Portsmouth High School’s six week Fun on Saturday programme closed last weekend with a grand finale of presentations delivered by the children to an audience of parents, staff and families. Local MP, Stephen Morgan, The Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Councillor Lee Mason and Councillor Rob Wood, cabinet member for children and families, judged the presentations and awarded prizes to the winning team.
‘The key objective of the programme was to support Year 5 able, gifted and talented learners in local schools in a manner that extends the curriculum opportunities available,’ said Mr Graeme Field, Assistant Head at Portsmouth High School and programme coordinator.
The Fun on Saturday programme, which has been running since early January, hosted sixteen girls from local primary schools undertaking an array of tasks each weekend. Put into groups of two or three the girls were set the task of ‘building their own country.’ Pupils from St Swithun’s Primary, St John’s Primary School, Milton Park Primary, Cottage Grove Primary, St Jude’s Primary, Highbury Primary and Northern Parade Primary schools took part.
‘The finale of the Fun on Saturday programme saw the judges watching excellent presentations from the children who have been engaged throughout the programme. Comments from teachers and parents have emphasised how the young people have developed confidence and self-assurance as well as their knowledge in a range of subjects including mathematics, science, English and design technology.’
‘This is such a wonderful way to encourage many children across the city to broaden their horizons,’ said Councillor Wood. ‘I have thoroughly enjoyed judging these excellent presentations. The quality of them was fantastic.’
The winning team was Joan Fincham, 9 from St Swithun’s, Lauren Bull, 9 from Milton Park and Molly DuCro, 10 from St Jude’s Primary School with their country’s ethos of ‘reuse, reduce and recycle’. Their fun-packed world, ‘Birdland’, an eco-friendly nation promoting free healthcare and travel via a log flume, saw them win board games as prizes.
‘With our country I liked our idea that everyone could get a vote on things and there’s no judgement of how you look or what you sound like,’ said Lauren.
Mrs Wendy Fowler, Head of Milton Park Primary added, ‘It has been lovely to see children from my old school, Highbury Primary, working alongside children from my current school. It has been such an exciting programme for them; they loved the ‘hard maths’ week and I have seen a confidence in the children that I haven’t seen before. They have really risen to the challenge.’
Mr Matthew Dunn, teacher at St Swithun’s school said, ‘The girls from St Swithun’s have loved coming. They have been given opportunities and challenges which have pushed them out of their comfort zones.’