Almost 200 children from 34 different primary schools attended a week of activities at their new secondary school to make new friends and catch up with lost learning due to Covid-19.

The summer school was held for 180 new starters at Murray Park Community School, in Mickleover, who will make up year seven when the new term begins next month.

School staff were supported by a group of 20 year 11 pupils in running academic sessions in all the core subjects, as well as fun activities such as an inflatable assault course.

The summer school was paid for by the Government’s catch-up funding, although Murray Park has run similar sessions for around 60 children for the last 18 years.

Assistant Headteacher George Hagen said: “This year’s summer school was offered to every pupil starting with us in September and it’s the first time we have been able to invite such a large number.

“Our new starters have not had a full year in school since they were in year four, so we felt it was really important that they felt settled into Murray Park life as soon as possible, so they can hit the ground running in September.

“We have run summer schools in the past which have been really successful in mitigating some of the usual problems faced by pupils transitioning from primary to secondary.

“This year we hope the move will be easier than ever, with the added benefit that some of the lost learning will have been recouped by the academic sessions.”

The children followed a timetable of activities during the week which also included team-building sessions with Derby County Community Trust, a professional DJ and Cycle Derby.

Mr Hagen added: “Students have been unanimously positive about the first few days and said they had made new friends, feel that they know their way around site a bit better and feel more confident about the secondary school environment.

“We are really looking forward to the start of the new school year and getting to know all our new starters even better.”