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17th December 17
Trail : home / Curriculum Materials and Projects / Examples from Summer Schools

Examples from Summer Schools

 

 

Summer Schools

Government funding currently supports eight AGT summer schools in Lancashire every year.  Each year the AGT team visit the wide range of events and report consistent comments and experiences of those involved.

In 2003 a detailed evaluation of the summer schools was undertaken and the key messages arising are outlined below. These reflect the ongoing findings - summer schools are powerful and the approaches which are so successfully used should influence planning and provision in the classroom.

The full evaluation document can be accessed through the link at the bottom of the page.

STRENGTHS AND POSITIVE OUTCOMES

Every centre reported a successful summer school which achieved its broad aims. Particular impact was reported to have been made on:

a)  Supporting transition from primary to secondary phase. 
b)  Developing pupils’ social skills through collaboration and teamwork. 
c)  Developing pupils’ self-confidence.
d)  Increasing pupil motivation and engagement.
e)  Developing pupils’ ability to work independently and creatively.
f)  Developing pupils’ ICT skills.
g)  Enriching and extending pupils’ curriculum experience.
h)  Enhancing pupil-teacher relationships.
i)  Staff development.
j)  Parental support. 
k) Attainment.

 

IMPLICATIONS FOR TEACHING AND LEARNING

FOR ABLE PUPILS
a) Many are considering ways of changing schemes of work/lessons to incorporate more of the elements that enthused the pupils and enhanced their learning.
b) Using the most able pupils to trial alternative classroom approaches which might then be more widely applied.
c) Supporting pupils to enter national competitions.
d) Providing a range of extra-curricular projects & activities.
e) Some centres have used their experiences of summer school to inform whole-school developments; e.g. pupils taking over the management and production of the school’s termly newsletter

FOR ALL PUPILS
There was a recognition that many of the classroom approaches listed above were suitable for pupils of all abilities. In addition:
f) Timetable suspension to provide half or whole days to develop cross-curricular themes with mixed-age groups.
g) The wider use of pupil mentors: perhaps when going on visits to assist pupils in their learning and to maximise the potential of the visit.
h) Using resources created by pupils during summer school during lessons.
i) Pupils spending less time writing things down and concentrate on the main bullet points. Making more use of digital video as an alternative communication vehicle for pupils.
j) Increasing the frequency of group-based projects with an element of competition.
k) An after-school club building on new skills and interests developed during summer school, led by pupils and facilitated by the teacher.

 

ORGANISATION

Whilst different centres organise their summer schools in a range of different ways, there are many common features contributing to success:
a) Co-ordination: a summer school co-ordinator who is not tied to supporting a particular group or delivering a specific unit.
b) An over-arching theme or aim.
c) Pre-school planning - involving pupils in the planning process
d) The structure of the day -  most allow pupils the flexibility to remain on-task, identifying “natural breaks” as and when necessary.
e) Competition - team challenges linked to the main theme.
f) Encouraging independent learning - a central objective of the summer school programme and one if its key successes.
g) Variety of learning experiences. 
h) High expectations. 
i) Teamwork - a mix of ages, genders, ethnic groups and different learning styles. 
j) Involving older pupils.
k) Venue. 
l) A final celebration.

 

The response from pupils and teachers inolved in summer schools is overwhelmingly positive. The accompanying file contains a small selection of direct quotes from the young people and adults involved.