Woolwich Poly Transition Summer School 2013

18th March 2013 at 15:38

Rafael Hernandez, Deputy Head of Mathematics, Head of Extended Schools

19 June 2013

After the Easter break our Transition team continued working on identifying and targeting pupils for our summer school. The Department for Education's "Key to Success" website is indeed a real time saving tool and the identification and targeting of pupils has been made much easier this year. I definitely recommend other schools use it.

After identifying our potential pupils; our transition team sent letters to parents to let them know about our summer school programme and so far we have received 60 letters back from parents confirming their sons' enrollment in our transition summer school. Also, the support received from our feeder primary school has proved to be equally important when liaising with parents. Our feeder primary schools have gone an extra-mile for us by providing eligible pupils' essential information, such current academic levels, SEN, EAL and Gamp;T information. This information is invaluable in ensuring our teachers can plan lessons that cater fully for the different need of the pupils.

Much of the planning was finalised after the Easter break with the wider school community. Parents and carers are excited about this year's summer school innovations, such as the peer mentors and expanded curriculum for the summer school. The expanded curriculum was suggested by the parents involved and includes subjects such as Information, Communication and Technology (ICT), Physical Education (PE), drama and a special emphasis on art. Another important element of this year's summer school is the recruitment, training and overall involvement of parents and pupils who went through the transition summer school last year. Both parents and pupils will act as "Peer Mentors" to support this year's parents and their children during the transition process. At the moment we have 10 parents and 40 student peer mentors willing to support this year's intake.

The incorporation on PhD enrichment tutors from Imperial College, Institute of Education and London School of Economics, teaching alongside our Woolwich Poly staff is a real bonus that will certainly enrich our pupils' learning experience.

Finally, I would like to thank all schools who contacted me through this blog and I hope that the support given will be beneficial for their summer school plans.

Work is still in progressing and I look forward to keeping you all informed. If you have any questions, if there is something specific you want me to cover in my blog, please contact me at rhernandez@woolwichpoly.greenwich.sch.uk

22 April 2013

I am very pleased to say that I have received the provisional funding from the Department of Education that confirms that Woolwich Poly has been allocated pound;64,000!! This is based on 128 `Ever6' free school meal and looked after pupils moving into year 7 at our school. As we will be running a two-week summer school we are getting pound;500 per student.

We got going with planning the summer school before the Easter break. It was really important to us that everyone involved could have an input to ensure everyone's sense of ownership in the planning and delivery of this year's summer school.

In order to do that we held meetings with pupils who participated in last year's summer school programme, our teachers, enrichment support teachers from Imperial College London, Queen Mary University, London School of Economics and the Institute of Education (who will be teaching in partnership with our teachers!) and of course parents whose children went through the last year's transition process.

We also made use of the "Top tips", which brings together practical learning from the 2012 programme, and is on the Department for Education's website. The tips have helped us guarantee that we were considering the right steps to design and deliver a successful Transition Summer School programme for our pupils.

We are still working on the design of our activities, but I can provide you with a brief insight of the nature of the sessions. All sessions will concentrate on the real world applications of knowledge and extend learning by introducing curriculum and enrichment themes in an age appropriate way. This year's workshops will also focus on skills such as practical, research, communication and planning skills. Students will be encouraged to discuss and debate topics and apply their knowledge to new and engaging contexts, while having fun. The school will also offer enrichment trips to museums, galleries and science centres in order to offer our transition pupils opportunities they may not find easy to access outside school. More details to come in my next blog!

What's next?

Over the next two weeks, we will be visiting our feeder and cluster schools to publicise, confirm and recruit pupils to our summer school.

We are also working to identify pupils who are eligible for our summer school. The Department for Education's "key to success" website has been a real time saving tool, as the system identifies which new Year 7 pupils are eligible for the summer school (including both Ever6 FSM and LAC pupils). I would certainly recommend it to other schools!

I look forward to keeping you all informed of progress. If you have any questions or you would like to get involved please contact me.

18 March 2013

Woolwich PolyMr. Gove during an art lesson with both Head teachers: Mr. Parker (centre) and Mr. Plumb (right)

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


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