Portsmouth youngsters get a taste of life at university

BIG DAY From left, headteacher Deamonn Hewett-Dale, Carlie Wright, Arantes Mandinga Cosme, Maks Stadnik, Tamim Ahmed and Abbie Cawley at Flying Bull Academy
BIG DAY From left, headteacher Deamonn Hewett-Dale, Carlie Wright, Arantes Mandinga Cosme, Maks Stadnik, Tamim Ahmed and Abbie Cawley at Flying Bull Academy
Picture: Luke Helmer

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THEY donned their mortar boards and gowns to celebrate weeks of hard work.

For pupils at Flying Bull Academy, Buckland, it marked the end of a six-week course.

They became students at the school’s very own university.

Every Friday the children were taught in smaller classes to broaden their skills.

They were put into sets to attend courses from martial arts, making a teddy bear and creating a music video, to trying out science experiments and looking after chickens in the school’s environmental area.

One youngster who took part in the environmental course was eight-year-old Tamim Ahmed.

He said: ‘I enjoyed learning how to look after the 
chickens and how to clean them safely.’

Year 3 pupil Abbie Cawley discovered the art of floristry, she said: ‘I learnt how to design a vase.

‘My favourite part was when we put the stones in to stop it from falling over.’

As member of the University of Chichester Academy Trust, the school decided to mark the end of its first ‘university term’.

Deputy headteacher Lee Dallinger said: ‘The idea behind the university was always to introduce children to a range of learning experiences that add to those already encountered within our curriculum.

‘It meant that adults in the school could use their knowledge to teach the children new skills.’

He added: ‘The children were thrilled to wear mini-graduation caps and gowns provided by the university.

‘Watching the children develop socially in helping younger children, developing their teamwork and sharing resources has been a real treat.’

The school will welcome experts from the University of Chichester to teach the children a range of topics that weren’t on offer in the first term.

‘We will be running courses almost every half-term as it empowers the children to learn skills,’ said Mr Dallinger.