With the hundreds of programmes, courses, initiatives and products marketed to headteachers in the current educational environment, how can they differentiate what works from what does not work? And why should they bother to read blog posts like this one that are clearly designed to sell such a “solution.”
Well every once in a while something comes along that makes a real difference. More often than not, the best of these innovations are non-strategic and happen purely by chance, through serendipity.
Are you getting an effective return from your Pupil Premium Grant?
Most Headteachers agree that the following activities, alone or in combination, are key to extract the maximum benefit and impact from the Pupil Premium Grant in raising the attainment of children on free school meals:
Small group tuition
After school booster clubs
Attendance improvement programmes
Welfare and engagement interventions
Significantly, all these aspects fall within the remit of Project HE:RO and can be delivered efficiently and effectively by an Evolve Health Mentor.
Read the Ofsted Report on how schools are using the Pupil Premium funding to raise achievement for disadvantaged pupils here.
“…Our Health Mentor from Evolve has been with our school for almost a year and his presence in school is living up to all our expectations.
As well as being an excellent role model he just doesn’t stop from the moment he comes to school in the morning until the end of the day at 4.30, after he has ensured that children have been collected from the After School Multi Skills club. Team teaching with staff in PE lessons, Wake and Shake Up sessions for children, staff and parents, support for SEN pupils with gross motor activities and work with children who have low self esteem, he packs it all in.
Robin Haselgrove, headteacher of Chad Vale Primary School in Birmingham, gives further insight into why so many schools are signing up to join Project HE:RO and use their inspirational team of Health Mentors. Chad Vale School was recently rated as outstanding by Ofsted.
Project HE:RO™ (Health Engagement : Real Outcomes) and the Evolve Health Mentor programme have been developed with the help of a number of forward-thinking head teachers. These partners have been the pioneers of the programme and it is truly rewarding to see one enterprising head teacher receive the following feedback after a recent OFSTED inspection of her school:
“The Health Mentors are a key element in the school’s provision, not only in providing a high quality of basic care for pupils whose circumstances make them vulnerable, but also in promoting basic literacy and numeracy skills through individual support and providing positive role models in promoting a healthy lifestyle. As a result, the pupils feel safe and know that there is always someone who will listen.”
OFSTED Report, St George’s CE Primary School, March 2011
“…We have been working with Evolve for a number of years. Initially they provided a member of staff do complete some playground animation/play leader work during the lunchtime breaks. This worked well and the children learnt to play new games and co-operate together. There was a definite improvement in lunchtime behaviour, especially amongst a small core of problematic boys.
Due to the success of this first initiative we decided to use Evolve to provide part of our PPA cover. A Health Mentor, supported by one of our HLTAs, now teaches all our games lessons. The children love it! The levels of fitness have improved and the Health Mentor acts as a great role model. We have combined lesson plans provided by Evolve with our own games planning and this has worked well. Flexibility and meeting the needs of the school are a clear priority for Evolve and this has worked for us. Highly recommended!
Health Mentors are employed by Evolve: A Social Impact Company so payroll costs are reduced and financial flexibility is retained due to the short one month termination period that is required. Furthermore, the appointment of one Health Mentor can fulfil a number of separate roles within a school that would normally require various part time staffing solutions such as teaching assistants, learning mentors, lunchtime supervisors, PPA providers and after school play workers…”
Broughton Junior School, North Lincolnshire
Project HE:RO is delighted to announce the support of another inspirational role model from the world of entertainment. Josh Barwick is a young professional ballet dancer with the Northern Ballet Company. His story provides an excellent example of how your passion can come out from nowhere, grab you and never let go.
A Real Life Billy Elliot
Josh was a typical eleven year old schoolboy and, apparently, not outstanding in any particular way. One day his mum said she was taking his cousins to try out a dance class at a local school and asked him if he wanted to tag along. Josh was doing nothing much in particular and thought it was something new to try and off he went. However, once he walked into the studios Josh immediately felt that he had found a special place where he belonged and started his love affair with dance.
Inspirational Teacher, Expert Advice
There is a further twist in the tale, however. Josh told his new dance teacher, Deana Morgan, that he wanted to be a professional dancer but was put off when she informed him that he would need to study ballet. Josh resisted at first but Deana pointed out he was unlikely to have the necessary technical foundation to make it professionally without some grounding in ballet.
A Life Transformed
So against his own initial judgement, Josh attended his first ballet lesson – and his attitude was totally transformed the moment the class started. The rest, as they say, is history.
This true story about Josh shows how important it is for all children to try as many activities as possible so that they may uncover their interests and talents.
”…From the first moment I walked in to the studio, something clicked and I fell in love with the whole idea of being a professional ballet dancer. I knew instantly that I wanted to make this my career. It took a lot of hard work, time and effort but it paid off in the end. I am now dancing with my dream company, Northern Ballet. It shows that if you have a dream you have to follow it – as they can come true”
Project HE:RO is a fantastic scheme and I really encourage schools and organisations to get involved…”
Tom Cleverley is happy to support Evolve, particularly as he actually worked in Graham Morgan’s office on work placement whilst still at school. It was clear then that Tom was a very talented boy at sports. However, Graham discovered that Tom’s greatest talent was fixing any IT problems that cropped up.
Tom has a great career ahead of him and his character and application are such that he will make the very most of any opportunities
“…I fell in love with football at an early age and I have been lucky enough to have had the support of many people who have helped me to develop my talent.
Project HE:RO, through its Health Mentors, is helping headteachers to provide pupils with opportunities to discover their interests and turn them into talents so that they can enjoy happier and healthier lives.
I wish Project HE:RO the very best of success and hope many schools will take up the opportunity to get involved and create better futures for their pupils…”
Singer Kimberley Walsh has made a very successful career out of her passion for performing arts and is also a talented actress and dancer. Her career requires her to be in top condition to perform and look good at the same time. Kim has also needed to train up for some of her charity work as seen when she trekked up Kilimanjaro for Comic Relief.
“…Project HE:RO is doing great things to help young children get healthy and make the most of their potential. I think this is a brilliant scheme and encourage all schools to get involved…”
This short video gives an insight into the impact that an Evolve Health Mentor could have at your school.
Former Bradford City player, Des Hamilton, works full time delivering Project HE:RO at Lister Primary School in Bradford. Within the video, the head teacher, deputy head and business manager all comment upon the impact that Des has had at the school within a short space of time.
We can improve the attendance, behaviour and attainment of your pupils by developing healthier lifestyles and encouraging personal growth through active learning and achievement mentoring.
Project HE:RO is an innovative and award winning programme that adds a new dimension to primary school staffing. Health Mentors provide focused mentoring support to disengaged and vulnerable children, whilst inspiring all pupils to adopt and lead physically and emotionally healthy lifestyles.