In an ‘outstanding’ girls’ school in an area of high deprivation in Central London, the Headteacher chose to use some of her Pupil Premium to fund an Unlock programme with some of her Year 9 and 10 students. We worked with a group of 30 challenging students over the course of the academic year to encourage them to take a proactive approach in everything they do. During the programme, participants organised and facilitated a number of sessions designed to share their experiences of Unlock with their school community. Through these sessions, participants were able to complement and extend the school’s offering to its community. Students and staff alike benefited from hearing from organisations and individuals they would never have otherwise met who shared their expertise and insights with participants.
As a result, these students repositioned themselves in the school’s community. During the KS3 graduation ceremony, an unprecedented decision was made to split the award for the ‘highest praise’ (the highest honour for any Year 9 student) between two candidates. Both were on Unlock. Of the 15 Year 9 Unlock students, 7 received special awards for achievement and progress.