SHINE on Saturdays combines hands-on, exciting learning with outside trips and creative lessons that expand and enrich the national curriculum. And behind the fun, there is a clear focus on improving attainment and raising aspirations.

And it works. Ofsted reports at several host schools have described SHINE on Saturday as “imaginative”, “effective” and “good value for money”. Students who were underperforming end up improving rapidly, regularly exceeding expectations. Some children, such as Samira, even overtake their classmates.

How it works

Each project is based at a school and works with 60 students. In some instances all students come from the host school; in others, students are drawn from a cluster of local schools. The projects are rigorous and well-resourced to provide students with high-quality learning experiences that complement and enrich the core curriculum in an accessible, engaging way.

London-based projects run for 30 Saturdays each year, providing the equivalent of five extra weeks of teaching and learning every year.

Hallé SHINE on Manchester projects run for 25 Saturdays each year, providing 125 hours of additional teaching per annum. In addition to the creative curriculum, Hallé SHINE has music at its core.

Key features

Every SHINE on Saturday project shares certain key features.

  • Targets students who need extra support, either in relation to their peers or their own academic potential
  • Sessions are designed to be more creative than the normal school week, but complement weekday learning
  • They have students and tutors (instead of pupils and teachers), with older students acting as peer mentors
  • Students work in small classes which are generally grouped by ability rather than age
  • Each term has a main theme, supported by investigative learning in literacy, mathematics, science and technology
  • The creative curriculum emphasises excitement, enrichment and activity-based learning
  • There is always a total commitment to attaining high standards, demonstrating improved performance and raising students’ expectations
  • Every session has clear learning outcomes as both its starting point and main focus.

A full list of SHINE’s Saturday projects can be found here.