Aims of the project
The aim of the project is to raise the academic and vocational aspirations of students of less privileged backgrounds who may feel that university is not for them. All seven state schools in the Wimbledon Partnership have a good number of students of this kind. The critical factors for success are the support of all seven schools, a member of staff representing the project in each school who is able to accompany the students on trips or arrange for this and the willingness of the students’ parents to support their children’s participation. The booklets accompanying each session also need to be regularly updated and delivered well in advance.
Background and goals
The opportunity was identified by the executive committee of the Wimbledon ISSP, chaired by Heather McKissack, in 2008. The project was created in 2009 and has been running ever since.
The project is financed by King’s College School and its partner schools, each of which provides a member of staff to supervise the students and accompany the sessions. Transport and admissions costs to venues such as the National Theatre etc are funded by King’s, which also publishes the booklets which accompany each session.
The project is regularly reviewed by the representatives of the seven schools. Each booklet contains a questionnaire for the students to fill in and these are assessed by the representatives. The effectiveness of the project is also assessed by each school through the students’ GCSE and A level results and their university applications. Feedback is provided at the termly meetings of the Wimbledon Partnership.
Mixed, years 9-12.
Frequency and duration
The project runs for three years and sessions are roughly twice a term. In Year 11 the students attend a course of 10 weekly GCSE revision sessions followed by a session on coping with exam stress.