A COMMUNITY-LED summer school for pupils that missed out on education due to the coronavirus pandemic has been labelled a success by organisers.

The Barton Community Association (BCA) set up the Sunny Smiles Summer School, which ran throughout August.

Fifty pupils in Years 4 to 6 attended the school after £4,000 was raised via GoFundMe.

Sue Holden, company secretary for the BCA, was key in pulling the project together.

Read again: Sunny Smiles Summer School opens in Barton

She said: “It was a busy old four weeks but from all the feedback we’ve received, it looks like it’s been very successful and the parents think it was worthwhile too.

“I think what went well is that it was a balanced day with structured stuff in the morning with a more relaxed atmosphere in the afternoon.

“We were never going to fill the gaps left by coronavirus but we’ve done something and the teachers have said that they spotted the difference in the children.

“It was lovely to hear the feedback that it was refreshing to see kids relighting their friendships and making new ones too with kids from different schools. That was really rewarding.

Oxford Mail:

“We had some great things going on with a group from the Oxford University physics department coming in and doing experiments, and then going bug finding with people from the Natural History Museum.

“What was also good was that the children were extremely well fed and had a good healthy breakfast and lunch.”

Ms Holden said she was already looking forward to putting together a similar scheme in the future.

“There’s no doubt about it, we’d love to do this again,” she said.

Oxford Mail:

“February is usually a rubbish half term with the weather and kids can get stuck at home.

“It was quite a challenge having never done anything like this before but we’ve learnt a lot and there’s things we might do differently if we are do this again.”

Jennie Howard, the project manager for the scheme, previously said it’s possible the initiative could spread across the country.

“These policies and protocols can be copied over, there’s no reason why children should miss out on any more of their education,” she said earlier this month.

The BCA provides support for people seeking help with finding work, those looking for training or educational courses, and setting up their own business.