A few weeks’ ago SHINE’s Head of Fundraising, Pip, visited two of our SHINE projects in Tottenham with Nicky Dzialak from Fossil, one of SHINE’s corporate partners. SHINE has been supporting Gladesmore Community school for the last four years, to run SHINE in Secondaries each week on a Saturday. More recently, a SHINE on Saturday project has also been set up at the next door primary school, which runs alongside the Gladesmore project and makes use of the excellent facilities at the secondary school.
The Fossil Foundation, a corporate foundation set up by the Fossil Group to help disadvantaged young people in their local area, is supporting the project at Gladesmore Community School this year. Thanks to The Fossil Foundation’s support, over 60 students from Year 7 attend the SHINE programme each week, where they are given additional tutoring, inspirational teaching and participate creative activities and trips to enhance their education and improve their attitude to learning.
Pip and Nicky’s visit was a great opportunity to see SHINE’s work in action. In one group, the students were learning about the Magna Carter in the lead up to their trip to the Houses of Parliament at the end of the term. The session involved creating mind-maps to capture all the facts they were learning, that was then going to help them in a team quiz. The students were also creating a healthy eating campaign for the school, and were testing different foods in their science class to find out what was in them.
The primary school sessions were also fun and creative environments for learning. One Teacher had identified that telling the time was difficult for a number of students, so she created a challenge where the students had to search for as many clues as they could around the classroom and then answer the questions with the correct time. It was also the lead up to Chinese New Year, so in their English classes, the students were learning facts about China and the origins of the New Year celebrations, and using these to create their own books.
It was evident that these activities kept children engaged and that they were enjoying learning – even though it was a Saturday! Speaking with the Head Teacher at Gladesmore, it’s clear to see why the project is such a success. A number of the Teachers were previously students at the school and for many Teachers their children attend the school now. As a result of this connection, the Teachers have a real drive to see the school and students succeed and this shows in their passion and the effort they put into running SHINE. One of the ex-students now comes back every Saturday to teach Tai Kwan Do to the SHINE students, and each week a group of Year 10 students volunteer to help organise the sessions, the activities, and setting up lunch.
As ever, it was a very inspiring visit and SHINE is grateful for the hard work of all the Teachers we partner with. We’re also very grateful for the continued support of the Fossil Foundation and excited about the future opportunities to work with them more. We are now planning a visit to Fossil’s headquarters in Milton Keynes, where some of the students from Gladesmore will get first-hand experience of an international branding and design company. What an opportunity!