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. Portsmouth South MP, Stephen Morgan, The Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Councillor David Fuller, the Lady Mayoress 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 eighteen girls from local primary schools undertaking an array of tasks each weekend. Put into groups of two the girls were set the task of ‘building their own country.’ Pupils from St Swithun’s Primary, St John’s Primary, Milton Park Primary, Highbury Primary, St Jude’s Primary, Cottage Grove Primary and Newbridge Primary schools took part.
The finale 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 geography.
‘It has been a tough job being a judge with such talent in our city schools,’ said Stephen Morgan MP. ‘Well done to all pupils for taking part!’
‘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. In seven years of judging this was the most difficult by far.’
The winning team was Marie, 10 from St Swithun’s Primary and Tahaani, 10, from St Jude’s Primary with their presentation called ‘Polar Island’ with the judges commenting on the clarity of their delivery and care taken of the island’s population including issuing warm jumpers. Polar Island was described by the girls as shaped like a polar bear, with rivers and forests stretching for mile with the country standing for equal rights and environmental protection.
‘I think that Fun on Saturday has been really fun,’ said Marie. ‘I loved making the shield and extracting the salt in science. It is great to win as our Polar Island is the best country in the world.’
‘I loved geography,’ added Tahaani. ‘That is where we planned everything we were going to do. I am so happy to win but I also want to say congratulations to all the other girls who took part.’
Mrs Mitchell, mother of Marie, added:
‘Thank you so much to St Swithun’s and The High School for working together to give the girls this wonderful opportunity. Marie has really enjoyed the last few weeks and grasped every opportunity for devising a new country. Thank you also to the judges who gave up their time to judge and have so encouraged the girls.’
‘We are sad this has finished,’ said Mrs Valentine, mother of Lily. She has had such an amazing time. Thank you Portsmouth High for running this wonderful programme.’