School scheme puts students in the driving seat

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A DAVENTRY school has set up an innovative scheme to help ease the transition for youngsters from primary to secondary education.

The new student ambassadors programme has been launched by the Parker E-ACT Academy (formerly William Parker School).

It will see specially trained academy students heading out to primary schools to help organise events and lessons, while primary school children get the chance to visit the secondary school for special taster sessions.

Dawn Petch is head of transitions at the academy and in charge of helping new pupils adjust.

She said: “We relaunched as an academy in September and I’m new here as well so it’s a new idea and a new approach.

“We want to change perceptions of what was William Parker and is now Parker E-ACT.

“I decided the students would have to apply to these positions, with forms countersigned by parents. There are 34 ambassadors, but we had more than 200 applications.”

To prepare for their role, the new ambassadors underwent two days of training on Thursday and Friday last week.

They will then be heading out to primary schools in the Daventry area to help develop and lead younger pupils in various activities designed to help ease the transition between junior and secondary education.

Mrs Petch said: “The ambassadors will be able to teach certain lessons such as those titled ‘My Amazing Body’ or ‘I’m An Amazing Learner’.

“The idea is to stimulate the learning of pupils in years three, four and five.

“Pupils at primary schools also won’t have had a lot of experiences you expect at secondary school.

“Things like doing a science experiment in a lab that causes a little explosion, or doing drama in a proper drama studio.”