Cool to be Clever club - Sheffield South East Learning Partnership (SSELP)
The Cool to be Clever club was launched in October 2013 in partnership with the University of Sheffield. Gifted and Talented children from the 16 primary schools in the Sheffield South East Learning Partnership take part in activities, organised at the university, which expose them to a wide range of careers and subjects from law and engineering to journalism and design. Sixth Form students from Sheffield High School mentor the children and as well as the university based sessions, additional sessions are held at Sheffield High to help build the children’s skills and confidence and set aspirational goals.
The aim of the project is to raise the aspirations and ambitions of gifted and talented primary school children and their parents who might not previously have experienced a university education.
The critical factors for the success of the project have been to ensure that the sessions are relevant to the age of the children which then maintains their interest and excitement. Involvement and engagement with their parents has also been crucial in ensuring the continued attendance of the children.
The project was established in October 2013 and the need was identified through the already existing partnership Sheffield High School had with many of the primary schools which formed the Sheffield South East Learning Partnership.
Sheffield High School approached the University of Sheffield who were very keen to be involved.
To continue to be successful, the project requires regular meetings between the project co-ordinators from Sheffield High School, the primary schools and the University. This ensures that all the activities are planned, co-ordinated and evaluated to ensure the needs and interests of the children are met and their progress can be tracked.
Sessions are held at Sheffield High School and at Sheffield University. Teaching staff and Sixth Form mentors deliver the sessions at Sheffield High and university teaching staff and student ambassadors deliver the sessions at the university. Sheffield High and the university fund the cost of their sessions and the schools fund their own transport costs.
Assessment is carried out by the university termly. This is through gathering feedback from the children on what they have most enjoyed and what they have learnt from each activity. The children’s teachers provide feedback on attainment levels each term so that their progress over a three year period can be tracked.
12 Sixth Form students from Sheffield High School mentor the 30 children throughout the project.
The Cool to be Clever club began in 2013 when the Primary children were in Year 4 and the current cohort will finish in 2016 when they reach the end of Year 6. A new cohort of Y4s will then begin.
The Cool to be Clever club meets six times a year, for six full days: three held at Sheffield University and three at Sheffield High School.
We have agreement from all partners that the project will continue at least until 2019 but hopefully beyond.