Summer School 2021
147 pupils benefitted from The Hurst’s Summer School – 75% of the new year 7 cohort. Attendance each day was extremely high, with only a small number of students unable to complete all five days due to unforeseen circumstances.
Students spent the week in their tutor groups, helping them to make friends with the individuals that they would be working alongside in September. Over 95% of the attendees agreed that they enjoyed meeting new people and making new friends.
“My daughter loved having the chance to learn about the school and meet her class mates when just their year was around. It greatly boosted her confidence!” – a parent
“This was such a helpful and positive experience or my son. He is generally quite shy and this really helped him to get a better idea of what to expect.” – a parent
“I started the week quite nervous, but after just the first day, I had made friends and the school already felt familiar!” – a student
Step into the classroom!
After a tough 18 months, it was great to be able to offer small group sessions with our dedicated team of subject-specific staff, to provide an invaluable boost to students’ already excellent skills.
Students enjoyed lessons in the core subjects as well as getting ‘hands on’ in Music, Drama, Technology and Art.
As well as this, individuals and small groups of students also spent time in our Wellbeing Support area, and our SEND provision. This enabled individual students to get to know the levels of support on offer at The Hurst School, as well as enable our staff to get to know the individuals that they would be working with in September.
After the week, 100% of students felt much more knowledgeable about the school and its staff.
As well as spending time in the classroom, students were asked to push themselves in a full day of Challenge activities. This required students to focus on their team building and communication skills to ensure that their tutor group were victorious!
Students used their creative and problem-solving skills, but were also put to the test with ‘Dan the Skipping Rope Man’ and our huge Sport’s Hall sized inflatables.
This was a real highlight for students who really pushed themselves out of their comfort zone!
The overwhelming majority of parents evaluated that after the week, their children were much more confident about their start at The Hurst School.
Cotswold Wildlife Park
As part of the Summer School, students were taken to the Cotswold Wildlife Park where they enjoyed a day in the sun, in small groups, getting to experience a different setting.
This was a really special day given the lack of opportunity for visits of this kind in their final year of Primary School.
Whilst at the Wildlife Park, students had a number of challenges to complete. Fantastic photos were captured, artwork was created, and puzzles were solved.
The students were impeccably behaved and both the coach drivers and the Wildlife Park staff commented on how well they conducted themselves.
“The day out to Cotswold Wildlife Park was amazing! We enjoyed a picnic, had ice creams and saw lots of animals I had never seen before!” – a student
“Taking students to the Wildlife Park was a real highlight. My son didn’t stop talking about the day!” – a parent
Each morning, the whole year group, and all of their teachers, came together to consider the journey that they were beginning at The Hurst School.
At the start of the week, this was a great opportunity for Mrs Billingham and Miss Conran to outline the high expectations that they had of Year 7 2021, but as the week went on, students enjoyed seeing daily updates on what they had achieved.
Each morning, students would see photos of their endeavours from the day before, and link the challenges that they had faced to the bigger world.
The students and teachers used the hashtag #StrongerTogether to sum up everything that they did. By the end of the week, tutor groups could be heard chanting the hashtag loud and proud!
“Coming together each morning meant that we saw lots of The Hurst teachers and staff. This made me feel at ease as I knew exactly who to go to if I had a problem.” – a student
“By the end of the week, I felt like we really were a team!” – a student
“My daughter didn’t know one child before starting at The Hurst. The Summer School helped her to meet other students in a safe environment meaning that her first week in September was much the same as any other child’s regardless of how many students they knew already. This was invaluable and made the transition so much smoother for her.” – a parent
"The Summer School 2021 gave my daughter one of the best possible starts in the transition to secondary school. I would have no hesitation in recommending the Summer School," - a parent.
On the final afternoon, all students took part in an inter-tutor group Benchball competition. This was their final opportunity to challenge their team work and communication.
After this, students sat for their final assembly of the Summer School 2021 and, after watching a highlights reel of the week, titled #StrongerTogether, they were congratulated by Mrs McLaren, their Headteacher, who praised them for their efforts and the success that they had shown.
All students left, proudly wearing The Hurst Summer School medals – and were truly deserving of the celebration!
Feedback from students and their parents has been overwhelmingly positive, with 99% of all evaluating that they felt better prepared for their start to secondary school in September.
Parents reported that the Summer School impacted positively on their child’s experience of starting at The Hurst School and were so pleased that they had been a part of the school’s success.
“So glad my child did the Summer School. A massive confidence boost.” – a parent
“My daughter was so excited to start after the Summer School and was a little disappointed that she could not start school immediately! Thank you so much to those involved!” – a parent
“The Summer School 2021 gave my daughter one of the best possible starts in the transition to secondary school. I would have no hesitation in recommending the Summer School.” – a parent
In the Spring of 2021, the Department for Education announced its intent to fund Summer Schools.
The Hurst School staff valued this opportunity to deliver an exciting and enriching experience for the school’s newest recruits, particularly at a time when transition activities had had to be limited as a result of COVID restrictions.
The school used £26,607 of the allocated funding.
This was used in order to cover the costs of:
- Staffing, ensuring low staff: student ratios and encompassing teaching and support staff
- External materials and services, for example sporting activities and equipment
- A field trip, including transportation
- Provision for break and lunch meals for students in receipt of Free School Meals
A huge thank you to our dedicated team of staff for making this summer school possible.
And of course, thank you to the students for getting stuck in and being amazing!