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SHINE at Croydon High School GDST - Serious Fun on Saturdays

Croydon High has worked with SHINE (Support and Help in Education) Charitable Trust to host their Serious Fun on Saturdays scheme and, more recently, has done so independently.

For 10 weeks, from January to March, the school opens its doors on a Saturday and welcomes 30 children from junior schools in the some of the more economically disadvantaged areas of the borough of Croydon.

Each week a different member of Croydon High’s staff leads the sessions, which range from Coding to Cookery, History to Russian, Forensics, Mandarin, Drama, Music and Mathematical Investigations.

A key part of the programme is the involvement of the sixth form girls at Croydon High, who throw themselves in to every session and assist in all aspects of the programme. The feedback from these girls is that they feel they benefit as much as the younger students and some great friendships develop between the ages.

Transport is arranged to maximise participation. At the end of the 10 week course, all participants, their families and their teachers are invited in to school for a celebration tea and prize giving where certificates are awarded to all who take part. The children are given lots of individual praise for their efforts and always enjoy the screening of a video made each year, which shows them at work.


The course aims to encourage the children to be aspirational, to develop skills that will help their learning and to improve their focus in school. Having the older girls as role-models allows them to see what they could aim for in Senior School and sessions are designed to show that learning can be fun.


SHINE is an education charity that changes the lives of disadvantaged young people by providing them with extra English and maths support and creative learning opportunities after school, on Saturdays and in the school holidays. Croydon High was looking for an opportunity to share their facilities and resources with local children and to work with other schools to build up the aspirations of these, often very bright, young children.




The key resources are the teaching staff and the sixth form students who so ably assist them. Teachers devise and plan their activities and deliver exciting, fun sessions which stimulate the children and provide opportunities for them to experience a wide range of learning styles.



Parents and teachers report an increase in engagement and confidence following their involvement with SHINE.

The headteacher of one of the participating schools said:

"I would say that the impact of the programme is much wider than core skills: the children have all grown in confidence as learners, to believe that they can succeed and excel, to persevere if it doesn't work out the first time, and to see learning as a lifelong adventure. “






Pupil Involvement

30 boys and girls from the partner schools, who are in Year 5, participate in this programme. Around 15 sixth form girls from Croydon High help over the course of the programme.