The HOA funded 11 school programmes and 10 community programmes to deliver a creative holiday and ‘return to school’ programme focused on vulnerable children.  Over 600 young people have already taken part in school based programmes and over 90 families have taken part in activities delivered within the community.  The programmes varied and included sports, arts and forest school activities. Many of these embedded maths, literacy and other academic subjects within them, enabling children to take part in important learning alongside having the opportunity to take part in wider enrichment activities.  A number of programmes were specifically focused around children and young people’s mental health.  

Programmes included:

  • a programme of holiday enrichment activities delivered by Torfield and Saxon Mount Academy Trust; 
  • an SEN Summer school in year group bubbles at St Leonards Academy which was run as part of an extensive Summer programme and which included an Eggtooth summer school for new year 7 pupils involving cooking, theatre and sports and additional English and Maths small group tuition and workshops for core groups of pupils;
  • a Summer transition school delivered at St Leonards CE Academy for 30 children who were anxious about returning to school. The activities were delivered and picked with the children and parents’ anxiety in mind and included forest school activities, sports and play supported by some EFT staff; and
  • A number of Summer booster sessions, at Chrischurch Academy delivered across  year groups which included catch up tuition  arts and crafts.

Other activities that were delivered by community providers working with schools included:

  • Go Wild :Summer Forest school at West St Leonards delivered by Education Futures Trust where 50 children from years 4 and 5 took part in a Forest School programme;
  • Forest school and play sessions delivered by In2 Play, with year 5 and 6 children attending weekly sessions delivered at the Adventure playground;
  • Theatre Rotto puppet theatre where children from The Baird took part in 14 sessions with students who had been out of school since March .The Children were taught skills in puppetry-making, 3D and shadow puppets and created scenery and props for the final performance “What the Dickens”; 
  • Eggtooth project, which delivered emotional well-being support to 20 families from Sandown school; and
  • Culture Shift who ran ‘Space to Create’ and ‘Rise and Shine’ family arts projects during August in Ore, Robsack, the Town Centre and Central St Leonards.

A number of programmes will continue into the autumn terms to sustain the support and help the children settle back into school.

Feedback from students and parents has been extremely positive with parents appreciating the break and the opportunities the programmes gave their children as well as the confidence it gave them to return to school after lockdown. Children reporting enjoying the activities and seeing their friends again, with many reporting that they have moved from feeling apprehensive about returning to school to looking forward to getting back. School staff reported that they valued the time to assess the children and put their covid19 procedures into practice. 

In addition to these programmes the HOA was able to fund 9 schools to buy additional IT equipment or staff training to improve the quality of their remote or home learning provision, should students have to work from home at any stage in the future. This programme will build on the learning from lockdown and help schools and pupils sustain and continue their learning in the event of future self-isolation or local lockdowns.