Maths CPD Available

The Education Endowment Foundation’s Improving Mathematics in Key Stages 2 and report recommends that schools should ‘use structured interventions to provide additional support’ when pupils need to catch up.

Free mathematics intervention training is available for all schools in the Opportunity Area. There are training opportunities for a variety of evidence based interventions from KS1 – KS3, including both keep-up and catch-up interventions. These interventions meet all of the EEF’s report’s criteria for an effective intervention.

Signing-up to the training will include free resource packs to use in school and supply funding will be paid for teachers attending the training on completion of the course. Further details and links to the sign-up pages are included here.

There is a deadline of 11th December for signing-up for some of these courses as we need sufficient time to order resource packs from Edge Hill University.

Maths Month

We are looking for an Events Co-ordinator to create a Maths Month in the area.

The project will deliver a month of events for teachers, students and parents centred around maths and numeracy. It will look to change the perceptions about maths as a subject and encourage all children, teachers and parents to share in a ‘love of maths’.

Is this you or your organisation?

More here –

Early Talk Boost

Communication & Language in the Early Years is one of our key priorities and funding will be provided for training and resources for 20 settings this year (and more later) to use I CAN’s Early Talk Boost programme, a targeted intervention that has been shown to boost the language skills of children with delayed language.

This is part of a wider offer, which next year aims to include access to a Speech & Language Therapist for advice/networks as well as Level 3 training and support for practitioners interested in becoming Communication Champions.

We want you to be involved and use Early Talk Boost to make a difference to children’s communication skills.

In return for the training and resources (which would otherwise cost approximately £1000 per setting), we are looking for settings that:

  • can release an experienced and enthusiastic practitioner for the one day training
  • have the capacity for the trained practitioner to work with a small group of children three times a week over the nine week programme and then with new groups across the year
  • have at least 4-6 children who would benefit from the intervention
  • will complete initial and end assessments and share them with NYOA/local authority

For those who have had experience of using communication & language interventions (e.g. ECAT, Building Blocks, Small Talk) to improve children’s communication skills, this will be an excellent opportunity to build on knowledge and skills.

We are hosting an information event for you to find out more about the Early Talk Boost programme and the NYCOA project, with Jacquie Cole and Jo Collet. As the focus of this half-term’s Early Years network meeting, this will be held at: Briercliffe Children’s Centre, Wednesday 3rd October, 6.15pm – 8.15pm. Please contact to confirm your attendance.

The Early Talk Boost training day will be on Friday 16th November at Falsgrave Community Centre from 9.30-3.30pm.

If you have any questions in the meantime, please contact: (07969 102183)

The Brilliant Club

In the Spring term of 2017-18, 36 pupils from two schools in the area participated in The Scholars Programme, an academic university access programme run by The Brilliant Club. Pupils from Caedmon College Whitby and Graham School went on two visits to highly selective universities, worked with a PhD researcher on an exciting, cutting-edge topic, and completed challenging final assignments, pitched at one key stage above where they are currently at.

The Brilliant Club is an award-winning, independently-evaluated charity that exists to increase the number of pupils from under-represented backgrounds that progress to highly-selective universities. It does this by mobilising the PhD community to share its expertise with state schools. The Scholars Programme recruits PhD researchers, trains them as university access professionals and places them as tutors in schools to deliver programmes of university style tutorials to small groups of high potential pupils. Pupils study academic subjects based on their PhD tutor’s research, completing weekly homework assignments and a final written assignment. Each programme starts and finishes with a trip to one of our partner universities, where pupils have a campus tour, meet undergraduates and receive guidance from university admissions staff. The Scholars Programme is available in all non-selective primary schools, secondary schools and sixth-form colleges.

For the pupils from Graham and Caedmon, their Scholars Programme journey began with a launch trip at the University of York in January, where they received information, advice and guidance from the university, and had the chance to look around on a tour of the campus. Over the weeks that followed, both schools worked with a PhD researcher, also from the University of York, on one of two courses – “Climate change adaptation in Eastern Africa” which had an enrivonmental focus, or “Should a person change the way they speak to get a job? “, a socio-linguistics programme.

They produced 2000 word final assignments and graduated the programme at the University of Leeds or Durham University in May.

The tutors who worked in these two schools were extremely impressed with the commitment, energy, and resilience demonstrated by the participating pupils.  Rebecca Newman, who worked with twelve pupils at Graham School, had the following comment about their progress through the course: “The development in the pupils’ skills and understanding over the short course was astounding. They were able to reflect upon complex challenges and offer excellent insights. I thoroughly enjoyed reading all of the essays as they were thoughtful and diverse in their view points”.

