Friday, 23 August 2019

Breakfast Boosters - A short post-mortem

This past academic year, we tried something different to what we might normally do with our Year 11 cohort - breakfast boosters!
Two mornings a week, Monday and Friday, we invited students in for an extra half an hour of contact time between 8:10am and 8:40am.

We identified a cohort of 31 students at the beginning of the year - all of whom who were a grade or more away from their FFT20 and that FFT20 was 4 or higher. 
Unfortunately the uptake was poor - only 5 fully engaged. They worked with myself and another TLR holder in the department on a casual basis and were making great improvements in lessons and making the most of what was offered to them. I was pleased that it was seemingly having impact.

In an attempt to have a greater impact across the department we got more staff involved and launched it again after their mock exams (based on their mock exams), inviting 97 students who were two sub-levels or more away from achieving their FFT20 - regardless of their current attainment or FFT20. Again, only 15 fully engaged, which was disappointing and led me to consider the time element of what we were asking staff, and ourselves, to do. Was it worthwhile? It might have seemed that way, but our only real measure was against the GCSE results.

With results coming out yesterday morning, I've been able to take a quick look at any impact we might have had by having students in a little earlier twice a week - working independently on booklets and worksheets (and that's all it was - some printed worksheets from Mathsbox in a booklet and the opportunity to get assistance from a member of staff).

Students from our whole cohort, on average, made 1.1 grades of progress between their Year 10 mock and their GCSE exam. The students who engaged with the breakfast boosters made 1.3 grades progress on average (with some as high as 2 grades - specifically, a girl who was only 4 marks off a 7 from a grade 4 in year 10) - compared to 0.95 for the students who were invited but didn't engage.

I'm concluding that the act of underachieving students engaging with the breakfast boosters had an impact - potentially not the boosters themselves, but the increase in contact time with a member of staff and the elevated focus on improvement of grades by simply knowing why they were there, and that someone cares enough to invite them in and spend time with them.

Was it worthwhile? 
I think I'll look at identifying this year's cohort over the next week.