Fulwood Academy open during the summer holidays to help students prepare for “learning after lockdown”

School may have been out for summer, but during the holiday break hundreds of students from Fulwood Academy returned to school to help them prepare for their return after the Covid enforced lockdown.

For four weeks of the break, Fulwood Academy opened their doors every day to allow individual year groups to start to reintegrate back into full-time education. To ensure that students were appropriately “bubbled”, each year group was invited to return on separate days to take part in activities ranging from cooking and art classes to a range of exciting sporting opportunities. 

Dave Lancaster, Principal, said: “The impact that lockdown has had on our students has been significant. As well as having to evolve to new learning methods, students have also missed the social interaction and the relationships that they have with staff and their peers. We know from all of the pastoral calls we did with our students that this was starting to impact on their health, confidence and wellbeing.

“That is why we wanted to do something that helped bridge the gap between the end of term and our students returning to school. While we are so proud of our students for how they adapted to online learning, they have been out of the routine of school since March. They were really missing that.”

In total, about 30 students a day selected to come to school, with nearly 600 individual sessions being completed over the four weeks.

Reece, from last year’s Year 7, said: “Before the summer school I was really nervous about coming to school again. I didn’t know what to expect, and I wasn’t sure if my teachers would be different. Being able to come in has been great as I have been able to see my friends again – and it was good being one of only 30 students in the whole school.”

Kimberly, who is moving into Year 11 said: “I live a bit further out, so I hadn’t been able to see my friends much since lockdown started to ease.  I did archery, sports and programmed my own computer game, I haven't seen any of my friends for over 5 months and this let me safely do that".

Mr Lancaster praised the academy’s staff, which is part of the Dunstone Education Trust, for their support. “We could not have done this if our brilliant staff hadn’t been 100% behind this initiative. 

“They have worked tirelessly throughout lockdown. When we originally put the idea of the summer school to them, we didn’t expect so many people to want to support it. They are testament to the caring ethos of this school.”

“As a community we have already offered food parcels, IT support and done all that we can to be a central hub for our families. I am proud to be part of such a strong group of people.”