The Bryanston Square Summer School is a flexible student-led programme aimed at year 7 students from diverse backgrounds. It’s designed to enhance young people’s aspiration, confidence and ultimately life chances.
Throughout an academic year we run a number of programmes with both primary and secondary schools – it gives us a real opportunity to create activities that have a real, proven impact on students. Whilst running a Summer School, we combine our rich experiences of working with students of all ages to enable a powerful transition period for Year 7 students before they join a new school.
Changing an environment is never easy and for most it’s scary. Summer School not only ensures a smooth transition for Year 7 students, it bonds them through a common goal with challenging activities they experience together. Participants understand themselves and others better and begin a school year with an extra dose of self-confidence and willingness to learn.
Throughout the project students work on creating a film about a chosen aspect of their local community as a team. Having developed ideas, they are challenged to arrange visits to capture material. We purposefully put students in relatively complex environments to allow their flexibility with only a little support from our team. They not only learn how to use new technologies, most importantly they learn a lot from the people they meet.
One of the unexpected outcomes is the impact on teaching staff. Once they return after the summer break and see what participants have achieved (through watching their movies and interacting with them), they often realise that their new students are far more capable and creative than their primary school data suggested. This shifts their mind sets and gives everyone a great start to the school year.
The programme can take up to 2-weeks (depending on a school’s needs), connecting up to 30 students with new peers, their teachers as well as a local community. Each programme is tailored to a school’s goals for their students – we tend to spend some time understanding their needs in order to adjust the activities for its participants.
Bryanston Square also assists schools in acquiring funding for Summer School projects.