Well, we have made it to the last week of term in this extraordinary year. Whilst the future remains uncertain, and it is difficult to look forward to September without some degree of trepidation, there is time now to take some time out, refresh our batteries and recover some resilience in preparation for whatever the future brings.
Whilst many of us will be fortunate enough to be able to get away for a few days, lots of our children and young people have a long stretch of time ahead before they can be back in school with their teachers and friends, so this week we are taking a look at what Manchester has on offer for families this summer. Here is our Top Ten:
1. Every Year 6 child leaving a Manchester primary school will be given a copy of The Kid Who Came from space by Ross Welford. This initiative has been sponsored by a number of organisations including the National Literacy Trust, Bee a Reader and City in the Community. Meet the author in this YouTube video, as he talks about this ‘transition read’:
2. Staying with the football and reading theme, Premier League Communities in conjunction with the National Literacy Trust have launched a weekly challenge, started off here by Tom Palmer inviting young people to complete their own Roy of the Rovers comic strip:
If you are reading this newsletter on Monday 13th July, you may be in time to watch Tom Palmer and Ben Squires talking about football and reading in their live stream event at 11.30am
3.The summer holidays are the best time to develop an interest in reading, and this year the annual reading challenge from Manchester libraries has gone digital, with the Silly Squad ( aimed at children aged 4 – 11). Their You Tube channel has video messages a from a number of authors and a daily challenge:
4. If you prefer to get out and about, the Manchester parks are open again, with measures in place to keep the play spaces safe.
For more information follow the parks twitter feed:Parks of Manchester @parks_great
You can also find a round up and reviews of lager parks and gardens in the Manchester area on the Creative Tourist site here.
5. Staying with the parks, Wild Awake Mindfulness (Whitworth Park) offers ‘meditation live in nature’ via Zoom, with the next event on Friday 17th July. Find out more and book here, and keep up with the latest information on Twitter: Wild Awake Mindfulness @WildAwakeMind
6. The Manchester International Festival has a programme of online events to promote the building of their permanent venue The Factory. The #VirtualFactory starts out with LaTurbo Avedon’s digital intervention "Your Progress Will Be Saved" taking place in a reimagining of The Factory, built on an island in Fortnite Creative. You can play in Fortnite, choose your own adventure in an adapted journey on the Virtual Factory website and be taken on a tour by LaTurbo on Twitch.
7. The People’s History Museum offers a radical quiz: Which Radical Are You? and, an intriguing regular session for very young children, Baby Protest Songs ("suitable for toddlers to grown ups"). The next session is 1st August if you fancy tuning in…
8. Heart and Parcel (Women, ESOL & Dumplings)has moved online, offering (free) English and Cooking classes. Although aimed at adults who are new to English, the online cooking demonstrations look well worth your time, and you can catch up on previous evenings (all on You Tube videos) online here.
9. Manchester Museum in Quarantine has a comprehensive programme, with a mixture of Virtual Tours and activities. There is a whole ‘home learning’ package based on Stan the Dinosaur (other interests also catered for). Adults might enjoy tuning in to this month’s special event: South Asian Heritage Events.
10. Our own Instagram initiative, The Positivity Project continues throughout the summer.
The Positivity Project Manchester is a positive psychology informed art collaboration, using your uploaded photographs of hearts, to create a lasting symbol of how we all fostered hope during this difficult period. All you need to do is to follow us on Instagram at @positivity_project_manchester, and then start tagging us in your heart photos along with telling us where you are, and we’ll do the rest.
You might have missed…
If you want to keep up with ideas and reflections from education and psychology over the summer, our colleagues at Southend Educational psychology Service have curated an online video lecture series with presentations from educational psychologists and educators from around the UK and beyond. There is a weekly programme of online webinars, and you can also access the previous events on You Tube. More information and links to lectures here:
This is our last newsletter for this year. We started the Catalyst Courier in March at the beginning of the pandemic, thinking it would provide a means of keeping in touch with schools for a few weeks whilst we were unable to visit. We did not envisage 15 editions! However, we will be back in September with a monthly edition to come out on the second Monday of each month.
Thank you for reading and have a good summer!