Saturday School was launched in 1995; it is an opportunity for pupils in Y6 from local primary schools to experience both familiar and new subjects in a senior school setting. Our goal is for students to have a positive and confidence-inspiring experience of secondary school, before they begin at their chosen schools the following autumn.
Taught by Latymer Upper staff, lessons are fun, lively, innovative and creative. Teachers are supported by our Sixth Form volunteers.
Participating children can be of all abilities: Headteachers are asked to select those pupils who may benefit the most, with a particular priority for those eligible for Pupil Premium. Saturday School is entirely free to attend.
The children are selected by the headteachers for a wide variety of reasons. The aims are to bridge the gap between primary and secondary school; to allay some of the stresses about the transition to senior school; also to complement the work done in primary schools, whilst widening and enriching pupils’ knowledge and learning. Through meeting other local children, there are opportunities for participants to form new friendships and develop their social skills and self-confidence.
Saturday School operates in a fun, sociable and relaxed learning environment, but its success relies on support and partnership from the primary school headteachers and the participants’ parents or guardians. To achieve maximum benefit, children are expected to attend all sessions.
Benefits are seen from various perspectives:
Participating pupils benefit as above, and develop friendships with children from other local schools.
Community links are fostered between Latymer Upper School, local families, and the primary schools.
Latymer Upper sixth form students benefit from volunteering as classroom assistants and develop skills in communication, planning and working with the local community.
Latymer Upper staff gain professional development experience and increase their understanding of the transition needs of Year 6 pupils, which they can then use to inform their planning for Year 7 classes.
Up to 50% of our intake at Year 7 is from the state sector and we hope that community initiatives such as Saturday School will encourage local children to consider Latymer Upper as their senior school.
Saturday School was launched in 1995 and was started as a joint project with another local independent school and was funded by the charity SHINE. The project’s initial intake was 40 children but has grown substantially over the years with 140 pupils attending in 2016. In 2005 Latymer Upper School (LUS) took over the full running, organisation, and funding of Saturday School.
Saturday School is free of charge to all primary schools and participants. Generous sponsorship by a former Latymer Upper pupil, the use of the school’s science and language labs, classrooms/resources, and the commitment of staff and students, are all critical to the success of Saturday School. Up to 20 staff are involved in delivering lessons for the duration of the term-long course; technicians support teaching staff and provide the necessary resources.
Students provided anonymous feedback at the end of the programme:
- 97% had fun and enjoyed themselves
- 79% had made new friends from other schools
- 97% learned new skills and information
- 82% now felt more happy and confident about going to secondary school
"I really liked all the activities and all the teachers are so nice"
"My favourite things were Apple Juice and Chocolate biscuits and Chemistry and Biology and philosophy"
“Saturday School has been great for broadening the education of participating students and they have appreciated opportunities that would not have been available during the normal school day (e.g. to learn a little bit of Spanish). It improves students' confidence to meet other Year 6s from local schools. I think it alleviates some of the anxiety about beginning secondary school. It also increases their aspirations. It decouples learning from constant talk of SATs, making it fun.” Joe Jones (Y6 teacher - Flora Gardens Primary)