A NEW drive to improve attendance and attainment at Fartown High School has been launched on a “global scale.”
Students are following in the footsteps of Phileas Fogg in the Year 11 40-Day Around the Globe Attendance Challenge.
The project based on the Jules Verne novel is the idea of the school’s National Challenge team Andy Lewis and Greg Murphy.
It requires each of the 88 students to gain 100% attendance for journeys “around the globe” between March 2 and April 20.
They receive a certificate for completing each stage with £50 in vouchers and a free pass to the Year 11 prom in July if they successfully complete the course.
The National Challenge was launched by education secretary Ed Balls in June last year. It is a programme of support to secure higher standards in all secondary schools so that, by 2011, at least 30 per cent of pupils in every school will gain five or more GCSEs at A* to C, including both English and mathematics.
As a National Challenge school, Fartown has started a variety of projects which it is hoped will impact throughout the school.
Mr Lewis, who is also head of PE, said: “For our students to achieve we needed an incentive to get them into school full-time and hopefully we will reap the rewards during the summer term.
Year 11 students who have the potential to achieve the National Challenge standards are being given additional support and one-to-one tutoring to ensure they achieve their best in the GCSE examinations.
Parents attended a “Raising a Grade” Day to give them the chance to find out more about their children’s progress and give them advice on how to support students with revision techniques, timetables, plans and notes.
An Easter Holidays School for much of the two-week break is also giving students additional time to get one-to-one tutoring, finish coursework and get support with their revision timetables.
A mentoring system has also been put in place for every student.
The attendance crackdown is being filtered throughout the school from year upwards with “traffic light” charts being displayed for students from green through to red.
This is also being run in conjunction with the school’s newly introduced House System with an Attendance Cup being reinstated for the best House attendance across the year groups.
A specially-equipped intervention room is being used to give specialist tutoring in maths and English and new behaviour strategies are also being used effectively to raise aspirations.