Posted on: 28 August 2020
This year’s Summer Xtra @TPS took on added importance in supporting a smooth transition for our new Year 7s. Taking place last week, the action kicked off in style for the Class of 2025 with a fantastic array of activities delivered by the TPS staff. The sessions included a combination of physical, creative and team building challenges designed to develop the pupils’ confidence, ignite their enthusiasm for learning and provide an opportunity for them to get to know the staff and the other pupils in their year group.
Despite some changeable weather, the pupils enjoyed working in the outdoor classroom building camp fires, whittling tent pegs and maintaining the surrounding horticulture area by tending to the flowerbeds and de-weeding the greenhouse. Pupils also completed a series of socially distanced PE games on the 3g pitch and hard courts, including footgolf, tennis and kickball rounders.
The new cohort were also put through their paces in a series of gymnastics workshops designed to improve their strength, balance and coordination. As TPS is renowned for its performing arts, the staff were keen to give the pupils a taste of what’s to come in September by offering a drumming masterclass, some Bhangra dancing, a rapping skills session and drama tasks to help the pupils bond within their new tutor groups.
It wasn’t all physical exertion though, as the pupils were challenged to break some ‘top secret’ codes, use deduction skills to solve puzzles, learn how to use a compass and use clues to hunt for precious religious artefacts strategically placed around the school. Meanwhile the more serene activities enabled the Year 7s to show their creative side, and practise mindfulness. The pupils decorated their own theatre masks, painted rocks, invented their own Greek gods, produced watercolour paintings and took part in a yoga workshop.
As always, the STEM and science tasks provided show-stopping demos to spark the pupils’ imagination, and no doubt these built the excitement levels ready for the start of term. The pupils enjoyed measuring the energy levels when burning different types of crisps, they programmed Sphero robots, saw the hair-raising impact of static electricity, made their own solar ovens and launched paper rockets that flew the length of the sports field (well some did..).
Ali Whitehouse, Head of Lower School Progress, said, “The pupils applied themselves incredibly well throughout Summer Xtra. The staff were blown away by their application and the ERA (Enjoy Respect Achieve) values they demonstrated, supporting each other at the start of their journey into their new school.”