Posted on: September 2nd 2021


Sun and fun for students at Summer School

Tag archery, a climbing wall, basketball, Chichester Festival Theatre workshop, English and maths lessons, a trip to the Novium Museum and the Planetarium all helped make up part of an enrichment programme for the new year 7s.


The former primary school pupils joining Chichester High School in September were treated to a full week of activities held by teachers, transition buddies and one of the student presidents at the school and outside bodies.

The week began with a cloudy Monday morning and nervous faces, but by the afternoon the sun had made a full appearance along with personalities and new friendships were quickly formed.

Groups were made up predominately of new tutor groups with around 22 teachers offering support and making a safe but fun learning environment. Every pupil received a high school purple t-shirt, a water bottle and an activity booklet which they received stickers for with every complete lesson.

Head of Year 7, Bella Thomas said Summer School was the perfect opportunity for the student’s transition to high school. She said: “This week has been fantastic for the pupils, not only for a smooth transition in to their new school year but also for a way to get to know each other and some of the teachers they will see next week.


“Myself and my colleagues have been really impressed with the high standards of behaviour, strong team work and kindness displayed by our new students all week and special awards were presented by those high achievers and those that went above and beyond in their groups and every student received a Summer School badge and participation certificate. I look forward to welcoming them to the Chichester High School community at the start of the autumn term.”

The mornings began with maths lessons covering a variety of topics such as Olympics, survival, the Romans, Space and Theatre designed to introduce to the students to studying at the school and the way lessons are formed. The survival lesson involved pupils looking at and calculating bearings, while the topic of space included calculating distances and scales and Miss Gault taught pupils how to build strong structures using spaghetti and marshmallows.

After break, English teachers all taught a lesson based around a school book including; Savage Girl, The Loneliest Girl In The World, Blade and Bone, Eleven Eleven and The Windrush Child. English teachers at Chichester High School provided the texts and asked children to think creatively and academically with specific questions and tasks to follow.

Vice-Principle Julie Silcock said: “The aim of Summer School was to provide catch-up, enrichment and support for our New Year 7 and therefore we structured the day in a specific way.

“The focus for the start of the day was well- being with activities to raise confidence and provide social opportunities to make friends with new peers. The morning sessions everyday were academic catch-up with lessons in English and Maths but with themes woven in linking to the afternoon enrichment.

“Every afternoon was different for the pupils and allowed us to make use of some great opportunities culturally which Chichester had. The pupils have had a really fun, varied, sociable experience which has set them up positively for the start of their school life at Chichester High School - we have been so impressed with their enthusiasm.

“It could not have been possible without the staff who gave up part of their Summer holidays very willingly and they have built up wonderful relationships already with our new cohort.”


Enrichment activities filled the student’s afternoon and included a trip to The Novium Museum in Tower Street. Staff were on hand to show exhibits to the pupils, including the Roman artefacts found locally including mosaics and a Roman coffin. After, staff were on hand to take the children on a guided tour around the city, including the Roman walls, Priory Park and the Guildhall and the Market Cross.

Talking about the visit, one pupil remarked how interesting the museum was. They said: “I hadn’t been to the museum before but I really enjoyed learning about the Romans and the bath house.”

Public Programme Engagement Officer, Portia Tremlett said: “The children have been absolutely lovely to see over the holidays, and have taken a keen interest in the museum and Chichester’s Roman history.”

The South Downs Planetarium which is situated at the back of the school field saw children learning interesting facts from principal lecturer and founding trustee, Dr John Mason around space, the solar system, former Chichester High School student and astronaut, Tim Peake and neighbouring galaxies.

“It was a great pleasure to welcome the incoming Year 7s of Chichester High School to the Planetarium,” Dr Mason said. “We all had a really good time and they asked some great questions.  I think it is very important for young people to have the opportunity to think about our place in the wider Universe and to appreciate what a very special place our planet Earth actually is.  I hope that many of them will go on to be the scientists and engineers of the future.”


A theatre workshop was held by Vicky Paine, Theatre Practitioner from Chichester Festival Theatre with activities designed to help the groups to get to know each other and build in confidence including introductions and talking about hobbies and some acting. By the end of the session, pupils worked in groups to put on a performance which they had written and directed.

Vicky said: “It was a joy to work with the new year 7 cohort at Chichester High School. I planned a theatre skills workshop that would enable all students to participate to develop communication skills, confidence and teamwork. They were wonderfully engaged and worked very well together. I wish them all the very best for a positive start to year 7 and a successful future moving forward.”
Ben Williams, Director of Altitude Events supported pupils on the climbing wall. He was impressed with the behaviour and ability of the new high school students. He said: “The groups have done really well.  Almost every child has put on a harness and had a go, it’s one of the biggest percentages we’ve seen in a long time.

“This activity is a really good one for the children to learn about perseverance and not giving up. It’s not just a physical activity, it’s also about using their brain and eyes and telling themselves to try. You can’t get an idea of what it’s like until you have a go.”

Meanwhile, PE Teacher, Nick Carroll helped students with tag archery, a fun game using soft arrows and inflatables to hide behind. He said: “The students have all learnt how to fire an arrow correctly and then engaged in exciting combat games. Archery tag is a crossover between paintball and dodgeball, the students have all excelled in capture and evasion techniques.”