During the summer holidays we welcomed lots of our new Year 7s to Northgate for our annual Flying Start Summer School, organised by Miss Lynn. This gave students the opportunity to experience a number of different subjects including English, Maths, Drama, PE, Music, Computing and First Aid, as well as getting to know each other and the school a bit more. Split into three groups, which students named ‘Sunset Lobsters’, ‘Shrek’s Sidekicks’ and ‘Marine Team’, students were supported by six of our fantastic Year 12s from Dereham Sixth Form.

The first morning began with some ‘getting to know you’ games and a bumper quiz. The Maths and English sessions were both, coincidentally, on the theme of Harry Potter. In Maths with Miss Theobald, students were looking at representations of 9 ¾, converting between galleons, sickles and knuts in Gringotts Bank and some Bertie Bott’s every flavour bean number puzzles. In the English session with Mrs Christie, students did some creative writing based around magical creatures. The final session with Miss Lynn in the Learning Hub involved learning more about each other and creating ‘get to know me’ posters.

Day two in Maths the Harry Potter theme continued and this involved using proportions to scale ingredients lists for various potions and then creating their own potions – there were certainly some wild imaginations on display with some fantastic potions created. Finally, students looked at reading timetables for the Knight Bus. In English, everyone got crafty, creating magical creature masks, bookmarks or Hogwarts house ties.  The third session involved some extremely competitive games of bench ball and dodgeball with Miss Lynn, new sports for some. In the afternoon there were two activities available. Groups first had the chance to be code breakers, looking at Morse Code, Pig Pen Ciphers, substitution codes and Caesar Ciphers. They worked in teams to crack codes and find out a bit more about the code breaking completed during World War II. The second activity was a Maths related treasure hunt. This allowed everyone to get to know the school a bit better as they ventured round with iPads in hands, scanning QR codes at various locations. Maths questions were answered, along with bonus questions in quite a competitive challenge. All in all, another great day was had.







Day three was a little different and involved a carousel of activities. There was the opportunity to create origami, decorate biscuits, create something for a time capsule and play a Pictionary style game. The Year 7s also got competitive in a few games of capture the flag.

On day four, there was a mini medics session with Mr MacDonald, where everyone learnt some basic first aid skills, including how to put someone in the recovery position, how to do CPR and basic bandaging skills. In Drama, with Miss Sanders, they looked at different ways to express themselves on stage, looking at facial expressions, voice, accent and more, and then had a go at creating small scenes themselves. The third session of the day was music, and involved the students putting their skills into practice on the ukulele. During the afternoon, the groups were put to test in an escape room style activity. They had to solve a number of puzzles, riddles and ciphers to gather clues, in order to uncover the location of a final prize.







On their final day, there was a computing session with Miss Brooks, where Year 7s were shown how to log in to their school accounts, including their school emails, which they then used to email Miss Lynn. They also had the chance to explore Google classroom, and complete a quiz. With Miss Sanders, it was time for a wellbeing session, where they explored emotions and looked at ways they can manage nerves and anxiety about starting high school. Their third session of the day was junk modelling and the students had to put their creativity to the test and create something related to school using a variety of recycling. They created a wide range of items, ranging from mini replicas of the school buildings to computers and lunchboxes. The week-long Summer School was finished by playing a number of group games including follow the leader and splat. The students were also awarded certificates for completing the week and completing ‘a flying start’ to their time at Northgate.

A big thank you to Miss Lynn for organising a fantastic Summer School and to all the staff who lead sessions and Sixth Form students for their amazing support of the groups. We hope everyone had a great time. We certainly enjoyed finding out a bit more about our new Year 7s and look forward to seeing them fly throughout their time at Northgate.

Here are some comments from those who attended the week:

“I really enjoyed coming to Summer School, and it has given me a boost of confidence for September.”
“Summer School has been a great way to make new friends before September, and I feel better knowing that there will be lots of familiar faces in my year group.”
“Summer School has made me really excited to start high school!”
“Summer School was an amazing experience.”
“Summer School has made me feel better about finding my way around the school.”