The project so far
Funded by the Sir Walter St. John Charity, for the past three years two project workers have been providing intensive 1:1 support to newly arrived students at Battersea Park Secondary and Southfields Academy. Young people facing significant barriers to learning have been given bilingual, English and GCSE exam support through bi-weekly sessions at the Wandsworth secondaries. Working with the schools, we have worked to improve the confidence and raise the aspirations of children who have significant language barriers, were forced to flee their countries of origin, experience a difficult home learning environment; or have large gaps in education, including no previous schooling.
Educational and social trips are also organised for the half term holidays to develop and use new vocabulary and give the young people opportunities to see parts of the city or the country they might not otherwise visit.
The new project
From January 2013 onwards, the project changed in line with the increasing need and number of referrals. Maintaining a relationship with the schools, the project workers coordinate the expansion of our Learning Mentor programme for students at these schools. They will also run homework sessions for groups of young people and organise trips and activities, each with a specific language focus.