Catch Up With Friends - Summer School

King James I Academy Summer School 2021

“Catch Up with Friends”

The “Catch Up with Friends” Summer School at King James I Academy ran between 19th -23rd July 2021.

The program was designed to enable Year 6 students from local primary schools who would be joining King James I in September 2021 and built on the success of previous unfunded Summer Schools. The Offer was made available to 170 students in Year 6 who had been allocated places. Following the initial take up, this was then extended to students within the (then) current Year 7 who had missed out the previous year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Attendance at the Summer School was as follows:


Monday 19th July

Tuesday 20th July

Wednesday 21st July

Thursday 22nd July

Friday 23rd July

Students Attending






Disadvantaged Students







The Summer School had 2 distinct aspects to it; For the first two days, students remained in the Academy. Wherever possible, activities took place outside, but were a mix of academic and social experiences. These activities were delivered exclusively by Academy staff and enabled students to access various areas of the curriculum, including English, Maths, Geography, Languages, Food Technology, Drama and Physical Education, effectively acting as a bridging unit between the Primary and Secondary curriculum, promoting student wellbeing, whilst also enabling the students to meet and socialise with other Year 6 students from different schools. The final 3 days of the event were planned as a residential experience at the Weardale Activity Centre. Due to the local and national picture of increasing Covid infection rates at the end of the summer term, it was decided that this residential experience would be adapted, and students would travel to the Centre daily using Academy minibuses, rather than stay overnight. Parents responded positively to this adaptation and students were able to fully access the range of Activities available.

Lunch was provided daily for all students who attended, including during the Outdoor Activities which were also supported by Academy staff.

The total cost of the Summer School was £16,000, which was funded through a Department for Education Grant. Costings can be broken down as follows:

Required Support


Weardale Activity Centre


Staffing Costs


Transport Costs


Food costs


Additional curriculum Resources


Total Costs

£16, 000

Examples of student and parent feedback can be seen below: 



Ashton really enjoyed the summer school! He was excited for the new activities each day and he loved the challenge and new experiences offered to him. He made new friends and still talks about some of his achievements at summer school.” 



Jack was able to meet a lot of the pupils from all the other schools who will be in his year group next year for the first time, this helped Jack prepare for his step up to secondary school in September knowing he had already made some really good friends at summer school.” 



Chloe shocked me at just how well she fitted in during summer school, coming from a small village and being the only girl from her primary school coming to King James, we had concerns about how quickly she would build new friendships, this happened from day one of summer school and she has since met up with friends during the summer holidays” 



I really liked all the different activities that were offered, I loved the days at Weardale where we got to do rock-climbing and canoeing. I met loads of new people and made lots of friends” 



“I loved the river walk at Weardale because we went down the superman slide and we had to do a trust fall into the river, this was really fun. We played sardines and had lots of fun”.



“In school was fun and a good chance to look around the school for the first time, Weardale was cool with loads of different things we could try like river walking and climbing and making our own bush fires” 


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