Science summer scheme helps children prepare for school return
MINISTERS have praised a `stem' summer school that has been helping children prepare for their return to the classroom.
Education Minister Peter Weir and Justice Minister Naomi Long visited the project in east Belfast which has been providing targeted educational support.
The cross-executive funded summer school is delivering activities, to children in P5-P7, in science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects around the theme `keeping safe in a pandemic'.
It is part of the pilot Wrap programme, which operates in four geographical areas and links to work to reduce educational disadvantage.
Mr Weir said the Covid-19 pandemic had presented many challenges.
"Social interaction between children has been severely reduced over the last number of months. I welcome the positive impact that the stem summer school will have on these children by helping them overcome the significant challenges presented during this difficult time," he said.
"Summer schools such as this provide important support for children with their learning and help them prepare for a return to school after such a long absence. The theme of this scheme is a very appropriate topic to help build a confident return to school for these children and their families."
Ms Long said education in the community initiatives were key in helping young people reach their full potential; building aspiration; and promoting positive attitudes to education.
"The Wrap programme, which is part of a wider cross-executive programme through the Fresh Start Agreement, is a really important initiative and provides positive educational interventions, parenting programmes and family support; and engages parents and the community in the education of our children," she said.
Barbara Wallace from Eastside Learning said: "The last few months have been such a challenging time, especially for children who have been absent from school and isolated from their friends and classmates.
"We have continued to provide support programmes for children in east Belfast throughout the pandemic, but it is great to be able to provide an actual in-person summer school for these children."