Overview of Events at Lawn Manor Academy, Swindon
Term 1 at Lawn Manor started with a motivational assembly to all of year 9 from Cameron Parker after which a small cohort of students were invited to a follow-up workshop. Cameron talked about his own life experiences and what he learned from those experiences. Twenty-five students were then invited to a workshop where they took part in a discussion about what success means to them. The group also worked on goal-setting, not just for the immediate future but also for 25 years’ time! The NEURPI aim of the assembly and workshop was ‘Become’ as it allowed students to consider how personal circumstances and characteristics influence academic and employment aspirations.
September also saw a new cohort of thirty Year 9 students take part in a sustained mentoring programme. This term saw Group A take part in 4 weeks of mentoring for one hour each week. The main NERUPI aims for the mentoring programme are ‘Choose’ and ‘Become’, as interactions will enable students to consider their career and HE choices and to imagine what the future might look like for them. After getting to know each other in Week 1, Week 2 of the programme allowed students to explore the link between higher education and careers, while Week 3 focused on student finance and course choices. Week 4 gave students the chance to undertake a mind-mapping exercise to support students to make informed choices which align with their personal interests and career aspirations. Use of Career Pilot and UCAS proved invaluable in these sessions as a way to bring all the information together.
Year 11 had the opportunity to take part in workshops provided by MADE. During the first week of half term 75 students from Year 11 proved their dedication to trying their very best in their upcoming GCSE’s by taking part in a 2-and-a-half hour-long workshop provided by MADE. MADE and Study Higher have worked together for several years to provide students with key techniques to revise and study effectively. The NERUPI aim for this workshop sits under the category ‘Practice’ as students learned invaluable skills that they would need not only to succeed at school, but that they would also need for future study in further and higher education.
A new term also saw the launch of Fantastic Futures with 17 Year 10 students attending the launch event and 20 Year 11 students taking part in the paired mentoring scheme.
All of the above activities had the overarching aim to meet Gatsby Benchmark 7 as they provided students with the skills and knowledge they need to understand the variety of learning opportunities available to them.
Evaluation and Impact: What did students gain from Study Higher activity in Term 1?
Students who attended Cameron Parker’s assembly and workshop were asked to reflect on the following question at the end of the workshop:
Thinking back on the assembly and workshop, what did you learn and how did you feel?
It was clear from the students’ feedback that they found Cameron relatable and that his insights inspired them to focus their efforts on their education. Some of the feedback from students included:
“Cameron has inspired me to keep my head down and focus on my GCSE’s”
“[Cameron] makes me want to work hard on my subjects as I have been struggling”
“‘[Cameron] made me want to focus on lessons because I can get to where I want to go”
Students who took part in the sustained mentoring programme showed great progress during the course of the 4 week programme and it was really rewarding to see the students become more confident during this time. Feedback from students made it clear that they found mentoring beneficial:
“I now know what I will do in the future and what qualifications I will need to take”
“It opened my eyes to what I need to succeed in life and be the happiest I can be”
“[T]he sessions were well planned and the information was very clear and easy to understand”
Term 2 at Lawn Manor is now well underway and we already have plenty of activity planned, including CV workshops for all of Year 11 to take place during their Personal Development Day, welcoming a new group of students on the mentoring programme, preparation sessions for the ‘Involve’ project with Villiers Park and a Revision Workshop which will be facilitated by The University of Oxford in readiness for the launch of the new revision app!