2016-11-10 00:00:00

Exploring opportunities of providing support for schools in Wales.


ESS has a long and cherished reputation of contributing to the communities they work in.  In 2004 ESS was charged with exploring opportunities of providing support for schools in Wales.  Using the Welsh Assembly priority of narrowing the gap, ESS CEO Kevin Moyes wished to focus on impacting positively on boys’ attainment, particularly on those boys underachieving.  Relying on research by Alan Evans, Cardiff University, ESS engaged Ian Gough former Welsh International rugby player to facilitate the role of “significant male” identified in Alan Evan’s research.

The programme was developed of three school visits in autumn, early spring and post Easter focused on inspiring and supporting boys to maximise their potential. The programme was piloted at Pontarddulais Comprehensive School.

Ten schools entered the programme in autumn term 2015.  The first morning focuses on Ian inspiring the boys from his own experiences and challenges. A video has been produced charting Ian’s career as a rugby professional and latterly pilot. The video includes an endorsement of the programme from current International Dan Biggar and Alun Wyn Jones. The second half of the morning focuses on the boys identifying their present and aspirational achievements. School mentors work in tandem with ESS colleagues to set and support realistic improvement strategies.                    

The second visit consolidates the progress of the boys towards their targets and reviews the challenges faced. Ian maps his own progress towards his challenge of completing the Tenby triathlon in August. Pupils engage in a session of effective study and revision skill exercise.                              

The final event is held at the Principality Stadium where the boys are provided with a unique tour and are presented with achievement certificates by Ian. This session has proved very successful as a motivational ‘entre-port’ into their examination.

Outcomes of the programme.

All pupils involved in the programme gained level one qualification.

On average across the 10 schools

·        70% of pupils attained equal to or above their predicted grade in English

·        75% of pupils attained equal to or above their predicted grade in Mathematics

·        80% of pupils attained equal to or above their predicted grade in Science           

        Schools involved in the project have universally signed up for the next programme.
        The number of schools involved has risen to 20+



Reach for the sky ESS Reach for the sky 

Reach for the sky   


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