Just yesterday the ‘Opportunity Areas: building the foundations for success’ event took place in Parliament.
The event allowed a moment for all to celebrate the impact this programme is having to help more children and young people to achieve their full potential in life.
To mark the occasion two separate reports have been published.
The first of these is an independent evaluation of the implementation phase of the Opportunity Area programme. This found a number of successes in the approach being taken, and identified it is ‘starting to develop a lasting legacy’ of positive collaboration.
The second provides a snapshot of activity happening in each area to transform lives. From boosting access to mental health services in Hastings, increasing provision of extra-curricular activities in Doncaster for children in care and our very own Transition Week case study, showcasing the importance of curriculum focus during the move from primary to secondary school.
At the event guest speakers thanked those involved for their hard work and commitment over the last twelve months, and attendees heard directly from young people benefitting from initiatives put in place.
Improving social mobility is a complex, intergenerational issue, and nobody involved in this programme thinks that change will come easily, however everyone is surely determined to make a difference.
After spending the week heading into schools to see all the introductory lessons, and activities to prepare year 6 pupils for their start at high school come September, it was easy to see first hand how much work and effort goes into this and how useful it is for all involved.
From STEM activities to mindfulness circus skills, writing tasks to live dissections – the year 6 pupils were given a plethora of taster activities at their soon to be high schools. A total of 42 schools engaged with the project to ease transition between Primary and Secondary School.
Read our junior reporter interview here
The Department for Education have introduced a funded package to help schools recruit high quality maths and physics teachers from Canada, America, Australia and New Zealand.
Led by New World Scholars (Yorkshire Inclusive Teaching School Alliance) and supported by Randstad Education, you will be able to access great maths and physics teachers that have been fully vetted and are motivated to work in England. There is no recruitment fee for schools and candidates benefit from a fully funded acclimatisation programme run by experts.
Working together, New World Scholars and Randstad Education have developed an in-depth selection process to identify high quality applicants that will then be presented to your school.
Read further details
Boundary Primary School – Primary School of the Year 2018 award nominee
Since joining the school in 2016, headteacher Suzanne Ashton has watched the school go from strength to strength. Through hard work and sheer determination, implementing a new vision resulted in being nominated for a prestigious award.
Shortlisted in the UK for Primary School of the Year by the TES Educational Supplement, they reached a group of just 8 schools nominated for the award. Unfortunately Boundary were not successful in winning, however reaching that point was such an achievement alone! Well done to all for the hard work and effort.
Blackpool, as part of the Opportunity Area initiative has received a £1 million share of £22 million Department for Education funding to support activities that help to develop Essential Life Skills (ELS) amongst children and young people aged 5 -18 years old.
The ELS programme will support range of extra-curricular activities that develop non-cognitive abilities, including but not limited to:
• Resilience, perseverance and persistence
• Hard work, self-control, discipline, good time keeping
• Self-confidence, leadership and team working
• Honesty, integrity and engaged citizenship
• Attitude, respect and empathy
• Curiosity and problem solving
All Schools and Colleges in the area have been allocated funding, split over this and the next financial year for activities to take place up to August 2019. Schools and Colleges are required to set out their proposals for their ELS activity. All funded activities must be designed to work within, or in partnership with, schools/colleges in the Blackpool Opportunity Area.