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Enrichment and intervention offer

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Dolly Parton Imagination Library

Norfolk Virtual School is very lucky to be part of the Dolly Parton Imagination Library Program which is offered to all our children in care aged 0-5. This fully funded book gifting program posts out free high-quality books each month. We have already been able to send out 2000 books since we launched in January 2020. These books belong to the child for life, and upon 'graduation' at the age of 5 or when they leave care. The scheme has now been expanded to include children in care that have recently been adopted and GRT 0-5 year olds. This bring our total to around 300 children that are receiving a book every month until the age of 5.

Virtual School Book Club

The Virtual School book club will runs over the period of a term. Each term a different author and book is selected. The children will receive a short film by the author inviting them to join the book club and then a signed copy of the book if they decide to join. They will receive a letter and some activities related to the book and at the end of the term there will be a live Q and A (TEAMS/ZOOM) with the author.  The children can read the book at their own pace, with/ without support of their carers with no expectation of when it must be completed (or even completed).

We hope that providing an opportunity to meet with the author will excite the children, and that the activities and letters will lead to great engagement.

Waterstones Giving Tree

Every year leading up to Christmas, Norfolk Virtual School and Waterstones team up to launch the Giving Tree appeal. This is a Christmas project aimed at bringing the joy of books and reading to the county's children in care. 2020 was the 14th year we have run the appeal with more than 800 books purchased by the public and sent to children in care.

Dandelion Forest School

These workshops alternate between the two sites: Aylsham and Eaton Vale. The young people get to play, climb, sing, create and play and spend the entire session outdoors. These sessions are focused on Early Years and Key stage 1 children.

Norfolk Snowsports Centre

The Virtual School are running a series of introductory tubing and dry ski sessions at the Norfolk Snowsports Club across the Spring and Autumn terms. This is an opportunity that may have been missed due to the restrictions of COVID.

Intervention Offer

The Virtual School intervention offer is available to children in care, carers and teachers with the objective of supporting the improvement of educational outcomes. The interventions offered are in response to the needs of the virtual school's cohort as evidenced through the data and information that is gathered at an individual pupil level and considers the needs of schools and carers.

Alongside the needs of the cohort, consideration is also given to both local and national outcomes. Interventions are evidence led and focus on supporting children in care to make expected progress or accelerated progress. Our focus is on reading, writing and maths as these are the skills needed for successful transitions at all stages.

We have a tiered intervention offer which includes our universal, targeted, and bespoke offer.

For further details or for a discussion around interventions please email Hannah Collison Smith at

Universal offer

Our Universal Offer includes the following.

  • Maths Whizz: A virtual maths tuition programme with interactive avatars for primary children.
  • Schools online: A revision tool for Years 6 and 11. 
  • Storytime subscription: Magazine subscriptions for our Year 2 children. Each issue includes fairy tales, new and classic stories, awesome animals, myths, legends, gorgeous illustrations, puzzles and games.
  • The Letterbox Club: All children in Year 1 receive a combined maths and English activity pack.
  • Virtual School book blub: The Virtual School termly book club is focused on Years 4-6. Children will receive a book along with a recorded message and signed book from the author of the term alongside some activities.
  • Stick and split: This programme supports fluency and understanding of times tables. 
  • Beacon House training: Training for staff supporting children in care to help build emotional regulation skills.
  • Access to Pupil premium Plus funding: Money allocated to schools to support the academic achievements of children in care.
  • English offer: There are several different author events across the year.
  • Play and Discover bags: An Early Years new-to-care resource bag tailored by age for children in care.
  • Transition toolkit: An Early Year's resource pack available to all schools who have children in care starting in reception.

Targeted offer

Our Targeted Offer includes the following.

  • Role models: Online life skills sessions for Years 3 and 4 to help build confidence, manage emotions, and build resilience. This is a programme of 6 weekly sessions online at home.
  • Brilliant Club: The scholar's programme has been developed for our children in care in KS3 and KS4 who are on a higher education pathway. The programme will help develop the skills needed to be successful at university including research skills, teamwork and presentation skills. The programme also gives them the opportunity to work with a PhD student and visit at least 2 universities.
  • Catch up Literacy: This is a structured one-to-one intervention for those children who are working at least one year below their chronological age in reading. This training is delivered to carers so they can then use it at home.
  • The Letterbox Club: Children in Year 2 who are not on track to meet age, related expectations receive a combined maths and English activity pack.
  • English workshops: Petxi deliver several group workshops over the year to our target groups of children with a focus on grammar, inference, retrieval, and writing.
  • Petixi 1 to 1 online tuition: Petxi tutors deliver online tuition in English and maths to children in Years 5, 6, 10 and 11 who are not making expected progress.

Bespoke offer

Our Bespoke Offer includes the following.

  • Watch Me Play: An Early Years intervention to promote child-led play, enhance relationships, and create a better understanding of each child's strengths and needs. (EY)
  • Specialist Support Officer: A Virtual School team member who can support KS4 young people. This can include mentoring, information, advice and guidance, support with Functional Skills and ASDAN.
  • Petxi 1 to 1 tuition: 1:1 and small group tuition for those not on track with projected outcomes in English and/or maths
  • The Letterbox Club: Children in Year 2 not at Age Related Expectations will receive a combined maths and English activity pack.


Monthly Virtual School Competitions

The monthly Virtual School competitions are released on 15th of each month with the winner announced on the last day of the month. Each month has a different theme and competitions are broad in scope. Topics are varied and fun. We encourage all children in care to participate. Everyone will receive a special certificate for entering. Prizes are awarded and sent directly to carers. Competitions have been designed to engage as many young people as possible of different ages. Examples, of past competition include:

  • Junk Modelling Invention
  • Who Am I Storytelling
  • Toilet Roll creations
  • Guess My Favourite Story

See a list of competitions from 2022 for more examples (Word doc) [228KB].

Pupil Voice

Norfolk In Care Council (NICC)

The Virtual School is invited to attend the different NICC group sessions to gain input from young people on issues that affect them. The Virtual School have been invited to attend the Under 12's group, the NICC group and the Young Adults Forum. Input from members of the different groups has led to the inclusion of new Virtual School Celebration of Achievement awards that recognise our older young people. We have now have new awards for Post 16 and Post 18 with categories for nominations chosen by the young people themselves.

If you would like further information about our monthly competitions or enrichment activities, please contact our Education Enhancement Officer at


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