Summer School Highlights
Summer School Aims
We wanted our new Year Seven students to have a full induction experience, get to know the school site, its staff and engage with the curriculum we offer at secondary school. We also wanted the students to have lots of fun, enjoy their week with us and make new friends. We also used the summer school to allow students to enrol and become familiar with many of the online systems that we use at Chauncy School.
Summer School Dates
Chauncy School held a DfE sponsored summer school that ran from Monday 26th to Friday 30th July 2021.
This was the second week of the summer holidays for Chauncy School and the first full week of the summer break for many of our primary schools. We also canvassed members of staff who were interested in working on the summer school and this week was best for staff availability. We also wanted to choose a week where the new intake would have exclusive use of the school, where possible.
Summer School Planning
Chauncy Summer School was planned this year as an integral part of our primary liaison package, whereby students who had chosen Chauncy School had already engaged in a number of face to face and online activities during the summer term which included:
- Parental enrolment onto Edulink our online home \ school portal so key documents and information could be sent home from May 2021.
- Enrolment to Google Classroom where interactive resources and activities were set for students from June 2021.
- Face to face visits in primary schools by Primary Liaison Coordinator Claire Matthews and her team through the summer term to meet with the Year Six students and their class teachers.
- Online visits by the primary liaison team, where access to the school was prohibited due to Covid-19 restrictions.
- Weekly online assemblies from July by the Year Seven tutor team with induction activities and getting to know you games planned in each session.
- Shield creation task, where students created a piece of artwork telling us more about themselves, their likes, hobbies and interests.
- Whilst the new intake day was cancelled we were permitted to have the larger local schools into Chauncy for a series of Covid-19 secure mornings, whereby the children stayed in their Year Six bubbles and had a shorter taster experience.
- We did run our Moving Up project which invited all Year Six students into Chauncy School for at least one evening session to participate in a range of induction activities.
We were able to promote and encourage families to attend the summer school throughout these induction activities, which may account for the positive take-up in places. We had a Summer School information website https://chauncyschool.com/summerschool2021/ and we e-mailed parents \ carers directly and asked them to complete an expression of interest form. When we knew that the numbers were viable, we used a Google Form e-mailed directly to parents to sign up for the summer school. We continued communication with parents via Edulink e-mail. We also asked families to choose a daily meal from a selection of choices to assist catering planning prior to the summer school starting.
All members of staff were asked if they wanted to participate in the Summer School. We wanted to offer a full range of curriculum activities, so all departments were encouraged to participate. Staff were asked to contribute an activity plan so that we avoided duplication of activity or content.
We also recruited admin staff, site staff and catering staff to ensure the week ran smoothly for all involved.
Summer School Attendance
We had a cohort of 271 Year Six students eligible to attend Chauncy Summer School.
- 212 were not eligible for Pupil Premium
- 59 were eligible for Pupil Premium
Of the 271 Year Six students invited, 236 attended for at least one day.
- 189 students were not eligible for Pupil Premium
- 47 students were eligible for Pupil Premium
We contacted primary schools and asked them to contact vulnerable or hard to reach families to encourage their child’s attendance. We reached out directly to those families who had siblings in the school, to ensure that they were aware of the summer school and the benefits of this opportunity.
Despite the early promotion of the summer school, we had some families who could not send their child due to holiday commitments, illness or Covid-19 self-isolation.
We started the week and ended the week with outbreaks of Covid-19 and subsequent self-isolations (or fear of self-isolation ruining holiday plans), but we maintained good attendance throughout the summer school.
Summer School Content
We wanted to give our new students the opportunity to experience the full curriculum in the format of a normal school day so we maintained our usual daily timetable and offered 25 sessions per week.
