Town secondary schools bid for improved links with primaries

Katie Gibson and Ashley Thompson.
Katie Gibson and Ashley Thompson.

Daventry’s secondary schools are reaching out to primary-aged pupils to encourage more of them to stay in Daventry for their education.

As the Daventry Express reported last week, a third of pupils moved from local primary schools to secondary school outside the town in 2014.

But as part of a new initiative to build better links between local primary and secondary schools, pupils at The Grange got to grips with scientific equipment on Tuesday.

Science teacher Mandy Milsom of Danetre and Southbrook Learning Village (DSLV) is visiting the primary school once a week to give pupils a taste of life at the academy.

As well as familiarising them with different styles of learning and encouraging an interest in a subject, Mrs Milsom – as well as colleagues from PE, music and food technology – aims to share facilities with primary schools in Ashby Fields, Woodford Halse and Weedon Bec.

Mrs Milsom said: “I hope they will be excited and go home and speak to their parents about it.

“They love the equipment, they love putting on the goggles and using the apparatus.

“When they come to chose a secondary school it is about getting the community to come to stay in Daventry.

“I wish we could now do this with more children.”

At Parker E-ACT Academy, similar efforts to build better ties with primary schools have been led by teachers Katie Gibson and Ashley Thompson, head of year seven.

Ms Gibson said: “I am an English teacher but I have been running some taster 
sessions for year five and sixes.

“We started with Falconer’s Hill, but the idea is to get the more able students tasting some of the different subjects we offer and subjects they may have experienced already in a different way. The idea is we want to get the students who are more able in the community to really engage with learning.

“We find a lot of the more able primary school students in the community end up going to Southam or Rugby and this is about trying to keep them to keep them in Daventry, as well as hopefully encouraging some of them to come to Parker.”

The programme includes English and maths, media studies and business enterprise and has been well received by teachers at Falconer’s Hill.

Tracy Hudson of Falconer’s Hill said: “The children get so much out of the experience, they always looked forward to each session and come back with a buzz.”

There are further plans to invite 120 students from Barby, Braunston, Welton, Staverton and the Abbey to take part in a ‘Super Learners Day’ run by 24 year eight student ambassadors at Parker.