The pandemic negatively impacted many areas of our society, but a major worry was the widening of the attainment gap. Latymer Upper wanted to help local schools by providing catch up support for those children who were falling furthest behind as a result of repeated lockdowns, and so they launched our Attain programme in January 2021.
The Year 5 and 6 primary school pupils involved in Attain were nominated by their class teachers, and were selected on the basis of the impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on them and their education. Each child receives up to 15 hours of catch up support in Maths and English from a dedicated tutor who works with a small group of 3-4 children. The tutors are teachers from not only Latymer Upper and Latymer Prep Schools, but also teachers who have partnered with us from St Paul’s Girls’ School and St Paul’s School.
Thanks to the generous support of several donors, this tutoring provision is being offered free of charge to the 12 partner schools involved in this first phase.
The students involved in our Primary Attain programme had been assessed by their teachers as being between 1-2 years behind where they were expected to be. After taking part in the programme, 80% of the class teachers who responded to our feedback survey saw an increase in their students’ academic ability; 100% saw increased student confidence; and 100% also saw an increase in their students’ overall readiness to be back in school after lockdown.
Given the overwhelming success of the early stages, this programme was expanded from primary to secondary school children and with catch-up support for Year 10 students as well. In late April, six Latymer teachers started running in-person sessions at our neighbour, West London Free School. So far, our tutors have provided 18 hours of additional teaching across the three Sciences, English Language, Spanish and Maths. Lessons have been made available to up to 50 students, all of whom have been identified as in receipt of Pupil Premium or meeting an equivalent indicator of low financial means, and having a high-level need for additional catch up support as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. Lessons will run until the end of the summer term. We will be monitoring participants both in terms of their short-term progress immediately after receiving additional lessons and also their longer-term outcomes, such as GCSE results next summer, as we hope to sustain our support through the next academic year.
What the teachers and pupils said about the programme:
Photo (c) Latymer Upper – Latymer Upper teacher taking an Attain session at St John’s Walham Green CE Primary School