“We needed to raise the attainment and the achievement of our year six cohort by May 2015. This was a challenging cohort of pupils who, during their six years at our school, had significant issues with very poor behaviour, low levels of engagement, stilted progress, minimal parental engagement and who, as a result, suffered with a bad reputation.
“I felt strongly that as a collective whole and as individuals they were more than their reputation and searched for an innovative solution to turn things around for them during their last year of Primary school.”
A programme developed for the school
ECNAM worked with Blakesley Hall Primary school to develop a bespoke programme based on their needs and desired outcomes. Across three training session, 18 staff from various areas of the school were trained to be mentors including SLT, teachers, TAs and admin staff.
The programme made sure that all children in year six were given a mentor – not just the minority with challenging behavior. There were whole year group motivational presentations, professionals spoke to the children about their journeys to success, mentoring days were held with thematic learning, and pupils received group and one-to-one mentoring sessions. Parents were included in the process and a school governor attended to inspire the children.
Mrs Phillips said: “The result was tailor-made for the pupils and it inspired, reignited and energised the pupils, parents and staff from the outset and throughout the year. The staff training sessions, were always thought provoking and relevant.”
Class teachers reported noticeable changes in the children over the course of the programme, including:
- More of an “I can” attitude towards their work (including in some very challenging pupils who have never shown this before).
- Some hard-to-reach parents engaged with the programme, providing comments in the mentoring booklets for example.
- A mature attitude towards tests.
An outstanding success
10 months later in May 2015, the year six cohort took their SATs and outperformed all predictions. The pupils were motivated, aspirant and supportive of each other – and parents were strongly engaged. The school reported no issues with bad behaviour for the entire year, and the children left the school as responsible citizens.
“I cannot recommend Every Child Needs A Mentor highly enough,” said Mrs Phillips. “In fact, we have engaged Herman and his team again for the next year six cohort – this time with a very different brief, but with the same high expectation in terms of outcome.”