Earlier this year the University of St Mark and St John purchased a Greenpower ‘Goblin Kit Car’ . On the 4th July, the university held an event on campus to donate the car to the Plymouth Excellence Cluster who work in partnership with primary schools to provide positive learning activities during the school holidays. The schools are committed to supporting children throughout the year and especially during the long summer break. Most importantly the cluster employs specialist staff (who work with the children during term time) to support the Marjon students, providing the very best wrap around care for children as they experience the activities such as this new collaboration with the University of St Mark and St John.
A number of VIP’s and visitors attended the event including Councillor Nicky Williams, David Maddison and Lisa Hartley from the Excellence Cluster and Enrichment Co-ordinator Ailsa Griffiths. Professor Cara Aitchison, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of St Mark & St John attended the afternoon event to officially hand over the car and say a few words.
Children from a number of schools got to race the car around the campus before it was passed to the team at the Excellence Cluster. Lisa Hartley, Co-Director of the Cluster said “Ten years of experience in this area tells us that we can only achieve excellence and real change for children with strong partnerships. This year we are delighted to have started working alongside the University of St Mark and St John, most importantly, children in Plymouth will really benefit”.
The car’s first outing is for a project in August at a summer school at Marjon where a group of children from Plymouth schools will work with some of our students to actually build and drive the ‘Goblin Kit Car’, as well as designing racing tracks on Scalectrix and enjoying computer programs on the Wii.
Marjon now work with a number of schools where students are engaged with specific modules and manage projects. They have recently worked with both Horrabridge and Pilgrim Primary on a project where students work one-to-one with a child and write a book for them. On another project, students will work with children at St Peter’s RC creating maths games to improve numeracy skills. Both of these modules are underpinned by a critique of the current curriculum.
Marjon has also created numerous projects for the Excellence Cluster Gifted and Talented Enrichment Strand as well as the summer schools. In semester B the students ran a Science Fair for sixty 8 and 9 year olds across the city, and in semester C students will be working with children on a variety of Summer Schools including the Forest School and Outdoor Learning; Music, Dance and Drama and the Kit Car project.
Zenna Kingdon, the BA Education Studies Framework Leader who has been heavily involved in the kit car project said: ”This has been an excellent project for us at the University of St Mark & St John. Our students are the teachers of the future, they have had opportunities to work with a range of children through curriculum enriching activities. The children and the schools are all clearly benefitting from this collaboration too.” David Maddison, Head Teacher at Morice Town Primary continued, “As Plymouth schools, we are passionate about providing exciting learning opportunities during the holidays. We trust Marjon and the Cluster to deliver the best possible programmes over the summer.
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