- 8.50am – 9.50am: Session One
- 9.50am – 10.00am: Travelling Time
- 10.00am – 11.00am: Session Two
- 11.00am – 11.20am: Break
- 11.20am – 12.20pm: Sesson Three
- 12.20pm – 12.30pm: Travelling Time
- 12.30pm – 1.30pm: Session Four
- 1.30pm – 2.15pm: Lunch
- 2.25pm – 3.15pm: Session Five
- 3.15pm: End of Summer School Day
We were able to offer all but MFL and RE lessons within the summer school week, so students had opportunities to sample a broad range of subjects and meet staff from several different departments. The timetable can be found here:
A brief summary and evaluation was carried out by summer school staff after the week:
Art & Design
My first activity was a collaborative group sculpture that the students created. Each student contributed an element designed by them and collectively they were then put together to form a united piece. This was a great bonding experience and the students got to work together to create some really interesting and varied outcomes, despite them all having the same template to work with. The students really enjoyed the activity and felt a real sense of achievement when the whole thing was put together. We displayed several of the sculptures at the front of the school in September which was a nice welcome and made them feel like they were already a part of the environment. It was also a great way to get to know the students in an educational setting but in a more relaxed atmosphere, which meant they got to associate lots of positives with their first experiences of the school. If I were to run the activity again, I would perhaps have a little more of the materials cut a little to save time and I would also photograph outcomes for the students to then take home with them.
My second activity was a photography based activity that also involved familiarising the students with Google Classroom and Google Drive, something that the school has fully embraced and incorporated into their everyday running. This was a great chance to introduce skills to the students that they would need when they joined the school and also start to build solid foundations for future assignments they would be set across a range of subjects. It allowed for troubleshooting very early on, which would have taken the time and meant that the students felt ahead of the game when they started in September and could already do many of the tasks that they were being asked. This also meant saving time or trying to introduce new things in an already hectic environment. They also really enjoyed the activity and the accessibility of the task. They especially enjoyed the chance to then be able to practice these skills at home using their new knowledge. If I were to run the activity again, I would introduce a few more editing skills so that the students could do more at home as many of them seemed to enjoy the chance to do that.
I felt it was a really successful week that allowed the students to get to grips with key elements of the everyday school functions and it also gave them and us a chance to get to know each other a little more. I have definitely enjoyed seeing familiar faces on the corridor and they have liked being able to recognise teachers very early on. I think it has made them more settled and got them used to the Chauncy way of life far more quickly than in previous years. They already have a good idea of expectations both in class settings and around the school.
Art & Design
In my art lessons, the students created 3D Mondrian sculptures and leaf monoprints. My aim was to ensure that the tasks required a variety of skills and equipment so that the visiting students had the chance to show off their strengths, work together and create outcomes that were all different. It was also important that the work was meaningful so the monoprint task linked to their house at Chauncy and would be displayed in their form room on their return in September. Without the pressure of the whole school timetable, I could really enjoy the small moments, the delight in their faces when their work was revealed, their excitement at the thought of trying new things and the prospect of what the week was going to bring. It reminded me why I do this job. On reflection, it was such a positive experience for all involved and especially the students and since settling into daily life at Chauncy many have commented to say how much they enjoyed it. Overall this was a great opportunity for the upcoming students to get to know Chauncy, meet new friends and many members of staff, without whole school attendance. I believe, all helped with a smoother transition at such an important step in their life.
Design and Technology
I ran a workshop in Design and Technology that involved students making their own balloon-powered cars. Students had to work in pairs and the activity involved designing, making and testing an idea as well as some discussion around theory topics such as aerodynamics and Newton’s laws of motion. The students really enjoyed this workshop and many of them said they were going to make their own balloon-powered cars at home over the summer in order to improve on any mistakes that they made in the workshop. Working in pairs helped students to create friendships within their form groups and gave them some experience of collaborative working within Design and Technology which is difficult to fit into the usual curriculum. If I were to do this workshop again I feel that there would be more opportunities to develop ideas from theory if more than an hour was allocated for the session.
