I have just signed Woolwich Polytechnic School for Boys up for the second year of the Department for Education's Summer Schools Programme: it was such a quick and simple process and I am delighted we are going to be to be able to hold another summer school in 2013.
In 2012 we took part in the programme because we know the transition from primary school to year 7 can be a particularly challenging but exciting time for our children, and particularly our disadvantaged pupils. Research strongly suggests that initiatives such as summer schools make a significant difference to children's transition from year 6 to 7, developing their confidence and familiarity with their new school.
Last year our programme, which was highly successful, encompassed English, Science, Art, Maths and Languages, with a focus on enrichment and fun alongside learning. The summer school gave our boys the opportunity to visit their new school to and get a taste of secondary level education in a fun and informal two week long programme. It was also a fantastic opportunity for our teachers to get to know the new pupils and understand their specific needs.
The Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove visited the summer school and described it as a model for how such transition events should be run. The summer school gave pupils the chance to meet Poly staff, make new friends and get a taste of the subjects they will be studying in year 7.
This year we will build on our success by offering an expanded programme for our upcoming boys including English, maths, Science, Art, French, Spanish,ICT and PE. We will also be involving parents in the planning and delivery to provide a richer, relevant and supportive experience for the boys and their families. There are elements of the programme from last year that we definitely plan to keep. For example, involving Year 8 pupils as peer mentors for the new Year 7s proved to be a huge success last year and gave the year 7s an opportunity to show initiative and behave responsibly and independently.
Mr. Rafael Hernandez, Deputy Head of Mathematics, Head of Extended Schools