Aims of the project
The project aims to support the learning of the Sacred Heart pupils with the use of fun activities, and to bolster the King's pupils' confidence and empathy. King's pupils act as good role models for the younger children, who may not always have these. The main need identified was for good role models and support in the classroom, as the pupils act as teaching assistants. Critical factors for success are the training of our pupils, including clear expectations of what is required for them in each activity, the willingness of the school to host the visits and a King's teacher being available to accompany the visits every week. Both Sacred Heart pupils and King's pupils benefit from the arrangement.
Background and goals
The former headteacher at Sacred Heart approached King's as she remembered a similar activity at her former primary school, St Mark's in Mitcham and hoped that the same arrangement could be made with Sacred Heart. It has been running sicnce 2011.
There are a range of basic resources used, provided by King's and Sacred Heart, including books and simple games. King's funds the transportation of our pupils to the school in a hired minibus, with one member of our teaching staff on board. The activity takes place once a week and about an hour is spent at the school.
The activity is monitored by the member of staff in charge who observes the lessons and chats to the primary school teachers whose classes are involved. Reports are written on the performance of the King's pupils which are sent to parents as part of their academic reports. The assessment is ongoing and the school is happy for us to return every year.
The Sacred Heart pupils range from four to ten years old, and the King's pupils range from 14-18. About a fifth of the pupils involved are from King's. All are mixed.
Frequency and duration
The activity takes place for about an hour every Friday afternoon of school term-time.