Over the October half-term in 2020, we ran a three-day booster session at Emanuel School for Westminster City School (WCS) pupils preparing for their GCSEs. Our aim was to fill in the gaps created by school closures and the challenges of remote learning. We provided two parallel sessions each day – one to offer intensive support; the other, to stretch and challenge.
Key concepts in Maths, English, Biology, Chemistry and Physics were covered in interactive lessons each day. Taught over the period by nine Emanuel teachers with support from several members of WCS’ staff, the sessions ran from 8.45am to 1.45pm daily.
In addition to classroom-based activities in English and Maths, students were able to undertake practical work in the Science labs enabling them to develop their understanding of difficult concepts and have hands-on experience of working in a laboratory environment. The pupils were enthusiastic and enjoyed the practical approach. In addition to the materials covered in the sessions, pupils were provided with question packs and model answers matched to the requirements of their exam board. The programme was well attended with 30 pupils participating on the second and third days.
Feedback from the pupils was overwhelmingly positive, with some even asking if there were more sessions on the Thursday and Friday. 100% of the pupils in attendance found the programme helpful and would like to attend another session if offered. Pupils commented on the range of teaching methods and the efficacy of teachers involved. In particular, pupils found the teachers to be articulate, good at interacting and committed to ensuring that the pupils understood the concepts. Based on this feedback, we plan to run the session again in 2021 and, if resources allow, to offer a follow-up session over the 2022 Easter holidays.
The initiative was a great example of collaboration between Emanuel School and Westminster City School. The deputy headteacher of WCS, Jennifer Lockyer, wrote, “I just wanted to say a massive thank you for all of the hard work that the teaching staff at Emanuel have put into the sessions for our boys this week.”