Saturday Literacy Scheme at JAGS
Each week fifty year three children arrive at JAGS excited to develop their literacy through interactive and engaging small group activities and presentations.
The project aims to build on the work done by local primary schools by providing literacy booster sessions for children who may be struggling following their KS2 SATS results. Strong relationships with local primary school Headteachers ensure that children are selected carefully and invited to attend this very unique program. Those selected benefit from additional literacy workshops set in a new environment where they not only have experienced teachers, but also student mentors from the JAGS Year 10 cohort.
While learning compliments the National Curriculum and further develops skills learning in their home schools, this scheme is not strictly bound by the demands of a traditional classroom. Children have an opportunity to learn in smaller groups with children from other schools with lots of exciting activities. The result is improved literacy skills, increased confidence and new enthusiasm for reading, storytelling and writing.
In 1992 a local teacher saw a need to support pupils in local maintained sector primaries, who were often being taught in large groups. Teachers and schools worked tirelessly with much success, but were still overstretched and often under resourced. She began to invite children from these schools for extra Saturday tuition classes. Over 25 years the scheme has grown and developed to include more children across all three of the Dulwich Foundation Schools. JAGS specifically focuses on Year 3 literacy support for children who may be struggling due to a variety of learning needs.
JAGS provides classrooms and facilities, teaching materials, reading resources, on-site supervision from a member of staff and organisational support to the scheme. We are also closely involved with the governance of the charity.
Feedback is sought from pupils, parents, JAGS mentors and the participants' schools to gauge the success of the scheme.
We have seen real progress in learning and engagement back in the home schools, often due to increased confidence from the smaller groups and mentor input. Parents testimonials tell us that their children have enjoyed reading more and take more care with home learning. Most importantly, the children who come say they have had fun and would highly recommend the Saturday Literacy Scheme to their friends!
Each year 30-40 JAGS students act as mentors on the scheme. They support individual pupils in the classroom, carry out administrative tasks and supervision, and, importantly, acting as role models for the younger children.
The Saturday Literacy Scheme runs 20 Saturdays a year during the Autumn and Spring terms. Over all, children receive approximately 40 hours of free tuition and a fun and safe environment.