Serious Fun on Saturdays Programme
'Serious Fun on Saturdays' was a 13 week programme of activities geared towards local state school primary children in Year 5. Over 30 children attended the activities on Saturday mornings, supported by Hampton Sixth Form pupils who acted as teaching assistants. Sessions were delivered by Hampton teaching staff and were designed to instil a love of learning and improve children's literacy and numeracy, whilst encouraging all participants to have fun.
The programme aimed to provide new learning opportunities for pupils at local primary schools and was geared towards improving literacy and numeracy skills, building confidence, and developing a love of learning for its own sake. In their role as teaching assistants, Hampton sixth formers had an opportunity to develop leadership skills and learn how to work with, encourage, support and challenge young children.
The original programme was initiated in 2006 as a project match-funded by the SHINE Trust. Hampton initially worked in partnership with SHINE from 2006-2010 and then took the decision to run this initiative, working with a core group of local primary schools.
The programme was designed initially to stretch and challenge able children from a range of local state primary schools - the need for such an initiative was identified through research into SATs levels achieved in literacy tests in Year 4 to 6.
Partner schools nominated pupils who they felt would benefit from the opportunity to attend the programme.
The pupils benefitted from a variety of curriculum topics; Art, Chemistry, Design & Technology, English, Latin, Mathematics, Physics and Spanish, all featured in the programme. Some of the Primary class teachers came to observe activities and then took ideas back to their schools as well as seeing their pupils working in different surroundings and collaborating with pupils from other schools.
The school funded the programme, which allowed staff to resource activities carefully and appropriately, and enabled the coordinator of the programme to recruit staff to deliver sessions. The key resources were the personnel who played an integral part in the programme's delivery. A Senior Tutor co-ordinated the programme and administrative support was provided by Hampton School Admissions department. The sixth form teaching assistants were split between the three groups, spending two and a half hours every Saturday for 13 weeks working closely with the teacher who supported and directed the young pupils.
The programme used the full range of School facilities including science technician support when science activities were conducted.
Lessons were delivered by teaching staff and a member of the Admissions Department provided administrative support while a member of the Catering Team prepared refreshments for mid-morning break.
26 teaching staff were involved in delivering the sessions, supported by non-teaching technicians where needed. Some teachers delivered one activity to each of our three groups over three weekends, while others offered multiple sessions to all groups over several weeks.
The School funded the cost of payments to teaching and support staff provided refreshments, as well as generously resourcing the programme.
Parents were invited to complete a short survey at the end of the programme and responses were universally positive. Parents commented on the increasing confidence in their sons and their more positive approach to learning.
The pupil participants completed a simple evaluation during the final session each year, which highlighted the elements of the programme they most enjoyed and what they think they learnt during their time at Hampton.
Primary schools provided an assessment of their pupils' levels of achievement before the programme started and then reported back on the pupils' end of year attainment levels to enable Hampton to assess any measurable improvement; the programme was one contributory element to the pupils' progress.
The partner schools were invited to send their own feedback; some staff attended the weekly sessions on an ad hoc basis, others attended the celebration event at the end of the programme.
During the 2018-19 academic year, 37 Year 5 pupils from eight partner schools attended the programme and seven lower sixth (Year 12) boys from Hampton were involved as teaching assistants.
The programme ran from 9.30am until noon over 13 Saturdays between November and March. The pupils attended two different one hour lessons each week or one double lesson with their teaching assistants.
The programme ran annually with recruitment starting in September/October each year.
This community project ceased in March 2019 and was replaced with Hampton School Lion Learners initiative.