What are Extended Services?
Extended Services require the school/family of schools to become the heart of the community, an extended school provides access to a range of activities and support. These include childcare, use of facilities, parenting support, extra-curricular clubs and a range of health and well-being services.
The Government’s aim is that all schools will offer access to these services.
£1.3bn of extra funding is enabling schools to work in partnership with local organisation to offer the whole community support, learning and enjoyment.
Rationale: Evidence (taken from Ofsted reports) shows a wide range of benefits, including improved pupil attendance, attitudes and attainment. Pupils and parents benefit from increased opportunities and school benefit from teaching more motivated pupils who achieve more and the community benefits from local access to services
Extended Schools, the Core offer and how Harper Green is supporting this:
The government have set out a core offer of services that they would like all schools to offer access to (in partnership with local authorities and local providers) by 2010:
The Core offer is as follows
- High quality wraparound childcare – available from 8am-6pm all year round or to reflect community demand.
- Varied menu of activities – to be on offer, including homework clubs, study support, sport, music, dance, drama, arts and crafts, special interest clubs such as chess and volunteering, business and enterprise activities.
- Parenting Support – including information sessions for parents at key transition points, parenting programmes with the support of children’s services and family learning sessions to allow children to learn with their parents.
- Swift and easy access – a wide range of specialist support services such as speech therapy, mental health services, sexual health services, behaviour support. Some may be delivered on school sites.
- Community access to facilities – wider access to ICT, sports and arts facilities and adult learning and sign-posting to existing community facilities.
The Government feels that these services need to be shaped to meet the needs of pupils, parents and the community. These services do not necessarily need to be provided on the school site or by teachers.
Harper Green is fulfilling this core offer in many ways.
Community Access – The School has an excellent relationship with Serco and the Sports Centre facilities are therefore available for hire by parents, pupils and the wider community. We also let out the school building and sports fields on a regular basis to various different community groups. We currently have contracts in place with local football, cricket and rounders teams. Not only does this mean we are helping to facilitate a healthy lifestyle and mind but we are also supporting the community by providing a location for constructive activities for young people. We have recently agreed for the local police force to use our school building during the school day to conduct child protection training.
Many of our expressive arts staff take part in specialist work in the community. This has been in local primary schools, community centres and old peoples homes. Our work has been particularly beneficial to Farnworth Care Home and Green Bank sheltered housing centre. We constantly signpost community events on our school website, VLE and community noticeboard.
Harper Green School plays an integral part in the organisation and development of Farnworth Arts Festival on a annual basis. This festival usually runs from around June 7th until July 18th. Assistant Headteacher Mr Bainbridge is festival manager. One of the aims of the festival is for the whole Farnworth and neighbouring communities to get involved in various different ‘Arts’ activities and to celebrate local life. These activities consist of painting, textiles, sculpture, music, crafts, dance, performance, drawing and literature and writing workshops.
Parenting Support – A number of transition events take place in school time to facilitate a smooth move to Harper Green School. This includes staff going to local primary schools and giving information about Harper Green, to open nights and summer schools. We have specialist transition events that parents and pupils attend in preparation for their education at Harper Green School. We have a member of staff called a ‘PSO’ (Pastoral Support Officer) attached to ever year team as a point of contact for parents during the course of the school day. We are in the early stages of planned family learning sessions possibly in food or ICT. Please get in touch if you would like to attend, or have ideas for other family learning sessions. We facilitated an initiative called ‘strengthening families, strengthening communities, an inclusive parenting programme’. This was a 13 week programme held at The Orchards School and two members of staff from Harper Green jointly led the sessions.
Please have a look at our ‘Who Can Help - Parental Support section’ and see the agencies that are available to help, many of which are on your doorstep.
Swift and Easy Referral – A number of staff members have been trained on the completion of CAF forms. This will ensure we can refer pupils to the required agencies for support as quickly as possible. We have a large in-house learning support department, consisting of 20 staff. In PSHE lessons we sign post agencies such as sexual health services. We have a dedicated clerical officer who tracks CAF forms, supporting swift and easy referrals.
Varied Menu of activities – We have a number of different activities going on before school, lunch-time and after school. These include home-work clubs, sports clubs, ICT clubs, dance clubs, drama clubs, historical movies clubs, chess clubs etc. For more detail please see the ‘BOOST’ activity sheets. We also have trips running at weekends, after school, during the school holidays and during school time. All these activities enrich the time pupils spend at Harper Green School. Please see our section on ‘What’s happening in Farnworth and the surrounding area’.
Wrap around care – The school gates are open from 7.30am in the morning, we have a breakfast club in the school restaurant from 8.15am and home-work club is open from 8.00am in the learning support department. Pupil’s can also access the school library from approximately 8.15am. Many sports clubs go on after school till after 4.30pm, as do expressive arts activities.
In a recent audit by the Bolton Council Extended Services Department; we were rated as a fully extended school.
If you have any questions about Harper Green School’s Extended Services please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Miss M Jefferies – Associate Staff Manager with responsibility for Extended Schools