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

The current Primary Ambitions programme booklet outlining the module options can be accessed here. For highlights of the programme evaluation click here and see what our Sixth Formers thought of the experience below.

I really enjoyed sharing my passion for my subject and seeing the pupils get into it. It was really special.

What does Primary Ambitions involve?

Primary Ambitions brings together our Lower Sixth students and primary school pupils from 18 partner schools with a high proportion of pupil premium or free school meal children. 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. 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.

    It has been a joy, as a teacher, to see how much both the students running the workshops, and the Year 6 pupils taking part, have enjoyed themselves. As each workshop lasts five weeks, the children have had a real opportunity to develop their relationships with the workshop leaders.

– Goldfinch Primary School Teacher

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, the Upper Sixth 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 are fully prepared and confident to deliver their sessions.

     I have learned that you can use your imagination for everything.

– Westbridge Primary School Pupil

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 life as a 10 year Londoner during the Second World War in History. Modules are action-packed and fun to deliver.

    Our children have felt empowered to share their knowledge in class.

– Christ Church CofE Primary School

Why are we doing this?

As a school, we believe wholeheartedly in doing good for others, which is in turn good for ourselves. For example, 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.

    Our pupils loved the opportunity to work with older teens – they took a lot of notice and advice given by the Emanuel pupils.

– Falconbrook Primary School

Lessons-in-a-box

Due to school closures, we were unable to run our on-site Primary Ambitions programme in 2020-2021.  Given the need to provide enrichment activities for our partners was as great as pre lockdown, we devised a plan to create our Primary Ambitions programme as ‘lessons-in-a-box’ that could be delivered to partners to deliver remotely.

Our pupils embraced the challenge and developed ‘Lessons-in-a-box’ across 16 subject areas to deliver to our partner primary schools. Throughout the autumn term, pupils prepared lesson plans and resources for their assigned subjects. Resources included presentations, group and individual activities, how-to videos, and materials. Many of the groups recorded videos introducing themselves to their partner school pupils which is a great way for them to feel connected.  Our pupils, with support from their Primary Ambitions supervisors, have made every effort to design the sessions to be engaging and varied. The IT skills of many of the groups have been commendable.

16 of our partner schools participated in the programme this year. We delivered five modules from November through to early December. Feedback on the content was extremely positive and our partners appreciated our Sixth Formers efforts to create fun-filled, engaging materials.

We are planning to make our Primary Ambitions lessons-in-a-box materials accessible on demand to our partner schools going forward as part of our Emanuel Connect programme.

    I have learned not to give up.

– Christ Church CofE Primary School Pupil

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