Design and Technology
The students were given 2 small pieces of wood that they had to sand, mark out and drill 2 holes in. They then had to tie the string in the correct way to link the 2 pieces. They were not given the solution, to disconnect them without cutting the string, in the lesson, which led to groups of students working together to try to solve the puzzle once they had made their work. The students really celebrated when somebody solved the puzzle and some typically quiet students were really championed by the other students for working it out and sharing the answer. The students typically enjoy practical activities and were very proud to take their puzzles home and test their families. An additional benefit is that many of the Y7s still say hi to me in the corridor based on that 1 session. I think summer school really helped them to get to know the school and some of the staff before coming in for September.
It was a lot to get done in one hour, but we just about managed, it would be good to have an additional member of staff that has some confidence with the equipment to support.
The lessons were centred around Harry Potter as we felt this was relatable for the students. We focused the tasks on different English skills and interactive ways of engaging the students, such as students producing their own descriptions of magical characters and fantasy worlds, as well as creating their own alternate realities for Harry Potter characters. The 3 lessons proved to be successful as students engaged with the content throughout and worked well independently and collaboratively. This was shown throughout the week in their work, which we monitored in specific ‘summer school booklets’, but also in their social interactions, as a number of students started bringing in Harry Potter themed items to reflect the enjoyment they gained from the tasks. In addition to this, we assigned some additional summer challenges and students completed independent project work (such as fact files, Lego sculptures, and videos) that focused on the different Harry Potter topics we looked at. If we were to improve, I feel we could add some drama elements to the experience to provide even more interaction and interactive lessons. However, the whole experience did seem successful and it was interesting to see students work together and share in their enjoyment for English.
We did a mini scheme of work based on Harry Potter. The students loved the topic. They really enjoyed the booklets we had made and having the chance to do some creative work. The booklets worked well as it meant that we could see their progress throughout the week as they had a chance to edit work and improve their knowledge. They loved the quizzes and the creative aspect. I think if we did it again it would be nice to include some more group work. From summer school work we were able to set them a summer project and it was lovely to see all their fantastic pieces of work that they had completed over the summer holiday. On a side note having put so much work into the transition, it was lovely to see their worries and fears being eased and friendships being built. It made all the hard work worthwhile!
We ran a Business Branding exercise. Students were tasked with creating a brand name, logo and slogan for either a business of their own creation or one of three choices. I think the students enjoyed the creative element of the task alongside learning some new key terms related to a new topic. I think the differentiation of the task allowed everyone to get involved and enjoy the task. There weren’t any lessons where students didn’t have a completely filled in worksheet. Some students even volunteered to “pitch” their brand names to the rest of the class. There were some fantastic pitches and some really creative ideas. I didn’t expect to see so many engaging pitches. The only changes I would make are I would make the logo quiz starter activity harder, as I underestimated how good they all were at recognising logos.
Janine and I ran a cooking session. The students worked in pairs to bake biscuits. Students had to mix ingredients to form the dough, roll out the dough, cut the dough into shapes (they could choose from a variety of shapes) bake the biscuits, wash up everything they had used and clean the area they had worked at. We believe our activity was a success as every student had biscuits to take home to show what they had achieved in our lesson. Some students learnt new skills (washing up, health and hygiene, food preparation) Students had to work as a team especially during the washing up (one washed up, the other had to dry up). Every station was clean and tidy at the end of each session and was ready for the next.
If we were to do our session again I would try to find a recipe with smaller amounts as we were able to make quite a lot of biscuits with the recipe we had. I would also do more preparation the day before with the ingredients as the turnaround between lessons was not long enough to set up fully for the next class. Above all everyone had fun while learning new skills and the students were all really impressed with the biscuits they had made. Students were very excited to take them home to show their parents/carers what they had made.
The students were asked to fill in a page all about themselves (questions such as pet names/favourite food/least favourite food/how many siblings) so we could find out lots of facts, and then create a map which was all about them by using those datasheets. The students had to include at least 10 individual things about themselves on the map, and ensure they created a key so the reader would know what their symbols meant. The students really enjoyed this task as it was accessible to all abilities. Every student was able to complete their own map and key, and understand it so I feel it was successful. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet the new students before the term started and begin to build those new relationships.
It was lovely hearing ‘I remember you miss from summer school! We made our own maps!’ numerous times in the first couple of weeks in September.
