South Wirral High School is an 11-18 mixed comprehensive


To raise the attainment of students, particularly high ability and pupil premium (pp), by being proactive rather than reactive, building confidence and enthusiasm for Science and responding to pupils’ individual needs.


It was felt that high ability students were not fulfilling their potential.


Years 1 - 3: 

Four groups of 15 students were created based on high ability pp and non pp C/D and A/B boundaries. Each group had a weekly meeting of 30 minutes with sessions focused on skill based activities and support was given with planning revision. Individual performance was tracked.

Year 3: 

An “Aspire to Higher” programme of enrichment was added for high attainment students which provided personal skills development workshops, inspiring speakers, university visits and one-to-one mentoring.


Value added data, exam results


In the first year 49% of individuals in the designated groups increased their CORE GCSE in Year 10 compared to only 25% of the students who were not allocated a coaching group. However in subsequent years there were many external variables which had an impact on the success of the programme, therefore it was not possible to demonstrate the full impact of the progress coaching initiative. External factors included unpredictable attendance due to other subject priorities, particularly in Maths and English.


The overall conclusion shows that the impact of the programme is mixed. There have been specific successes such as in Year 1 but a mixed result with no major impact in Years 2 and 3, or even a slightly negative impact compared to other students in the cohort who hadn’t been invited to be part of the coaching programme. The future uptake to Science A Levels and vocational Level 3 courses might indicate more positive outcomes.


Kaye Worthington,