At Chessington School all pupils transitioning from Year 6 in to Year 7 were invited to the Alice in Wonderland themed summer school which took place in the first week of the summer holidays. The primary focus of the summer school was to aid transition into a secondary environment in terms of meeting other classmates, teachers and learning the systems of the school before September. This also allowed our students to form friendships and staff to form relationships with our new students and identify any academic or pastoral challenges that may require intervention in September.
At Chessington our irresistible curriculum is key to all that we do and by delivering key academic concepts through the theme of Alice in Wonderland we were able to find a balance between supporting students academically, preventing as much of a summer slide in retention of their knowledge as possible as well as providing an enjoyable and positive experience that would make transitioning in September feel easier. Students followed a structured timetable on each day that was designed to combine our commitment to individualised pastoral care with our high academic standards. Each session focused on developing self-efficacy, resilience and activities such as team building or problem solving in order to build stronger relationships in advance embedding our GREAT values and helped students create their own Chessington identity.
The week culminated in our new students preparing and serving an Alice in Wonderland themed tea party to their families. All students had pre allocated roles and responsibilities (including directing staff!) and rose to the challenge with ease, delivering a restaurant standard event!