We are very pleased to announce that we have entered into a new phase of our goal of improving social mobility for children in New Addington. After a few months of discussions and planning, today saw the first lessons in a Maths & English Extension Programme being offered to Year 5 pupils by Trinity School in Croydon. These Saturday morning lessons (50 minutes of each subject) are designed to stretch the children’s knowledge in the subjects in a fun way with a by-product of giving them the little bit of extra learning and confidence that might help them in the 11+ entrance exams.
As Trinity has agreed that the classes can be for up to 20 pupils, we have been able to approach the otherprimary schools in New Addington to nominate several pupils each. We have continued with the criteria for our own Tuition Programme: that the child must be academically able, committed and interested in learning and that their parents should be aspirational and willing to support their child in whatever way they are able – principally one of encouragement.
The lessons started this morning with 15 pupils: 8 boys and 7 girls. The four pupils from Rowdown Primary School already on our Tuition Programme have switched to the Trinity scheme and have been joined by pupils from Applegarth Primary Academy (4 pupils), Castle Hill Primary School (3) and Fairchildes Primary School (4). The new schools are extremely pleased to be able to offer this to their parents who have also shown their excitement and gratitude.
Given the success we have had at Rowdown, it is, of course, a bit of a gamble to change the format of the tuition, but we could not resist the opportunity to significantly increase the number of pupils under the scheme that would then have a much greater chance of achieving an opportunity of a lifetime in getting to a top selective secondary school.
Many thanks to Al Kennedy and his team at Trinity for believing that social mobility is vital, understanding that the education system does not produce a level playing field for pupils in all areas and from different backgrounds and putting their time and money into trying to provide a solution.