In 2017 we began our ongoing partnership with City of London Academy Shoreditch Park (COLASP). This link focusses on developing the confidence of COLASP students in line with the School Development Plan, with a specific focus on extending vocabulary and building discussion skills.
One member of the English Department spent two periods a week teaching gifted Year 7 students at COLASP in a small withdrawal group. This was a pilot project for eight sessions. At this stage, the initial focus was critical thinking and oracy. Students discussed unseen poetry and prose as stimuli to enable them to think about writers and emotions in a text.
The outreach work extended to four periods a week led by the same staff member from the English department. Building on the work so far, COLASP and CLSG created a double focus for the year: teaching more able Year 7/8 students looking at oracy and also supporting the Head of English by creating resources for most able students in the classrooms. Additionally, CLSG students from Year 10/11 volunteered to attend COLASP to mentor students there to model communication skills and writing skills. In March 201,9 CLSG hosted a workshop for 25 Year 7s from COLASP, 25 Year 7 students from CLSG and supported by Year 11 and 10 students from CLSG to produce shared writing from an unseen poem. This resulted in an assembly for the whole school in June 2019.
Students in Year 12 are currently involved in a pilot project mentoring Year 9 students at COLASP with homework and vocabulary work every Tuesday during General Studies, coordinated by the same member of English. Additionally, resources are created for COLASP and a workshop is planned for Summer 2020.
COLASP Staff have been very positive about the support and the mentoring project has been important for supporting Pupil Premium students at COLASP as part of their development plan. Students at COLASP identify better confidence and more motivation with work as well as better test grades.
CLSG Mentor students have articulated a strong sense of purpose, responsibility and commitment to developing the rapport with COLASP students and the project has created keen interest amongst a wide group of sixth formers.