The Scholars Programme is aimed at high-potential pupils and teachers are encouraged to select those who will benefit most from the programme. As a minimum, The Brilliant Club requires that 55% of pupils on the programme meet one of three measures: pupil premium eligibility, no parental history of Higher Education, or residing in the lowest two quintiles of the IDACI. Caedmon College Whitby and Graham School participated in The Scholars Programme in collaboration with FutureHY NCOP, however, schools usually fund the programme through Pupil Premium funding. The per pupil contribution is £160.

Sign up for The Scholars Programme 2018-19 is now open – the Autumn term is full, but The Brilliant Club will be working with KS4 and KS5 pupils in the Spring term, and KS2 and KS3 pupils in the Summer term.  To find out more, please contact Dr Natalie Day, Area Director for the North of England at

Tommy and Josie Dingley – Young Carer’s story

For many young people, school holidays permit much needed relaxation following the stress of exams or the academic term, but for young carers this time is often filled with the responsibility of supporting loved ones in need. Whilst recent research has highlighted that three quarters of young carers feel lonely during the summer holidays*, independence can also be highly affected.

Thomas, 16, from Scarborough in North Yorkshire, has been playing the vital role of his mother’s carer for several years now whilst his father works full time. Diagnosed with cancer in 2013, Josie was finally given the all clear this summer, but has since been left with Lymphedema which sees both of her legs remain incredibly swollen – often too painful to move.

Josie said: “Tommy does so much for me; every single day he takes care of things for me because as soon as I start moving the pain is just unbearable.”

In addition to helping his mother, Thomas has his own condition to manage having been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease the same year his mother was diagnosed with cancer. Affecting his bowels, Thomas’ symptoms can worsen when he is stressed and in unfamiliar environments. This sees Thomas and Josie relying heavily on each other, strengthening their already extremely close relationship.

“Tommy finds it so hard to trust people and just prefers to be at home with me. I normally have to explain things to people because Tommy would rather shy away from challenging situations.” says Josie. “I would say I’m his security blanket and he’s definitely become mine.”

Breaking his usual routine, this summer Thomas decided to participate in the National Citizen Service (NCS) programme, during which he spent two weeks living away from home building confidence, learning ‘life skills’ and meeting a bunch of new friends.

This was also something completely new for his mum, who was at first very apprehensive of him taking part. “It was awful, him not being around the house, I hated every single minute of it. The stress was absolutely beyond belief to be honest, because I was so worried about Thomas being in a new environment, whilst at the same time he was worrying about me being at home without him. But this all changed when I received a call from Tommy a few nights into the week. He told me how much fun he was having, meeting friends and trying new things. He just sounded so happy and hearing how great his NCS experience was was amazing for me.”

With support from the NCS programme leaders and mentors, Thomas gained a new sense of independence. He said: “Don’t get me wrong, I really missed my mum, but it was the best thing I’ve ever done, it really has changed my life. I’ve made tonnes of new friends and loved the whole NCS experience!

“I think I really found myself. I realised that I’m an upbeat person and that I can be social and help others make friends and mix with different people, whereas before I didn’t think to do that.”

It wasn’t only Thomas who benefitted from the government-backed programme. Josie said: “Thomas’ time on NCS had a positive impact on both of us. Tommy doesn’t worry as much about me because he knows I’ll be okay if he wants to go out, and it made me realise that I can be more independent and do things for myself if I need to.”

This has seen a new type of relationship blossom for Thomas and Josie. Whilst Thomas has gained a new sense of freedom, Josie has become a lot more self-reliant, encouraging Thomas to broaden his horizons in the future.

Josie continues: “I couldn’t recommend NCS more to teens and parents of teens. It is absolutely amazing. It helped us see that the world is much more than what’s going on at home; that there is a life out there and the world is Tommy’s oyster!

“The experience has made me realise that Tommy’s not a young kid, he’s a young adult.”

About NCS

NCS is a government backed programme established in 2011 to help build a more cohesive, mobile and engaged society. By bringing together young people from different backgrounds for a unique shared experience, NCS helps them to become better individuals, and in turn better citizens.

NCS is open to 16 and 17 year-olds across England and Northern Ireland. The two to four week programme, which takes place in school holidays, includes outdoor team-building exercises, a residential for participants to learn ‘life skills’, a community-based social action project and an end of programme celebration event.

To date:

  • Almost 500,000 young people have taken part
  • Ten million hours of community action have been completed
  • For every £1 spent, NCS’  2016 summer programme delivered between £1.15 and £2.42 of benefits back to society
  • It costs participants just £50 or less to take part in NCS and bursaries are available on a case by case basis. Support is provided for young people with additional needs.

To find out more visit


*Three quarters of young carers feel lonely during summer holidays. Available at: