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Time to SHINE

We’re delighted to look back on this year’s ten-week SHINE project, and see its overwhelmingly positive impact on all the children who joined us from surrounding primary schools and our very own Sixth Form SHINE mentors.

SHINE is a leading educational charity aiming to give children from local state schools the opportunity to acquire skills and confidence for their school life and beyond. SHINE works with independent schools like Sheffield Girls’ to provide excellent teaching facilities and resources to children who may not usually have access to them, as well as building on the national curriculum with engaging, creative lessons on a whole spectrum of subjects.

This year’s project involved 43 students from nine different schools in and around Sheffield. Students were mentored by 18 Sheffield Girls’ Sixth Form students, who dedicated their weekends to raising the group’s aspirations and making their weekend as exciting and enriching as possible.

The hands-on sessions covered everything from science and philosophy in ‘Colour Chemistry and Big Questions!’, history in ‘What it means to be a Tudor’, and PE and physics in ‘Bouncing with Sir Isaac Newton’. Each session was run by teachers at Sheffield Girls’ with the help of the Sixth Form SHINE mentors.

Mrs Bradfield, Teacher of English, said, “After the physicality of the Drama exercises, the students were buzzing with ideas for writing stories. They worked in groups and participated enthusiastically with each other. It was wonderful witnessing new friendships being forged and I feel privileged to have been involved with SHINE.”

Mrs Andrews, Head of Art, said, "The Art SHINE session was a hive of creative industry this year. Students looked at the artwork of British printmaker Mark Hearld and then produced beautifully decorated hanging birds. Students used stencils to cut out their birds, which they painted with watercolours and inks. The birds were carefully constructed and students left with beautiful hanging mobiles."

Mrs Morton, Teacher of ICT, said, "In the Computer Science session this year, the children learned about algorithms. We followed an algorithm for the ‘Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes’ dance and then turned this into code using the Scratch program. The children enjoyed getting their computer character to dance and learned about the importance of sequence and loops when writing code."

Year 13 Charlotte has previously been involved with SHINE as a mentor, and this year stepped up to be a prefect. “Being a prefect is a very different role to being a mentor as it involves taking on a lot more responsibility and leadership, both in and out of the sessions,” she commented. “We help to coordinate and run sessions which at times can be challenging but helps us to develop our problem-solving skills that will be useful in all of our futures.

“The programme is very rewarding to be a part of as you get to see the children grow and develop throughout the sessions. Many of the children, at the end of the last session, came up to me to say how much they have enjoyed being a part of the programme and how much they are going to miss coming into school on a Saturday morning, and it really reminded me how much of a positive impact the programme has on them.”

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