Emanuel school has a long tradition of community involvement though supporting charitable causes and community projects. All pupils at Emanuel are encouraged to be outward looking, to contribute to the community, whether local or global, to learn to notice others around them and to look beyond their own needs.

In September 2019 we launched Primary Ambitions. This outreach and partnership programme involves pupils in the Lower Sixth engaging in outreach work on a weekly basis as part of their planned curriculum.

What does Primary Ambitions involve?

Primary Ambitions brings together our Lower Sixth students and primary school pupils from schools with a high proportion of pupil premium or free school meal children (in their cohorts). On Friday afternoons, from 2.00-3.00pm, Lower Sixth students teach a variety of subjects to Year 6 children from our local partner schools, on-site at Emanuel. Students teach each subject to a maximum of 15 children from 18 different schools. The programme is divided into five 5-week modules and runs for 25 weeks.

Our Sixth Form students are supervised by a member of Emanuel staff, but the emphasis is on them leading and running each session.  The Sixth Form students undertake training and prepare the resources for their modules in early September before starting their first sessions later in the autumn term.

Other opportunities for Lower Sixth students to engage with the community include volunteering with Regeneration Rise, a local community centre for the elderly, and Spires, a charity focused on helping the homeless in London.

How much time does it take and how does it work in practice?

Out of the 35 weeks in the academic year, 25 weeks are spent mentoring, teaching and coaching the primary pupils. In addition, they have a session to prepare as needed. When they are not involved in the programme, students have private study time.

Our students nominate their preferred option at the beginning of the autumn term. They have sessions on safeguarding, teaching tips and techniques and are supported by a dedicated member of the teaching staff to ensure that they feel prepared and confident to deliver their sessions.

Typical modules

Modules cover a variety of subjects in the arts, language, literature, politics, science, technology, maths and sports. The intent of the programme is enrichment – each 5-week module is curriculum-linked and, importantly, fun.

For example, students facilitate hands-on experiments in the Science labs, help children to write a script and make a film in Filmmaking, and experience Latin and Roman life including dressing up as gladiators. Modules are action-packed and fun to deliver.

The Primary Ambitions modules for 2020-2021 are as follows:

The Arts

  • Clay Creatures (working with wet clay)
  • Comedy and Mask (interactive drama workshops)
  • Filmmaking Primer (an introduction to film-making)
  • Musical Advert (composing, scripting and writing an advert)
  • Musical Instruments (an introduction to the pBone)

Humanities and Languages

  • Greek Gods, Heroes and Myths (Classical Civilisation)
  • Latin Primer (an introduction to Latin)
  • Hola! Spanish taster (an introduction to Spanish)
  • Write Now! (creative writing masterclass)
  • Gentle Introduction to Politics
  • History (exploring life as a 10-year-old Londoner during the Second World War)
  • Geography (learning about tropical rainforests)
  • Religion and the environment (Religious Studies based module)

STEM modules

  • The Science of Survival (Biology and Ecology)
  • Maths Maestros (Maths at secondary level)
  • Robotics Challenge (learning to programme)
  • Biodiversity

Sport modules

  • Gymnastics
  • Multi-sport taster
  • Swimming

Why are we doing this?

As a school, we believe wholeheartedly in doing good for others, which is in turn good for ourselves. We have an annual trip to two partner schools in India that is oversubscribed. For those involved, it is a life-changing, eye-opening experience. It is a fantastic opportunity and one that we will continue to support.

There is so much that we can do locally too. We are an integral part of the Wandsworth community and are keen to support those who are close by. Primary Ambitions has social mobility at its core and we believe that we can really make a substantial impact on primary pupils in our local area.

This is an ideal opportunity for our Lower Sixth students to engage with our community.

What do Emanuel students gain from the experience?

Our aspiration for the Primary Ambitions programme is two-fold. We expect our Lower Sixth students to thrive with this responsibility and develop confidence, empathy and kindness – all traits that we espouse as a school. Further, they have the opportunity to develop their leadership, organisational and facilitation skills. In turn, we hope that the programme will inspire and challenge young people within our community to develop some new skills, relish newfound opportunities and explore new friendships – and most importantly, have fun!​

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