In response to concerns about the effects of COVID-19 the Department for Education (DfE) launched the Summer School Programme on the 30th March 2021. The Kingsway School jumped upon this opportunity to provide our incoming Year 7s with a once in a lifetime experience, with the aim of reducing anxiety, preparing for transition and building friendships. The DfE provided flexibility on who could attend Summer School although the expectation was that focus should be on the pupils transitioning into Year 7.
Summer School took place the week of the 9th August for 5 days, places were offered to all incoming Year 7 families and additional funding was secured for Year 10 Mathematics tuition. It was a very enjoyable and successful experience, one which has ensured that our Year 7 students have had a successful foundation on which to build on throughout their time at The Kingsway School.
What happened during Summer School
All students were assigned to one of seven groups. The groups were randomly allocated and were not form based so that the students got the best opportunity to mix and make new friends. The focus of the week was around wellbeing, reducing anxiety, building confidence and socialisation. All pupils were provided with food and refreshments on a daily basis with a bonus ice cream treat on Friday from one of our alumni students, courtesy of Meg's Whips. In a bid to reduce single-use plastic, all pupils were also provided with a Kingsway water bottle.
Every day all students followed their group and completed 5 activities, in addition to a welcome task every morning.
Throughout the week the activities included:
- Art Attack - with a wellbeing focus
- Sports and Fitness - with a fun competitive element and prizes for the winning teams
- Performing Arts - including choreography and singing
- English - where pupils got to explore Harry Potter and Disney
- Science - strawberry DNA extraction; Bunsen Burner licensing and fun with magnets
- Cooking and Nutrition incorporating a mathematical element of budgeting for the delicious cakes that were made and decorated
- Forest School - where pupils got messy using natural tie dying, tent building and a trading where they explored the unfairness of world trading systems based on different countries experiences
Each group attended 3 sessions of each of the above on a rolling timetable. All of the activities were led by our experienced and wonderful staff, and supported by other amazing members of the school.
We also held an alternative Sports Afternoon, where there was lots of fun and competition - and that was just the staff!
The whole week culminated in a spectacular performance of 'Hairspray' and a showcase to parents and other family members, with 270 packing out the sports hall. The afternoon also included a presentation where students with the highest merits were awarded family prizes and every student received a copy of Marcus Rashford's "You are the Champion" which is used in the school's form time literacy programme.
Before Summer School 56% of parents said they were anxious - reduced to 8% after Summer School finished. 24% of parents said that they were not at all anxious before - this increased to 91% strongly agreeing afterwards. 70% of students said they were anxious about the move before Summer School - this reduced to 15% afterwards. 91% of students said that they agreed/strongly agreed that they enjoyed Summer School.
The Kingsway School are exceptionally proud of the students who attended Summer School and what they achieved during the week. The benefits of which we have seen first hand when the students returned in September.
- Number of students places offered to ~ 270 students
- Allowance/head ~ £59.70 per pupil per day
- Total number of students in attendance ~ 209
Monies spent ~ £62,386.50
Breakdown of monies spent
- Staffing ~ £32,983
- Educational supplies, resources, catering ~ £16,203.50
- Tutoring ~ £13,200