Berkeley Foundation has partnered with Henry Fawcett School, Hyde Foundation and Evolve on a three-year collaborative project to help young people on the Kennington Park Estate move smoothly from primary into secondary school.
The move to secondary school is one of the most challenging transitions in adolescence, particularly at a time when the pandemic has already impacted young people unfairly. The break in routine and wrap around support during the last year meant many children and young people have experienced a decline in their education, social activities, and even health. The Supported Transitions programme will work with children in Years 5 and 6 at the Henry Fawcett School in Kennington, with continued support into Year 7 at the children's secondary schools.
The project has got off to a fantastic start since the new Health Mentor Shaunté took up her post at the start of Summer term. She is already making her mark on the students and the school; from breakfast clubs to classroom coaching and mentoring workshops, to after school activities like gardening and a healthy cooking club. One teacher commented:
'We didn't know how much we all needed a Shaunté until we got one!'
Extra-curricular activities like football and drama lessons provided by local community organisations play an important role, as the young people can continue with these even when they move into secondary school. This gives them another support network at a time which can be daunting and challenging.
Evolve is a social enterprise dedicated to improving the lives of children and young people in the digital age. It looks to improve the wellbeing of those becoming disengaged and withdrawn, physically and emotionally, hopefully halting serious health, social and education problems in the years to come. Lewis Griffiths, Business Development Manager, says:
"Evolve is incredibly excited at the opportunity created by the Berkeley Foundation in enabling us to provide a health mentor to Henry Fawcett School. We strive to improve the lives of young people enabling them to improve their physical and emotional wellbeing and through Berkeley's funding we're now capable of reaching hundreds of children over the next 3 years whilst looking to help create a better and safer community. We're privileged to work with such a fantastic school in Henry Fawcett and have already seen amazing progression within pupils' development and we're looking forward to the future to further enhance pupils' potential."
The funding is the last part of the Berkeley Foundation's Skills for Positive Futures funding programme. We have committed £375,000 in total to six projects working with young people aged 8-14 who are at risk of school exclusion.