Core Kick Start

Core Kick Start (CKS) was launched in June 2013 and has been delivered each subsequent year to support incoming Year 7 students in English and mathematics through the transition period. Weekly workshops, in both subjects, are delivered to students by staff at Ruislip High School. Students are selected for the programme using the most recent summative assessment data collected by their primary school in the summer term. To support parents to engage with the learning of their son/daughter, and to improve communication between school and home, parents are expected to attend the workshops and are guided to support their son/daughter both in the taught content of the workshop and in extended working at home.

The programme has enjoyed great success in improving students’ attainment and competency in the core subjects; CKS has also received consistently positive feedback from participants throughout the last five years regarding significant impact on student confidence in the core subjects and parent confidence in supporting their son/daughter to succeed. Figure 1 illustrates the results achieved by the 2019 cohort. English data showed an 18% improvement in results when compared with the baseline data, with an average summative result of 71%. Mathematics had a 13% improvement in student average outcomes with an average summative result of 62%.

All participants in the programme are selected as a result of being identified as performing 'significantly below expectation' in English and/or mathematics. In 2018, the CKS cohort achieved significant improvement in their attainment, with 86.4% of students being identified as performing 'at' or 'above' expectation in English and 59% in mathematics.

In 2014, Ruislip High School authored a chapter for the book Gathering Greatness (edited by Rachel Macfarlane & David Woods), which shared the CKS programme as an example of excellent intervention and practice. A copy of the publication can be purchased through the link here. The programme has since being adopted in several other secondary schools and has been highlighted and praised in 'The PiXL Club' as an example of innovative intervention. In 2017, the Institute of Education was commissioned by Ruislip High School to conduct a comprehensive study of the impact of the CKS programme. The research showed that CKS supported students and parents to improve their confidence and understanding in the core subjects and that this was a successful and impactful intervention. A link to the report can be found here.

Student testimonials:
"I thought I was going to be behind and I was worried about that, but CKS has helped me to be more confident and get on track."
"It helped me to understand ratios and fractions and gave me much more confidence in maths."
“CKS helped me to be better in subjects I didn’t really understand in primary school, I now feel like I can do English and Maths.”

Parent testimonials:
“Knowing how my son has been taught has helped me to support him better at home.”
“They have identified the weak areas of my daughter’s understanding and have clearly helped her to improve." 
“The teachers are all so positive that my son can’t wait to come back in September and he was dreading leaving his primary.”

In addition, Ruislip High School celebrates the commitment and success of the students and parents by taking all participants (including staff) to the West End to see a musical following an awards presentation held at school! This event is always highly anticipated by staff, students and parents and is a welcome treat to end the CKS season.