Aims of the project
Saturday School aims to bridge the gap between primary and secondary school and to raise the children’s confidence in a senior school setting. Our ambition is to complement the work done in primary schools, whilst widening and enriching pupils’ knowledge and learning. Through coming to Saturday School, the children’s educational achievement may be raised and their social skills, awareness and self-confidence developed.
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.
Background and goals
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 at its site in Hammersmith.
Generous sponsorship by a former Latymer Upper pupil, the use of the school’s science and language labs, classrooms and resources, the commitment of staff and Y12 students, are all critical to the successful realisation of Saturday School. 25 staff are involved in delivering lessons for the duration of the ten week course; technicians supprt teaching staff and provide the necessary resources
Saturday School is free to all participants, with all materials as well as drinks and snacks provided by Latymer Upper.
Feedback is sought from participating pupils during the course of the sessions, as well as formally via the partner schools. Academic & social outcomes are measured by the schools and fed back to LUS. Many primary schools have noted substantial improvements in the students’ academic work, behaviour and attitude. Pupils often give talks to their peers about their experiences.
Latymer Upper has a generous bursary scheme and our ambition is that primary pupils, parents and headteachers will be keen to follow this up after attending Saturday School and other community initiatives. Currently 116 pupils are in receipt of a bursary - the majority receiving more than 75% support. More information is on our website:
More than 10 Latymer Upper lower sixth students help to run Saturday School each week and support the teaching staff.
Frequency and duration
Saturday School runs weekly during the whole of the Spring Term for 10 sessions from 9.45am-12pm. We anticipate the project running annually indefinitely and in addition we hope to increase Saturday School provision by commencing in the Autumn Term for a younger age group.