Summer school 2021

Summer School 2021
Total number of attendees260
Average attendance90%
% of SEND students in cohort25%
% of Pupil Premium students in cohort43%

Cowley International College’s Summer School 2021 had a number of aims. It gave the school the opportunity to offer students academic catch up activities in many different subjects, including Core English and Maths, following what had been an interrupted period of education over the past 18 months. It was designed to include many enrichment activities which ran alongside and enhanced the learning, including music, team building, problem solving and PE. It provided our incoming Year 7 students with the perfect opportunity to get to know some of their classmates, teachers and the school building itself, as opportunities for the annual transition programme had been severely restricted due to the pandemic. It also allowed the school to support many of our Pupil Premium families during the potentially difficult period of the school holidays, providing food, entertainment and the trip to Knowsley Safari Park, amongst other things. Staff in the school met the students who would be joining us in September and were able to work closely with them, including those with identified SEND needs, which greatly benefitted the students and staff once the Autumn Term began in September. Also, for the students and staff who took part, it was enormous fun. Summer School ran from the 9th August until 13th August and had the theme of, ‘Into the Wild.’

In total, there were 194 students who attended from what is now our current Y7. We also had 65 students from our current Y8 as we felt it important to open up the offer to other year groups, given the lack of transition activities and the disruption those students had also faced over the past 18 months. In addition, a vulnerable student from Year 9 was invited to attend.

Our theme this year was, ‘Into the Wild.’ After much initial research and discussion, we decided that this year’s Summer School curriculum was going to concentrate on the core subjects of English and maths (with cross-curricular links to science, geography, history, PSHE and music.)

Groups were carefully chosen to allow students to work with people they knew, but at the same time giving them the opportunity to meet new friends. Many of the current Year 7 students have stated how useful they found Summer School in terms of meeting people and preparing for the move to High School. We also had two designated SEND groups for both year groups, in order to best meet the needs of our SEND students and offer a fully inclusive Summer School.

Upon arrival, all students were given a Cowley branded bag, stationery and water bottle.

Examples of activities:

  • Reading Challenge – all students were presented with the book, ‘Max takes a stand,’ which focuses on the issue of climate change, to read in dedicated English lessons, once a day, four times over the week in total.
  • Safari Maths – students were given a range of activities in maths such as using co-ordinates to find safari animals, using graphs to display data, working within a budget, and creating origami.
  • Safari Cinema – students watched a CBBC documentary on climate change with popcorn and juice as a treat, followed by discussions to help them consider what they themselves could do to tackle climate change.
  • School Safari – students followed maps around the school building and find different safari animals to help them get used to the layout of their school. This activity was useful for both the incoming Year 7 cohort and the new Year 8 cohort, who had been taught in one area of the school throughout the whole of their Year 7, due to the pandemic. Live animals were also incorporated into the activity.
  • Well-being workshops – all students received one well-being session during the week, based around the importance of highlighting the importance of mental health and specifically how to access support in school.
  • Safari Samba – students were able to work with an external music teacher during Samba sessions and had the experience of playing Samba music with their groups.
  • Team building exercises – outside enrichment activities provided by the St Helens Youth Service.

On Thursday, 235 students took part in a day visit to Knowsley Safari Park. They took part in the walkaround safari with their groups and teachers. For many of the students, this was their first visit to a safari park or zoo and many commented that they were seeing real animals for the first time.

On Friday, all students had their final English and maths session in the morning. In the afternoon, we held a celebration event in the sports hall, consisting of a disco, party games and prizes, outdoor football tournaments and even a visit from the ice-cream van. At the end of the day, there was a small award ceremony when nominated students were awarded Cowley medals for demonstrating our Cowleian values throughout the week, thus raising the profile of the school’s ethos with students and parents.

The feedback we have received from both parents and students following Summer School has been extremely positive. The week was a huge success and was thoroughly enjoyed by students and teachers alike.

T Halliwell

Summer School Co-ordinator

“My son has had a brilliant week at Summer School. The best compliment I can give is that he feels he can be himself at Cowley. Please pass on my appreciation to all the staff.  The schedule of activities have been perfect and I’m sure an enormous amount of work and effort has gone into organising and delivering this week.”

Y7 parent of SEND pupil

Summer School 2021Statement of income and expenditure

DfE Summer School funding£62,064
Teaching staff£32,322
Support staff£10,825£43,147
Other expenses
Coach travel£3,300