Wrexham’s MP, Sarah Atherton, promotes free online holiday lessons in Wales to help pupils catch up on missed education due to the coronavirus pandemic, before their return to school in September.
The Pop-Up Invicta Summer Academy has launched this weekend in Wales to kick-start a two week catch up programme to help children get ready for school next month and catch up on missed schooling.
Classes can be booked from tomorrow (Monday 17th August) for children who feel like they have missed out on schooling as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Running for the last 2 weeks of the summer holidays, Invicta offers free, live, online and interactive Maths and English sessions for students aged 6 to 16 across Wales.
The volunteer-run initiative started in Kent three weeks ago and is the brainchild of former Academy Governor and Seven Oaks district councillor Anna Firth and Welsh-born primary school teacher Stephen James. Over 25,000 learning places were filled in just a few days and as such Anna and Stephen decided to roll the initiative out to the rest of the UK. With pop-ups in Surrey, Lancashire, London and Oxford opening last week, online lessons in Wales will begin from Monday 17th August.
Qualified volunteer teachers will offers classes every day teaching all the key stages on Zoom with the aim of getting students “school ready” before September and helping those who might not have had the best learning experience over the last few months after schools closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The classes are free, stand alone, non-compulsory and opt-in or out as you please.
Over 230 teachers applied to teach in the Invicta Summer Academy and a team of qualified volunteer teachers whittled this down to 81 teachers and 46 “lesson facilitators” - many of whom are also qualified teachers so that there are two teachers in every lesson. The Academy now has a total teaching staff across the UK of 127.
Invicta Summer Academy has secured the support of the Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williamson MP and Robert Halfon MP, Chair of the Education Select Committee.
Co-founder of Invicta and primary school teacher, Stephen James says:
“Teachers and schools have done an amazing job during lockdown, often working extended hours through their holidays and the complete redesign of schools for social distancing has been nothing short of extraordinary. Teachers and school leaders need a break, which is why we’ve set up the Pop Up Summer Academy. Growing up in Wales I am particularly happy to be able to extend this provision to students in Wales.”
Cllr Anna Firth explains:
“We are all concerned about the effect of the necessary school closures on the education of our children and I feel passionately that we have to come together and offer children across the UK the opportunity to get on the front foot for September”.
Sarah Atherton, Member of Parliament for Wrexham said:
“There have been many challenges during this crisis, but education and students’ learning has been particularly hard hit. Invicta can go a long way to bridging this gap. I am thrilled to support this initiative which I know will benefit the children of Wrexham and more widely across Wales.
I have seen this programme elsewhere and I know it has been a huge success. It provides parents with a home-schooling break and I will be writing to all schools to suggest they encourage their students to sign up over the next few weeks and I urge those who think their child could benefit to join in.”
All lessons will run to a timetable through which parents and guardians can sign up their children the website: www.invictaacademywales.com