The Summer Schools Programme 2021

The Summer Schools Programme 2021

Department for Education (DfE) research estimates that in the first half-term of autumn 2020, pupils in:

  • Years 3 to 9 were on average around 1.6 to 2 months behind on their reading;
  • Years 3 to 7 were around 3.2 months behind on their maths;
  • Schools with high numbers of pupils eligible for free school meals were on average further behind those in schools with low free school meals eligibility.

Anecdotal evidence also points to children and young people’s mental health having suffered from Lockdown and from periods of individual or class isolation, even after schools reopened fully in the Autumn Term.

Summer school provision with an academic focus during summer 2021 provided the potential to support pupils attending to make up for some of their missed education. The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) finds that, on average, pupils attending a summer school can make:

  • 2 months’ additional progress (compared with pupils who do not attend);
  • Up to 4 months’ additional progress, if the summer school offers small group tuition led by highly trained and experienced teaching staff.

Evidence suggests a broader benefit for families and communities, support for vulnerable children and young people, pupil mental health and wellbeing, improved education engagement and transitions, and reduced youth violence.

The Harton Academy summer school comprised two one-week provisions, which were offered to year 6 and 7 students, with a total of 192 students being offered a place across the two year groups.

The structure of each day included three 1.5 hour sessions with a 15-minute break in the morning and 1-hour lunch (provided by our school canteen) to allow students to socialise and make new friends.

Each group also took part in a full morning off-site trip of their choice on one morning of the week.  Trips choices were:

  • Escape room
  • Paddle boarding
  • Beach photography
  • Foot golf

An example timetable for the week is shown below:

The Summer Schools Programme 2021

The activities covered a range of academic subjects, in addition to the off-site trip and a celebration afternoon.  Subjects offered were as follows:

  • Textiles
  • English (creative writing week 1, murder mystery week 2)
  • PE (swimming, tennis, rounders, problem-solving and team work activities)
  • Engineering
  • Geography (building a squatter settlement)
  • Mathematics (theme park manager)
  • Spanish
  • Performing arts
  • History (escape from the underworld)
  • Science (Hartworts School of Witchcraft)
  • Art (mono-printing)

The school received a total of £57,312 to fund the summer school programme.  This was used to support the following:

  • Staffing costs, to include teaching staff, school support assistant provision, catering staff, cleaning staff (£42,099.66);
  • Resources to support the delivery of subject-specific sessions (£9,521.91);
  • A full morning off-site at a venue of the students’ choice (£2,188.00);
  • Lunch provided every day for every child (£2,750.00);
  • Summer school stationery, caps, bags and t-shirts (included above);
  • Celebration event on the last day (included above);
  • Use of sports facilities (£1600).


  • Students’ confidence clearly increased across the week as they made new friends, explored the school and met some of their new teachers. They were far more confident by the last day and some arranged to meet new friends before starting in September.
  • Students who attended summer school were very positive and looking forward to starting their first day of the new term.
  • Feedback from both parents and students was very positive, thanking the school for providing this opportunity for their child;

‘My daughter has attended summer school this week and has absolutely loved it! She’s been bursting to tell me what she’s been doing at the end of every day.

I want to say thank you to all staff who have worked hard to plan and teach such fun activities and to keep her fed and watered too. She’s full of confidence about starting properly in September, which is such a relief after the last two years in school.’ 

“I really liked Summer School because we got to do so many fun activities in different lessons and we got shown around to help us. You could tell all the teachers really cared about our future” 

“ Summer School was great because it gave me a chance to make some friends before school started and it was great that they gave you these opportunities to do some really awesome activities”