Summer School

Moving into secondary years is a big step and usually students would have many opportunities to visit the academy, to meet new staff and get to know what is expected of them. As the pandemic meant none of this could happen in the summer term we were delighted when the DfE announced significant funding to support Year 6 into Year 7 transition. With the enthusiasm and commitment of a dedicated team, we were able to invite every new Year 7 student into the academy to support them with this transition. They took part in four themed days, three taking their name from the academy vision, and one reflecting our desire to instil a strong pride of place.


The first day of Summer School was on the theme #valued. It provided us with a great opportunity to welcome our new students into the Bede family and to get them used to some of our routines, and provide familiarity with the layout of the site. They had photos taken with the house mascots, decorated biscuits, created an “all about me” profile, went on a Bede treasure hunt and carried out a science practical. There was a fabulous atmosphere between staff and students, and a real buzz as house competitiveness took hold at this early stage! Students were able to end the day with a reflection about what they had learnt and recognised that they were valuable members of the Bede community. 


Building resilience was the overriding message of the day! Doing hard things is worthwhile; although it may challenge and frustrate us at first, it always brings about a sense of achievement and pride. We started the day with skiing lessons on the dry slope at Silksworth, the learning curve was steep, with exciting falls, often causing a domino effect on other students!! Yet, within the first hour our fabulous instructors had everyone skiing down the slopes under their own steam and enjoying a feeling of exhilaration. We then quickly headed to the Quayside of Gateshead, marvelling at the beautiful bridges connecting the town with its bigger sister Newcastle. We had private studios in the Baltic Art Gallery, with talented local artists who encouraged us to experiment and develop our artistic streaks. Workshops included creating tiny dolls, articulating body parts and abstract self-portraits, all inspired by exhibitions we had viewed within the galleries. Year 7 were fabulous, an absolute pleasure to take outside the academy and I know they have followed previous year groups in being perfect ambassadors for Bede.


Our #inspired days saw students travel to Lindisfarne to follow in the footsteps of the Venerable Bede, St Aidan, St Cuthbert and St Oswald. It was an amazing opportunity for many students to visit a part of Northumberland they had not been to before. The day was truly cross-curricular with students studying the history and engineering of the priory, creating sea-scapes in jars, making a pilgrimage to St Cuthbert’s Island, meeting the statues of house saints (and learning a little bit about them) and participating in meditation and reflection. Students worked as a team to complete the tasks whilst getting to know some of their new teachers. The student’s behaviour was impeccable and many members of the public complimented the students and were envious of the opportunities offered to the students during week. I hope the day inspired students to be proud of their house saints and in the story of Bede.  


Our #LoveBlyth day was all about exploring our local community and appreciating what it has to offer. Students spend the day visiting a wide range of engineering industries and focusing on how Blyth is developing into an engineering hub nationally and internationally. Visits to the Port of Blyth gave students an understanding of renewable energy and a profound sense of pride in the ground-breaking technology developed on their doorsteps that will go on to have a significant impact in improving sustainable energy. Students took part in a coding session using Crumble software and learned how to programme their own wind turbine. Students also visited the Blyth Tall Ships and got to explore the Williams II, this inspired many of the students to explore their local heritage further. MP Ian Levey kindly let us visit and ask him some questions about the future of Blyth. Students were thrilled to hear all about the Blyth town developments and are looking forward to seeing some of the exciting changes ahead. Texo, Drager and Tharsus also hosted visits and gave students an inside into potential future career opportunities. Students particularly enjoyed learning about drones, robotics and how engineering is used to support our emergency services. The day ended with a practical activity in the academy workshop where students experimented with the properties of polymers to create their own #LoveBlyth themed keyring which was inspired by the beautiful views and innovative technologies they had explored. Finally, students worked together to write and record their own news broadcast to inform others about what makes Blyth such an amazing place to live.  


The final day was an opportunity for students to showcase what they had learned both about the academy and about themselves. Students took to the stage to present to their parents and afterwards were rewarded with a community fun day.

The house mascot race across the 100ft inflatable obstacle course was a particular highlight.

Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, and students appreciated the opportunity to get to know the academy, their teachers and alleviate any new school nerves.

You can see what students got up to here, or by following us @bedeacademy on Twitter.

Summer School Funding

Bede Academy had an allocation of £57,000 for summer school provision with the aim of delivering a short summer school with a blend of academic education and enrichment activities. The total claim for this summer school was £50,281.32 and a breakdown of these costs can be found below:

Description Cost