As Gorringe Park Year 6 pupils are gearing up for their SATs exams, the first week of their Easter school holiday has been dedicated to booster classes in Maths and English to give them some extra help. YMCA was asked by Mitcham Cluster Development & Project Manager Madeleine Swords to follow the booster classes with lunchtime and afternoon activities to inject some fun into the week, funded by a grant from the local authority.
“It’s an anxious time for some children, so it’s good to have an opportunity to reward them with activities which boost their confidence and with which they can have fun,” says Myke Catterall, Head of Children’s Work at YMCA London South West (LSW).
This is the second year that YMCA LSW has helped Gorringe Park Primary School support their Year 6 pupils and the activities range from den building, tie-dyeing, Zumba, yoga, woodwork and campfire skills. Even these fun activities feature an educational slant, “With the den building, the pupils were given imaginary money to buy resources for the den building and had to buy what they needed and negotiate in a pretend marketplace,” explains Myke Catterall.
All the activities have focussed on teamwork and ensuring children have the opportunity to complement each other. “We encouraged the children to praise each other,” says Myke Catterall, “this helps to boost each other’s self-esteem, which is so important at this transitional age from primary school to secondary school.”