YOUNG people enjoyed a taste of life at secondary school.

As many children prepare to go back to school next week, Smithills School ­- along with many schools across the borough ­- staged a summer school.

Smithills School opened its doors for Year Seven children after the disruption they experienced during the pandemic.

New secondary school starters have not had a ‘normal’ school year since Year Four.


Summer School at Smithills School 2021

Summer School at Smithills School 2021


They took part in classroom and outdoor activities.

Projects included using the domestic science and design technology facilities to launch a business.

They baked their own cupcakes and designed their own cake boxes, as well learnt how to get a business off the ground by setting budgets, marketing and pitching products.

Children enjoyed den-building, putting up tents and making camp fires in the great outdoors.

They even enjoyed an orienteering adventure around school.

A sports day was also held.

Principal Mike Sidebottom said: “As a school, we thought it was really important to offer a summer school to this group of children.

“We aimed to help them feel prepared for starting secondary school.

“We decided early on in our planning that our focus would be on the children’s well-being and mental health.”


Summer School Smithills 10

Summer School Smithills 10


Justine Holman, assistant vice-principal, said: “The weather has been really kind to us, the sun has shone every day.

“But what has shone even brighter are the efforts of the staff and children, who have been absolutely amazing. What a great week."


Summer School at Smithills School 2021

Summer School at Smithills School 2021


Emma Davies, history teacher, added: “The children have loved making new friends and meeting the staff, getting to know their way around school and getting to grips with school systems, such as how the canteen works at lunchtime.

“Young people said they enjoyed meeting their fellow classmates and forging new friendships.”

Hundreds of students at 21 high schools in Bolton enjoyed sessions at summer school funded by the Department for Education as part of the Covid recovery programme.