating in creative activities allowing them to reflect on both the past and the future, they’ll design, mould and paint clay tiles representing their thoughts - tiles that can be then laid out in school for others to see.
Cross-Curricular Links: Art, literacy, DT
"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 Transition workshop!
"From booking to presenting, the whole team have been very professional and friendly. I would recommend them to anyone!" Class Teacher