Why do we exist?
Rekindle is a unique supplementary school.
It is primarily led by young people who helped design a school they know their peers need. Set to open its doors in January 2022, it will be for students from working class communities, for students no one really expects to adore education, for students who the regular system fails, rather than feeds.
There has perhaps never been a more urgent time to offer hope, particularly in the south Manchester region. Socio-economic gaps are widening and our young people are falling through these gaps. Greater Manchester is the UK’s third largest English city-region economy outside London and yet it has 1 in 6 children living in food poverty.
It is no coincidence that Manchester-born footballer, Marcus Rashford, was able to speak poignantly and personally about why the government simply had to feed hungry children over their summer break.
Although 80% of teachers report seeing pupils come into school hungry, teachers themselves are unable to do anything about it. ReKindle recognises the vital links between nutrition and the physical and mental development of our young people and has built a programme of growing fresh fruits and vegetables, providing young people with a nutritious meal and supporting their learning with expert mentoring and tuition.
Additionally, our curriculum will focus on the needs of young people teaching them life skills that they can use to increase their social mobility and live safe, independent lives. Simple skills and lessons like: money management; CV support; Job interview preparation and much more.
What do we do?
Our mission is to rekindle a love of education in the young people who attend the supplementary school. It might be relationships with teachers, a rigid education system or blatant bias in how certain students are treated. We aim to embrace those who feel disenfranchised by the educational system and encourage them to fall in love with education.
The school will focus on providing the pastoral care, community support and critical thinking needed to safeguard young people and ensure they have the conﬁdence and networks to soar. Rekindle will work with students who have not been given the opportunity to fall in love with education in their mainstream schools. We will support their education and career aspirations with specialist homework support, mentoring and visits to broaden their horizons.
There is so much more to Rekindle. From the spark of an idea in founder Ruth’s mind to the blaze of enthusiasm in the students who will attend the school, there is an understanding: that high expectations, loving literature, trusting their peers again, being supported by experts and experiencing the real world of work will help build happier, keener and more interested young people.
Our primary focus is to design an approach that offers care, support, connection, hope and aspiration. This will push disadvantaged young people into believing they can be more. First, however, we will support them with solid foundations to catch them when they fall (and like all children do, they will fall.) An approach that helps parents who struggled themselves with schooling ﬁnd a way back in through the gates, into a space they now feel comfortable and valued.
Remember, Rekindle is mostly youth-led. Some of the trustees are still in school! They know what young people care about and are building a supplementary school around these needs. Adults will act as mentors and provide spaces for safe conversations that calm the raging fears of teenage minds filled with coronavirus worries, economic stresses and the perils of navigating social media.