Timetabling school interventions: Keeping the foundation subjects safe

Were you a Maths or PE child growing up? It can often be the case that children who need support in the core subjects favour the foundation subjects. Whether Art, Geography or PSHE: it is their chance to shine. But these lessons often take place in the afternoon and most likely clash with intervention slots.

But how do we close gaps while still offering children a rich diet of learning? We explore how to implement interventions creatively while at the same time keeping the foundation subjects safe.

What impact does intervention overload have on children?

Let us put ourselves in the shoes of a child. All morning they have been looking forward to an afternoon of Art and Geography, only then to be called out to practise long division. Ugh! This can have a negative impact on:

  • Well-being: additional afternoon work on concepts that have been a struggle in the morning can affect a child’s self-esteem.  They feel like they are failing. You may notice dips in behaviour and learning attitudes.
  • Performance: disinterest in the intervention content will impact performance. You can lead a horse to water and all that!
  • Relationships: they may come to dread working with staff they associate as PE thieves. Impacting working relationships between teaching staff and pupils.  


How do you effectively timetable school interventions?

We all want children to be well-rounded and happy individuals whilst also closing gaps in the core subjects. The following five steps can help you achieve this.

1. Assessment. Automatically organise your target groups and prioritise learning objectives focusing on the most important topics. Children won’t feel like their time is being wasted when they could have been doing something else in the classroom.

2. Duration. Short and sweet is the key here. 15-minutes is an ideal time for effective concentration.

3. Time. Look out for creative opportunities for interventions. Registration, silent reading or at the end of the lesson are perfect times to grab children. They will be responsive rather than reluctant, as they won’t feel like they are missing out on anything.

4. Clubs. Depending on staff contracted hours, think about being creative. A teaching assistant may have a slither of time to run a keep-up club. This might be before school, at lunchtime or straight after school. Offering juice and a piece of fruit is often a good enticement too!

5. Preparation. If some children finish their work earlier than expected, then be ready. Shine offers pre-prepared resources so you are ready for those off-the-cuff interventions.

Do the same children always miss their favourite subject? Be creative with your intervention timetable to allow every child a broad and balanced curriculum experience. For example, the Headteacher at Rossington St Michael's CE Primary School told us: 

"Last year, our support staff stayed in school for a further 20 minutes each day and used the SHINE interventions to boost the children. This year, we have used their time differently so deliver the SHINE interventions throughout the school day, this includes during collective worship sessions, as pre-teach and as early bird activities." 

Read more about their experience here.

Looking for a whole-school quote? Contact one of your local Shine consultants today.

Louise Jackson has over 8 years of teaching and leadership experience in mainstream and SEND specialist schools. Find her on LinkedIn.



Foundation Subjects, interventions, timetabling

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