Summer classes help pupils get ready for daunting move

�The government has unveiled a �50million pot to fund summer schools to help youngsters in Camden.

One school to benefit is Haverstock secondary in Haverstock Hill, which has successfully been running and self-funding a summer school for primary pupils for the last 15 years.

Up to �500 is available to pay for two weeks of summer school for each year six child on free school meals transferring to Haverstock.

This year they are running seven week-long summer schools for children who will join the secondary school in September.

Each session specialises in a particular subject, with options including performing arts, media, sports, literacy and numeracy courses.

Nikki Haydon, business manager for the school, said: “It’s important to make the kids feel safe and confident as well as to develop their skills. It makes the transition [from primary to secondary school] as easy as possible.”

Last week 22 pupils attended the school’s performing arts course, where they learned how to film and edit movie trailers as well as act.

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Charlie Thompson, 10, of St Michael’s CofE Primary in Camden Town said: “I found it good because we have an opportunity to use cameras.

“I’ve been making a trailer about a boy who gets possessed. It’s very exciting.”

Ikram Ali, 11, of Argyle School in King’s Cross, said: “I think the summer school is a good idea. You can have fun while learning. It’s interesting to learn new things. I enjoy editing and doing things on computers.”

Adara Tyler-Ahmed, 11, of Kingsgate Primary in West Hampstead, added: “It’s been fun filming and editing.”

They all said they were feeling more confident about making the move to secondary school.


“I’ve got a group of friends now from doing this,” explained Charlie. “I feel more comfortable about coming to the school.”

“I can find my way around now,” added Ikram. “My friends can help me, so I’m not really worried about starting in September.”

Meanwhile Adara said the people in her group had become “close friends”.

“Four of them will be in my form so I will know people when I start,” she said.

Jane Knight, head of Haverstock School’s media department, said: “The aim is to get the children comfortable at the school. On the first day they are quite nervous.

“With the school programme you get students to think creatively.”

Teacher Ellie Davies, deputy head of the media department, added: “It’s a wonderful opportunity for students to create a film from inception to the finished product so they understand the processes.

“It’s also about building confidence. Some have learning difficulties and find it difficult to make friends.”

Ten schools in Haringey will also benefit from funding, including Highgate Wood Secondary and Hornsey School for Girls in Crouch End and Greig City Academy in Hornsey.