Ryde High has been recognised nationally for the study support programme it provides for its students.
For those of you who are new to the school or otherwise it is appropriate that at the start of the school year we remind ourselves of the purpose and benefits of this aspect of our school.
Study support encompasses any activity taking place in school or under the auspice of school outside of the daily timetable of lessons (in our case 6). It therefore includes breakfast club, all activities taking place after school and all taking place during the evenings or weekends.
The activities are analysed as: Academic, Recreational and Other, thereby covering subjects, sports, performance and personal development. During the last three years the average weekly provision of activities has been in the order of between 50-70 per week.
The Study Support Co-ordinator is responsible for ensuring a timetable of activities is produced, circulated and displayed throughout the school. This is actioned through the teaching assistants. All tutors should ensure that in mentoring their tutees the programme is referred to and students understand that they are responsible fore their learning and this we support through various activities.
The purpose of Study Support is known as the three A's - Achievement, Attitude and Attendance. It is therefore imperative that students see attendance at activities as a normal and beneficial / pleasurable part of their school week. Leaders of activities are encouraged to promote and celebrate participation and success as this is always beneficial. Study Support has the use of display boards that are situated in good active areas of the school and it also has a digital camera, which may be borrowed.
Colleagues are canvassed on a termly basis to ensure the programme is topical and addresses student's needs at that time. That is not to say that the additions to it are not possible should opportunities arise or situations change.
The termly canvassing needs to be expedited as promptly as possible so that momentum is maintained and students can maximise the benefits of their experiences.
In addition to the weekly activities we also offer special Study Saturday sessions for students who have been identified by teachers within curriculum areas as being in need of active support with their work. Curriculum areas are canvassed as to their needs, dates are identified, students requiring this support are highlighted on the year list posted on the 'Staff only' site. Pro- formas of letters from curriculum areas that are to be sent to parents are e- mailed to the appropriate colleague in student services who then organises that part of the process. A letter from the Head teacher is also sent to parents.
These sessions are very beneficial as evidenced by the examination data, but they would not be necessary if students did not fall behind with work. Students' feedback from Study Saturday sessions is always very positive, they enjoy the informality, the usually excellent student/staff ratio and the positive atmosphere and focus on progressing work.
It is imperative for health and safety and for professional security that all students are registered for all sessions (however short) that take place outside of lessons. Paper registers are available for this purpose, and the school is likely to circulate colleagues very soon on how study support sessions can be registered electronically. These registers are then analysed (by a designated colleague) to provide the evidence of improvement and for quality marks.
The success of Study Support depends on every member of staff, teaching and non- teaching.
Evidence shows that Study Support can improve achievement, attitude and attendance, but we cannot sit back and presume that students will attend sessions without canvassing and promoting these activities.
Study Support must remain an active and vital part of the school and needs to be promoted and attendance encouraged and praised.