I have mentioned Evolve’s XLR8 Camps many times throughout my diary entries for Evolve and on Thursday 2nd August I was finally able to attend one myself! I arrived at George Dixon International School in Birmingham prepared for an activity-filled day…
The day officially kicked off with a performance from spoken word artist LCB. The children were completely captivated by the poem/rap that he had written especially for XLR8, and from speaking to the children after the performance it was clear that they were impressed and inspired by LCB. For the morning part of XLR8 I was able to sit in on the lessons that LCB was leading. The lesson began with each child being given a button. They were then set the task to create a whole story behind this button in order to inspire the poem they would then write. This lesson allowed the children to use their imagination and be creative whilst developing their literacy abilities. The children took part in the task with enthusiasm and at the end of the lesson several volunteered to stand and perform the poem they had written. Even I stood up and performed my poem, but unfortunately the children didn’t seem too impressed with my lyrical skills!
During lunch the children were given the option of whether they wanted to take part in football, hockey, dance or inside activities. I chose to play hockey and headed outside with the children and XLR8 leader, Emma. As the children got stuck into to the game at hand I was able to talk to a few children who were waiting to swap on. They all agreed that XLR8 was “really fun” and it was great to see that the children had been able to make friends with their classmates prior to starting secondary school in September.
After lunch I sat in on one the XLR8 enterprise den-making lessons. The lesson consisted of the children being put into teams and being given paper money, they then had to work out how to purchase the equipment needed to make their dens. Throughout this lesson the children were able to develop their team skills and their creativity whilst improving their numeracy and enterprise abilities. Once again, the children enjoyed the challenge of a new activity and the opportunity to work in teams with their new friends.
I spent the rest of the afternoon watching one of the physical activity lessons. The activities in the lesson were themed around the XLR8 superheroes and there was a wide range of games for the children to take part in. The second half of the lesson the children chose to play dodge ball and, despite it being the end of a busy and action packed day, all the children got stuck in and showed their competitive sides.
The highlight of my day spent at XLR8 Camps was being able to talk to and interview the children about their experience at XLR8. This was because every single child that I spoke to told me that they had really enjoyed their week at the camp. They all spoke highly of the XLR8 leaders saying that they were “more fun and more patient than normal teachers” and it was brilliant to hear that all of the children interviewed now felt much more confident about starting secondary school in September.
After spending the day at the XLR8 camps it was clear that children who attended the camps benefited from XLR8, as they were able to develop skills, make friends and have fun. Now, for the rest of the week I will be working on a Press Release for XLR8 Camps Birmingham and attempting to secure media coverage too.