As part of the DfE’s plans to support pupils impacted by the pandemic, funding was provided for secondary schools to establish short summer schools over the 2021 summer holiday. Detailed advice and guidance can be accessed on the Government’s Summer schools programme web page.
This was a voluntary scheme with providers able to offer places to any pupils who they believe would benefit. Those starting in year 7 in September 2021 were identified by the DfE as the priority group, on the grounds that these pupils will have missed a significant proportion of face-to-face teaching at key stage 2 and will, as a result, have missed valuable preparation for secondary education.
The aim of the programme was to deliver a short summer school offering a blend of academic education, including additional support in English and mathematics to prepare pupils for the secondary curriculum, as well as enrichment activities such as team games, music, drama or sports activities.
Provision at Oakmoor School
At Oakmoor School we ran a 2 week Summer School between 26 July and 6 August, to which we invited our entire September 2021 year 7 cohort of 188 pupils. 128 of these pupils attended on at least one day, with the majority completing the full 2 weeks.
We started each week with an assembly, in which we welcomed our new students to our Oakmoor family, shared our school ethos and expectations for learning.
Students were organised into their house groups to allow them to get to know some of their peers better within their house. Each house was assigned a Teaching Assistant who remained with the group for the duration of the week/2 weeks (at points some staffing differed slightly across the weeks).
In the morning, students would spend the first lesson with their mentor. In this session students spent time reading and taking part in our daily maths challenge. In addition, we used this time to get to know each other better and start to build positive working relationships amongst peers and staff.
Teaching staff were timetabled to deliver lessons to each group on a rotation to ensure that every child had the same curriculum and transition opportunities.
Healthy snacks and a drink at break, along with hot and cold food options (at lunch) were available to all students, which the majority enjoyed over the two weeks.
Following our introduction assembly, all students were taken on a tour of the school by their mentor and supporting teacher. This provided a much needed opportunity to start to get to know our school site and was especially important following the absence of opportunities to invite the students into the school throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Alongside the academic opportunities that summer school provided, it was equally important to us, especially given the absence of opportunities to invite pupils on site as a result of COVID-19, that we were able to provide our new students with an opportunity to start to understand what it means to be part of our Oakmoor family. The feedback that we recived from the pupils who attended Summer School and from their Parents and Carers was exceptionally positive with many grateful for the experience that their child/children gained as a result of attending.
Some of the activities that we ran across the two weeks included:
Transitional activities - Meeting teachers and Teaching Assistants, Daily mentor time, Assembly, Interhouse competition, a tour of the school including finding out where your mentor room is for September.
Lessons - English, History, Geography, Maths and Science
Sports-based activities - Athletics, Badminton, Fitness, Football.
Creative activities - Art and Design, Craft, Drama and Music.
Wellbeing-based activities - Team building, orienteering and ‘getting-to-know-you’ exercises as part of our Outdoor Adventure Activities curriculum. Board games and chess also provided a popular opportunity for communication and competition outside of sport.
Funding & expenditure
DfE funding: £21,022
Staffing costs: £19,546
Resources: £ 1,476
Total expenditure: £21,022