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Successful Summer Schools: Which pupils groups should schools be targeting?


Recent government guidance for summer schools makes it clear that while supporting primary to secondary transitions is something schools should consider focusing on, new Year 7 pupils are not the only cohort who could benefit from a summer school programme. 


Schools are free to focus on the pupils they will benefit the most from a summer programme. And a well planned and staffed summer school can help pupils from across the age and ability range.


Teaching Personnel is ready to provide specialist teaching, tuition, support and enrichment staff to help you deliver a truly impactful summer school programme, whichever pupils you choose to focus on.

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Here are four examples of summer schools we are working on delivering with client schools currently.


Summer School Targeting Pupils Transitioning from Year 6 to Year 7


A summer school programme to support pupils transitioning into a secondary environment should give pupils an opportunity to:

  • Build a new sense of identity as they meet new classmates 
  • Learn the systems of the school
  • Experience KS3 style learning 
  • Provide an opportunity for assessment of additional academic and pastoral needs before September.


Targeted pupils could include:


  • Pupils with lower attainment in primary school
  • Pupils who have faced difficulties in their learning.
  • Pupils who may struggle with the extended time at home
  • Pupils who may find the transition difficult for reasons including behaviour or attendance
  • Family focus - children from families who may find the transition difficult
  • Example 2 Continuing Catch-Up 


Summer School to Continue Catch-Up and Recovery Work


This style of summer school continues the catch-up and recovery work undertaken during the summer term.

  • Avoid learning loss during the summer holidays
  • Reinforce the investment made in tutoring during the summer term
  • Allow pupils to catch up on missed content from the previous two years
  • Get pupils "school-ready" for September


Targeted pupil groups should include:


  • Pupils currently benefitting from tuition
  • NTP tuition pupils
  • Pupils who have struggled during the summer term
  • Vulnerable children and those who may struggle with extended periods at home


Summer Schools for Children Identified as Vulnerable


Creating an engaging, energetic and purposeful environment for vulnerable children during the summer break is an excellent use of Summer School funding.

  • Work on closing the attainment gap
  • Identify academic and pastoral needs ahead of September
  • Opportunity to engage in confidence-boosting enrichment activities
  • Continue tuition work started during the summer term


Targeted pupils could include:


  • Vulnerable children
  • Those who will struggle with extended periods at home
  • Those likely to experience food poverty
  • Children who have struggled with the return to school during the summer term


Summer school programme to focus on pupils preparing to enter year 11


With GCSE and A-Level exams potentially returning in 2022, focussing on next year's exam groups could be highly beneficial.

  • Catch-up on missed content
  • Work on study skills needed for exam success
  • Create a sense of purpose for the coming year


Targeted pupils could include:

  • Pupils with lower attainment in Year 10 and Key Stage 3
  • Pupils with identified special needs 
  • Pupils recommended by subject teachers and pastoral staff
  • Pupils who may struggle out of school during the summer


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