Primary school children from 4 local Nechells schools – St Vincent’s Catholic primary, St Joseph’s Catholic primary, Nechells Primary and St Clement’s primary – took part in their own Olympic-themed summer holiday programme this year from 23rd July – 3rd August inclusive. A total of 126 children accessed the DREAMS (Dynamic, Rewarding, Enriching Activities made for Schools) programme and got into the spirit of the occasion to support not only the best of British competitors but also in the knowledge that members of our multi-cultural community would wish to celebrate and support competitors from their own country of origin and acknowledge their sporting heritage in these championship games.
The children were placed into 4 different groups: Mandeville, Wenlock, Pendleton and Farah – aptly named after the London 2012 Olympic mascots and long distance runner Mo Farah and cyclist Victoria Pendleton. They enjoyed a diverse menu of activities which included some traditional and also less familiar sporting disciplines of shotput, javelin, sprint, table-tennis, hurdles, tai-chi and wushu as well as the opportunity to express themselves creatively through arts forms such as international dance, Bhangra Olympics, pottery, batik, film-making, story-telling and song-writing to name a few. The overall aim of DREAMS is for children to understand the “process” of learning and the different learning styles they use, with consideration given to both the indoor and outdoor learning environment. The Olympics has been particularly helpful in providing a particular focus on the outdoor learning experience. The whole programme was underpinned with the Olympic values: Friendship, Respect, Inspiration, Courage, Determination, Excellence, Equality.
These wall panels showcase the children’s collaborative efforts and capture their understanding of the Olympic values.
Throughout the course of the weeks the children’s understanding and appreciation of these important qualities as pre-requisites in developing a successful Olympian and representative of the ideal role models, was recognised and understood as positive influences to seek in themselves and others. Children were encouraged to have their own dreams and to use these values to realise them irrespective of the obstacles or challenges they may face. A fun-filled time was had by all and the programme maintained the excitement of the games and promoted its historical importance, with recognition given to individual achievements and personal growth alongside team effort. Key words such as commitment, hard-work, endurance, inspiration and resilience were reinforced to all participants. Our children used the Olympics as their very own platform to showcase their personal successes and talents and emulate their heroes and there were many worthy medallists amongst them. It’s safe to say they are an “inspired generation”.