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Saturday Morning Extension Lessons

We have partnered with the Rowdown Inspire to Aspire Foundation to provide additional lessons to academically able children from low income Croydon families with the potential to reach 11+ entrance exam standard so they may attend selective schools in the area and benefit from the academic and extra-curricular opportunities these schools can provide. We are committed to social mobility in this way.

Aims

The aim of the Extension Lessons is to provide bright children from low income families in Croydon with the greater depth of knowledge required to pass the 11+ entrance exams for selective schools to such a standard that they qualify for the financial support required for their families to be able to access a fee-paying secondary education with all the benefits it offers.

We recognise that the majority of our intake is from more affluent families which can support the child’s approach to the 11+ with greater learning options such as private tuition, preparatory school or additional home learning that is not generally available to children from less affluent backgrounds. The Extension Lessons aim to level that playing field to some extent.

Success – as in being offered a place at a selective school – in the 11+ entrance exams is extremely competitive but is exacerbated by a relatively small bursary pot required for children from lower income families to attend our school. We understand that these children must perform to a high standard and the independent schools need to be flexible when reviewing exam results to ensure that the potential in disadvantaged children can be recognised and achieved. The critical factor for success is strong teachers, enthusiastic children (and parents) and a commitment to social mobility by all independent schools.

The immediate beneficiaries are the children that are selected (by their primary schools) for the tuition and their parents who then do not have to, perhaps, find the funds to cover the cost of private tuition. However, it is our experience that many families would not even have contemplated the possibility of an independent school for their academically able child because they were not aware of the opportunity for scholarships and bursaries to support the cost of education. As time goes by, we hope that the whole Croydon community will benefit from increased social mobility as the pupils go on to find successful careers and give back to their local community that helped them to achieve.

Background

The Rowdown Foundation first set up a small group tuition at one school in New Addington in 2014. They approached us and other independent schools to see if we could look favourably at the 5 pupils that were being tutored and we were very pleased to take one boy on a substantial bursary. That boy is now in our Fourth Year (Year 10) and has been a superb role model for what can be achieved.


Recognising the potential for this one school trial to be replicated, we offered to partner with the Rowdown Foundation and offer a class of Saturday morning tuition to around 20 Year 5 pupils selected by the six New Addington – a particularly deprived area of Croydon – primary schools. Tuition started in April 2017 and ran to the end of the calendar year to prepare children for the 11+ exams in January 2018, using our own teaching staff as tutors. We then ran a new class from Jan-Dec 2018 and it was decided that it would be preferable to engage a tutor from outside to provide these lessons.

Also in January 2018, the Rowdown Foundation arranged with Royal Russell School for them to host a Year 4 group from the same primary schools which would feed into our new Year 5 group in January 2019.


In the first three years of the Extension Lessons we have had a great deal of success (see below) and it was decided to increase the reach of the Extension Lessons by engaging another tutor and including more Croydon-based primary schools. Contact was made directly between Trinity and some schools and also between the Rowdown Foundation and others. Because of oversubscription we have decided to increase the number of classes to 3 and the c.70 pupils started in January 2020.

Resources

Trinity has hired and funded 3 quality teachers with an experience of Years 5/6/7 Maths and English national curriculum together with verbal and non-verbal reasoning and 11+ entrance exam formats.


The School provides all classroom facilities including computer access, white boards etc;
General learning equipment: books, writing materials, files/book bags etc.

Trinity funds this project.

Impact

The key impact is that the children we are tutoring become more confident in Maths and English (and generally) and that there are a number of them that sit and pass 11+ entrance exams and receive offers of places at selective grammar or independent schools.

In summary, in the three years of Trinity’s involvement the following statistics have been achieved:

2017: Of 15 students, 15 recieved offers, 7 with financial support, 6 who accepted.

2018: Of 18 students, 22 offers, 10 with financial support, 7 who accepted.

2019: Of 23 students, 36, 17 with financial support, 10 who accepted. 

2020: 64 students are awaiting offers.

The 23 pupils to have been successful after the Extension Lessons have generally been placed at independent schools (19) with significant financial support through scholarships but more often large bursaries. Trinity School has taken 4 pupils so far with another three with offers of places for September 2020 entry.

The 2017 pupils that started secondary schools in September 2018 are now in Year 8, so there is some way to go before we see empirical evidence that these children have benefited from their education at the likes of Trinity. The key test will be when they have sat GCSEs in summer 2023 and we can then compare their success with published data of their peer group (using high attainers at Key Stage 2 as a proxy) at the local state schools.

In the meantime, Trinity School ensures all these pupils – and any child from a disadvantaged or low income background – makes the most of the opportunities we can offer them over their local state school. We are sure this is true also of the other local independent schools, all of which are keen to support the Rowdown Foundation in their aims for improving social mobility in Croydon.

Acting Head of School, Rowdown Primary School:
“Through the [Rowdown] Foundation, some of our KS2 pupils have been offered the opportunity of extra tuition, which was not feasible for them prior to this initiative…this has resulted in a number of our pupils being offered places at selective grammar and independent schools. In receiving tuition at Trinity and…Royal Russell, our children are not simply benefitting from intellectual stimulation. Their cultural and social awareness has been broadened which hopefully will give them the confidence to apply to and succeed at university in the future and to realise that these opportunities are open to them and not the exclusive right of more affluent families.”

Head of School, Fairchildes Primary School:
“Our school is in an area with a high deprivation index, but…children at Fairchildes achieve highly. Many of our pupils come from families where a private tutor is out of the question and so, despite a good education and natural talent, our pupils are often at a disadvantage when it comes to sitting [11+] tests. During the last three years, several pupils attended additional tuition sessions at two top independent schools to ensure that they were as prepared for entry examinations as any child with a private tutor or at a private prep school would be. In addition to the tuition, the [Rowdown] Foundation has forged links between our school and Trinity School, a high achieving private school in Croydon with a PE coach from Trinity School attending Fairchildes on a weekly basis.”

Parent of a pupil attending Maths and English Extension Lessons at Trinity School:
"We are so grateful for the support and opportunity the [Rowdown] Foundation and Trinity School has given to our son, it has been a massive opportunity. The tutoring has helped him so much with his confidence as well as furthering his education and putting him in a position that he can apply to better schools including private and grammar, which we are very grateful for as the choices for local secondary schools are not great! This could be life changing for him and we could not have done it if wasn't for the tutoring and support provided by the Foundation."

Parent of a current Year 9 Pupil attending Trinity School after receiving tuition support through the Foundation:
“It was our dream come true for our son to get such opportunity to attend a great prestige school like Trinity. As for [our son], his dream was to get the best school in the borough. Since he was admitted into Trinity his life has been changing dramatically, all his teachers and peers like him he has been doing well with all his subjects and sports activities in the school.”

Pupil Involvement

Since 2017, 120 students, across mixed genders, all students are in Year 5.

Frequency

Lessons are provided on a Saturday morning during term time – plus a few additional days – for two hours each for a calendar year (starting January of Year 5 for the pupil)