Be Inspired programme for KS2
The School is particularly well known for its Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) academic approach, winning the national Award for Excellence in STEAM Education 2021. We have continued our community outreach work during the pandemic by developing a STEAM Interactive workshop series to coincide with British Science Week 2021. The interactive workshops were led by our staff and students, hundreds of Year 5 students took part ‘live’ and engaged with follow up Q&A sessions, with many other schools opting to incorporate the materials into their teaching later in the term. 247 students provided feedback on their experiences. The series also included video case studies of successful professionals in STEAM careers.
Initiatives have also included Let’s Cook Together, Sustainability workshops, Meet the Author events and Music and Digital Media workshops.
Loddon Primary is one of our Education Partners. A group of Year 10 students take part in our Literacy Changemakers initiative – supporting literacy among key Stage 2 pupils. The course, delivered by Leana Mikula, English Teacher, alongside local organisation ABC to Read has provided our own students with the skills and knowledge to support others in learning through reading.
Year 10 are paired with Year 4 students at Loddon who struggle with reading, and each week completed writing games such as pass the story, sent video messages; reading and asking questions on the texts and wrote pen pal letters.
The sessions held with ABC to Read and Loddon Primary School formed part of Year 10’s CAS (Creativity, Activity and Service) undertaking, in which students commit to a project of their choice, all with a common interest in promoting character, independence and confidence.
Sophia in Year 10 enthused, “The course helped me to understand the difficulty of reading that some of these students might have and the exercises for this were really helpful as I learnt different techniques on how to teach students.” Her peer, Emily, continued “I think that it is very good that we are helping children that struggle to read. I am excited to continue helping them and being like a teacher figure towards them.”
Foundry College Pupil Referral Unit in Wokingham provides a bespoke education, offering an alternative to mainstream education. Part of the partnership includes Key Stage 2 students coming to Leighton Park to take part in sport and musical activities, including Parkour free running and drumming workshops.
Our special and unique partnership with Foundry College goes from strength to strength. We regularly welcome KS4 students onto the Park for work experience as well as host INSET away days for staff at the beginning of the academic year. Our catering friends at Thomas Franks have provided nutritious meals to Foundry families and our PSC have donated countless resources from Lego and stationary to garden furniture and white goods. In turn we have exceptional expertise and advice at the end of the phone, and feel very proud of the mutual beneficial partnership which started in 2019.
Jay Blundell, Headteacher, Foundry College
“I have four very excited little boys who had a wonderful time today and their staff whose anxieties around this new experience have been put in check. Please convey my personal thanks to your staff for making this such a positive experience for all.”
On Tuesdays, Year 10 changemakers visit Ridgeway Primary School in Whitley as part of our buddy programme. Being a buddy means making a commitment to an educational partnership for an academic year, and being adaptive in the projects Leighton Park can offer to the primary students. We work with Ridgeway on their PE & Games, reading, art and numeracy – as well as welcoming them to meet Author Steve Cole, our Patron of Reading!