The support staff all commented on how much they enjoyed the task too – some were to be their form tutors so said it was a great opportunity to get to know their students more.
Geography \ ICT
I took the opportunity to use a computer suite to enrol all students into their form class Google Classroom where we logged into online resources for a Geography lesson. The students became familiar with Google Slides as they completed a compass point activity in which they learned about the 32 compass points and applied them to a series of activities to check understanding and test knowledge. The students also gained access to their Gmail e-mail accounts which they will need to use when they start in Year Seven. Whilst this appeared a simple and fun Geography activity on the surface, the students took with them their login details, updated their passwords and gained a basic knowledge of how we will be using Google Classroom in the future. The children were very enthusiastic and everyone joined in with the quizzes to earn points. Having the students in school exclusively in a less formal capacity meant that they became more confident quickly and the positive power of this induction strategy was clear to see as the week progressed.
We did two lessons for the students on the 2WW. We decided on this topic as there would be some familiarity for the students as they tend to cover 2WW at primary school. We had a lot of student participation in terms of answering questions. We also gave students the opportunity to do writing in a postcard task on evacuation. This task was differentiated so that all students could access it. It would be wonderful to do an activity like this again as the students who came felt it gave them a real chance to find out about secondary school. This was also the feedback I got from parents when we spoke to them when I was working in the office.
Students were asked to undertake a series of tasks surrounding children’s experiences of the second world war. Tasks that worked best were group work tasks centred around the students collaborating to produce responses to questions regarding feelings and emotions. We were then able to direct these initial responses into evaluative and analytical skills based written answers. The most valuable element of the experience, and certainly the most memorable, was giving the students a chance to socialise and feel comfortable in the classroom. This opportunity has definitely seen an impact this year with year 7 becoming settled much more quickly than expected.
In the maths department, we ran a range of activities to introduce the year 6 children to how we teach at Chauncy, topics they would start to learn on September and to instil the expectations of the school. The children who took part enjoyed the activities, getting to know children from other schools, and spending time with their friends who they had been separated from during various lockdowns/isolations. It was great to see all children succeed in the activities including producing charts and graphs during their data lesson and creating symmetrical patterns in their shape lesson. If I was to run this activity again I would plan some more group activities, and also introduce them to an online quiz game. Seeing the children enjoying being in school and learning was the most memorable and rewarding part of summer school!
I taught music to all 10 forms. They learnt how to read basic treble clef notation, where the keys are on the keyboards then played a tune they had worked out on the keyboards. Some were then able to record this onto Cubase. Very successful. Lots of students came back in year 7 knowing the notes and were able to get into practical work more quickly. When the students worked out the “mystery tune” was I’m fact Blinding Lights by the Weeknd. They were all amazed that 1. I knew it and 2. They could now play it! I enjoyed it and would love to do this again.
Multisports. The weather was good which meant activities were able to run smoothly. Children engaged well and participation was excellent: indoor space will allow for a wider range of sports to be covered in future giving students a broader idea of the curriculum studies in PE but we couldn’t access the sports hall due to a private hire that week.
During Summer School year 6 students were given an incredible opportunity to experience psychology lessons. They were given a taste of some of the topics studied at GCSE including memory, perception and nonverbal communication. Students were really engaged with the variety of activities. They all completed two topics with many being able to complete all three. Every student was able to access the lesson and genuinely seemed to enjoy it. This could be seen by the amount they completed within their booklets. It was amazing to give students a taste of a subject they wouldn’t normally explore until at least year 9. If I were to do it again I would adapt some of the activities by doing fewer topics but in more detail. Giving them a chance to apply their knowledge more to their everyday lives. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and loved getting to know the year group prior to their start. My favourite moment was when students would leave the lesson asking when they could start to learn about psychology when they start Chauncy.
