SACRED Heart Catholic Primary’s summer school was a hit with youngsters again this year.

The Leigh summer school improves the lives of young people, giving them a chance to experience fresh challenges and building up their confidence.

Aimed at primary school-aged children, the summer school features a week-long programme which ranges from practical skills-based activities such as learning how to make breakfast and lunch, through to arts and crafts workshops, and focuses on giving children in need of extra support an added boost to their confidence.

Deputy head teacher at Sacred Heart, Jennifer Warner, has organised the summer school over the past five years and has seen the difference it makes to children as they settle into the first term of the new academic year.

She said: “Every year we explore a different theme as a means of engaging children and making the learning experience more fun.

"In previous years, we’ve focussed on media and broadcasting, the circus and local heritage.

"The theme for this year’s summer school was the natural environment, and as in previous years, we took the children out on day trips during the week in order to broaden their horizons.

"They thoroughly enjoyed their outdoor learning experiences at Lilford Park and Brockholes Country Reserve.

"They especially loved the pond-dipping where they were able to discover all about the fascinating creatures that inhabit wetland environments.

"The children had access to cameras so they could create a record of their experiences, played hide and seek and explored the woodlands.

“Back at school, the children took part in crafts workshops and were taught how to ride a bike.

"Throughout the week, the children were encouraged to learn through play, developing their literacy and numeracy skills, as well as learning life skills such as sharing and team-building.

"It’s a privilege to see how they grow in self-esteem and bloom during the course of the week.”

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The scheme is once again supported by Leigh Neighbours, the Lottery-funded community project based in Leigh West which champions and sponsors people in their efforts to improve the area.

Chairwoman of Leigh Neighbours Susan Gredecki said: “Sacred Heart Summer School supports children outside of their academic curriculum, giving them a boost as they move up to their new school year.

"The week of learning in a relaxed and fun environment helps them develop some of the ‘softer’ skills as well as supplementing what they learn in the classroom.

"And of course it was an opportunity to embark on new adventures and make new friends!

"For the board members of Leigh Neighbours, it’s a delight to support this kind of initiative in the community which makes such a difference in building young people’s aspirations and giving them an opportunity to shine.”

Head of Sacred Heart Helen Ahmed added: “We selected around 50 pupils, including 20 children specifically from the Leigh Neighbours project area, who we felt had the potential to derive the greatest benefit from this fabulous opportunity.

"We’re delighted that the children flourished over the course of the Summer School, growing in confidence and making great strides in their personal development.”

A film about Sacred Heart Summer School is available to watch online and can be found by following the links from Leigh Neighbours website,