Chemicals manufacturer AkzoNobel is working in association with the government-funded Ashington Learning Partnership on a summer school programme to help develop students’ maths and English skills.
The programme aims to give students a chance to get ahead before they return to secondary school studies in September.
Pupils from Bothal and Hirst Park Middle Schools will be given the chance to take part in the programme which focuses on learning to use maths and English skills practically.
Andy Gaskell, director of enterprise and vocational studies at the Ashington Learning Partnership, is coordinating the ALP Summer School programme this year.
On opening the programme, he said: “The Department for Education Summer Schools are fantastic, their challenge-based approach helps students start secondary education ready to learn. Evidence shows that there can be a dip in performance for pupils as they transfer from primary school to secondary school.
“Pupils falling behind at this stage sometimes never catch up and so it’s vital that we work in partnership with local business, such as AkzoNobel, to address this challenge, and better prepare the workforce of the future. We value AkzoNobel’s keen interest in supporting our Summer School programme, particularly given their presence in Ashington and the North East.”
Week one of the programme looks at team building as groups work on a ‘This is a Creative Enterprise’ project where they develop a comic to promote the South East Northumberland area.
Part of the task involves an open top bus tour capturing images of the local area’s iconic sites, including the AkzoNobel manufacturing facility where construction is almost at an end.
In the second week pupils will develop their comics further and eventually visit Potts Printers in Cramlington to see their final comic book creations printed.
Andy Jackson, project director for the AkzoNobel Ashington facility, welcomed the programme.
“Given our presence here in the North East, and the countdown to the opening of our manufacturing facility in Ashington next year, we’re keen to be involved in a programme where we can see a direct way to inspire a future generation.
“AkzoNobel is all about being connected and engaged with the community. For us, we see a value through the ALP in being able to show students that there are great opportunities to work in international companies right on their doorstep. From today’s visit we can see that another highlight was meeting the Dulux dog.”