We learnt about Water Cycle, Properties of Water & Density with different practical activities and demos. Students were engaged and very excited each day to see what they were doing next. Alex & Leanne were great and I went between the two lessons helping both teachers and the students. I heard lots of ‘Science is the best’ comments from the students so think they enjoyed it! Loved the day shadowing a form too – got to see different subjects and teachers rather than being in my science bubble! Thoroughly enjoyed the week and from my perspective, it was great and needed no improvement! Thanks for the opportunity!
I taught a series of science lessons throughout the week. Students were engaged and were able to see what a science lesson would be like at Chauncy school. Students completed all tasks happily and were able to meet the objectives of the lesson. By the end of the week, all students knew they had to come into the lesson and complete a starter in silence. Students were also more confident in using practical equipment by the last lesson. Coming back to school in September all the students remember my name and face and would say hello. I believe this has helped them feel more comfortable and confident starting secondary school. In my year 7 science lesson students were already aware of my expectations which made for a very smooth transition. The only improvement I would suggest would be to the science sessions would be maybe to liaise with some of the local primary schools before I plan the lesson to see if any lessons from KS2 could do with revising. There were many memorable moments but as always to see awe and curiosity on students faces when they are exposed to new ideas is the best! In a particular lesson, I changed the density of water by adding sugar and made an object that would usually sink, float. They all loved it.
In addition to the comprehensive range of curricular activities, we incorporated a number of induction activities to familiarise students with the school site, highlighting key areas such as Reception, toilets, the Dining Hall, Year Seven wet break area etc.
We were also able to introduce key people face-to-face such as the Year Seven tutor team, the Learning Coordinator (Head of Year) and Key Pastoral staff (two Pastoral Support Officers and the Deputy Headteacher for Pastoral Care). For those students with SEND requirements, it was also an opportunity for them to meet and work with our Teaching Assistants who will have a role in supporting them in the new term.
We also used the week to allow students to log into several school systems that they would be using from September such as the computer network, Google Classroom, Gmail and a range of online learning tools, which are embedded into our curriculum.
Summer School Finances
Our funding allocation was £80,893.50 which was based on 5 days of summer school and a possible 1355 pupil days.
We calculated an attendance of 939 actual pupil days on our summer school which equates to a funding allocation of £56,058.30 based on a daily pupil rate of £59.70.
The total costs of the summer school were £57,012.48 of which £4312.11 were considered unrecoverable costs due to unknown absence due to Covid-19 and illness when staffing and resources had already been confirmed.
The school did not charge, nor receive any additional income for the summer school so a total claim of £57,012.48 was submitted to the Department for Education on 1st October 2021.
A breakdown of costs incurred can be seen below. Receipts available upon request.
In addition to staff wages, reprographics costs, catering costs and purchasing resources for the Summer School, we ordered 59 HP Google Chromebooks at £249.00 each, to issue to those students who have been identified as in receipt of Pupil Premium, to ensure that they have a capable device to access classwork, homework and catch up resources. During the two school closures due to lockdown measures, Chauncy School has tried successfully to ensure that each child has access to a computer device capable of running Google Classroom, Edulink, Microsoft Office Online as well as the many other preferred online learning tools available.
Further Evaluation and Conclusions
Due to early promotion and support from our primary schools, our summer school was well attended, it clearly covered the induction needs of our new students, given the face to face opportunities missed or reduced due to Covid-19 restrictions earlier in the term. The summer school has contributed hugely to a very smooth start for this cohort in September, we have happy, enthusiastic and confident students in Year Seven.
It is a very broad measure, but if we examine the percentage of A Grades awarded in the Year Seven Half Term Autumn Review, we can clearly see that this cohort has made a significantly better start to the year than in the previous two years. Our reporting system awards A to D for effort, behaviour and homework, where A is the top grade.
The students clearly enjoyed the opportunity to attend summer school, the parents appreciated the range of activities, the opportunity to catch up on lost education time as well as the social benefits of starting their new school before September. The staff felt that working with the Year Six cohort allowed them to get to know the children better and forge positive relationships which would greatly assist in the settling in process in September.
We feel that the summer school was a highly valuable experience and if we were offered the chance to another next summer, we would welcome it.
Steve Walton (Deputy Headteacher)