As I enter a new phase of my life and my circle broadens, I start learning new things.” Kapil Dev
At Kings Langley School, we offer a week of summer school for our New Year 7 students to support their transition into secondary school alongside a series of other events. This is offered to all students and is always in the final week of the summer holidays, so that it leads beautifully into the new school term. The week encompasses a wide range of activities which have been organised to address and fulfil our planned intentions.
We have a broad set of intentions and aims to cover and achieve from students’ well-being to embracing the school’s ethos and culture. The key intentions are:
- For students to enjoy their first experiences at Kings Langley School
- To ensure that students feel safe and comfortable with the staff and inside of the school building
- To design activities and situations which encourage students to make new friends and build good relationships
- To share and encourage students to embrace our core values and ethos of character
- To help give students an understanding of the expectations of KLS school and KLS lessons
- To identify any key weaknesses of individuals for numeracy and literacy
We plan a series of activities depending on the numbers of students attending and linking to the specialisms of the staff who are signed up to run the week. Our primary foci are to ensure that students feel comfortable entering a much larger building; can confidently find their way around the different areas and build good relationships with staff and their peers, particularly within their form groups. To accomplish these, we include “Getting to know you” activities; team building games and school tours. We put students into friendship groups to begin with and ensure where a sole student comes from a primary school they are introduced to a group of others quickly. We make opportunities within the week for the whole cohort to mix and work in their form groups.
Our programme always includes sporting activities as these enable large groups to work together and encourage good character virtues such as team work; leadership; and kindness. There is an additional session on “The KLS Student” which looks at character traits that we would want a great student to have including stickability; self-regulation and empathy. This activity is designed to be creative and we encourage students to think “outside of the box”; and then present their ideas in small groups.
Students all receive a starter pack which includes the expected standard equipment they need for lessons, and we supply break time snacks and lunch. We encourage students to make their own rolls, which often leads to a learning moment on how to apply butter to bread and can lead to some quite interesting filling combinations! Students also receive a school logoed water bottle to avoid use of plastic cups and starts great recycling and environmental discussions.
This year the students were treated to the activities of:
- Pizza and bread making
- School tour followed up with the school location challenge later in the week
- Drama activities
- An introduction to our computer systems and platforms
- Stone painting
- Plenty of team games and physical activities
- Reading activities
We asked students for feedback and we received some great feedback:
- Did you feel that the staff made you feel welcome and safe at summer school? 100% Yes
- Did you make new friends at summer school? 96% Yes
- Did you feel more confident coming into the school building and finding your way around by the end of summer school? 94% Yes
- "I found summer school really fun. The teachers were really nice, and welcoming, I don't really have anything you can improve on to be honest. Thank you for taking time off from your summer holidays to come to summer school." - DT Year 7
- "I think it was a really good experience and I'm so glad I went as I made new friends and had a really good time!" - MW Year 7
- "Summer school was so fun and helped me learn some more people in my form and get to know them a bit. It was so fun and I would definitely recommend going." - MK Year 7
- "Overall, I loved summer school and if I could, I'd do it again." - MP Year 7
- "It was amazing definitely 10/10" - BP Year 7