More than a thousand pupils in South Wales were given a helping hand with their studies during lockdown, thanks to a project involving Swansea University.
The South West Wales Reaching Wider Partnership created packs filled with fun, educational activities, perfect for completing at home and sent them out to 1,105 youngsters during lockdown.
The resources were a big hit with pupils at Swansea’s Dylan Thomas Community School which received 580 packs at the end of the summer term.
These contained a Make Your Own Slime kit, activities based on student life including links to videos of Reaching Wider Student Leaders, as well as materials to make virtual reality glasses and stationery.
Pupils in Years 10 and 11 were sent revision-based materials, their own set texts for English Literature GCSE, as well as a scientific calculator each to support their Maths GCSE studies.
One pupil said: “I loved the slime pack and enjoyed making it” while another pupil described the activities as fun to do.
The initiative was made possible thanks to support from schools, councils and foster carers, as well as local charities including The Roots Foundation.
The Reaching Wider Partnership, whose members include Swansea University, works with pupils, families and adults from deprived areas in Swansea, Neath Port Talbot, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire along with care-experienced young people and carers from across the region.
In addition, primary pupils in Swansea and the Afan Valley received packs containing university-themed activity booklets, colouring activities related to careers in art as well as a paper aeroplane-inspired task designed to inspire future engineers.
These activities were also sent to 138 looked-after young people in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot, 190 young carers and 70 young people from the gypsy and traveller community.
Reaching Wider’s Events and Vulnerable Groups Officer Helen Davies said: “We have now sent follow-up activities to these groups, including a pack for home baking and a sketchbook project.
“We really wanted to remind these young people that they hadn’t been forgotten about during lockdown and we have had some great feedback.”
One young person described the packs as wonderful while another said: “This was a fun activity that kept me busy for a week, I really enjoyed it.”
The Reaching Wider team is now working on follow-up packages for Dylan Thomas pupils as well as liaising with local schools to deliver more support during the current academic year.