YOUNGSTERS set to attend the Oxford Academy in September have enjoyed a two-week Olympic-themed summer school designed to ease their transition into ‘big school’.

Dozens of pupils from primary schools throughout Oxford were invited to attend the summer school.

It involved orienteering around the academy’s Littlemore site, a trip to Oxford University ’s Museum of Natural History and a week-long theatre course, which culminated in a show for parents.

Pupils from Rose Hill, Pegasus, Wheatley, Orchard Mead, Windale and St John Fisher Catholic primary schools, enjoyed a wide range of activities linked to the curriculum at the first summer school run by the adacemy.

There was specific focus on raising attainment in English, Maths and Science.

Neil Evans, who teaches Year Seven pupils at the academy, said: “The programme was designed to maximise student engagement through enrichment, sporting and cultural opportunities and to ease their transition to secondary education.

“Led by teachers at the academy, the children started off with an orienteering activity, which familiarised them with their new school.

“And they also took part in core numeracy and literacy sessions, cooked Olympic-themed menus, made tea light stands and magnets in technology and enjoyed a host of different sports.”

Pupils invited to attend the summer school either qualify for free school meals or have been in continuous public care for six months.

For many, a highlight was a handling and trail session at the Museum of Natural History, where pupils were able to explore the building and became familiar with the range of exhibits, including a live cockroach display.

And a visit to Oxford Brookes University , one of the academy’s sponsors and partners, also proved popular.

There, the children designed an Olympic advert, had a campus tour and a quiz.

Mr Evans said: “Week one ended with a treasure hunt and awards ceremony to celebrate the achievements of the pupils.

“We also presented Star of the Week awards and Star of the Day awards.”

West End Summers, which runs theatre summer schools, hosted the second week of the summer school with a programme focusing on acting and theatre-making, and culminating in a performance to an audience of family and friends.

Courtney Smith, 11, from Pegasus Primary School, said: “My favourite parts of summer school were drama, and laughing and meeting new friends.”

Abena Adu-Boateng, 11, from Rose Hill Primary School, said: “I enjoyed all the different experiences and getting a chance to do everything once or more.

“It was a fantastic experience and I would really enjoy it if I could do it again.”

Of the theatre course, she said: “I really enjoyed not having a script and having to make it up as we went along.”