Introducing The Fishpool Project

Raising the achievement of black pupils in schools - a child centred approach


The analogy is based on pebbles dropped in a pool creating ripples in water. The 'pebbles' are the catalysts, the people involved in initiating the project, the 'water' is the education system, and the 'ripples' are the range of strategies initiated, which encompass the school, parents & guardians and the Black Community Network, and reach outwards to encircle the 'fish' - our pupils.


The long-term objective is to improve the performance of black pupils in schools.
“ Operation Fishpool” was established in 2002. It is a programme designed to raise achievement, enhance self esteem and celebrate positive attitude in schools. The piloted schools were Beaufort, Brockworth and St. Peters’ High. Each school approached the programme in their own way, adapting and modifying it to suit their individual needs. The aim of Fishpool is to work together with relevant agencies, partners and families to assist the performance of the pupils.

The scheme has been extended over the years and now includes Churchdown, Severn Vale and, most recently, Bishop's College. All these schools, plus Barnwood Park, also engage in Learning Mentoring, where targeted Black students are provided with 1:1 or small group mentoring support from our full-time Black Mentor, Haltia Watkins.

From the start, the Vision Mentoring Scheme has been an important aspect of this child-centred approach. more about mentoring...

When 'Aiming High' was introduced by the DfES, Fishpool linked into the Strategy conferences and engaged closely with the pilot study. During this time, close bonds have been formed with some of the Government Lead Consultants. We have been particularly grateful for the support given by Rosemary Campbell who has visited several times and run workshops for both Head teachers and parents.

The Black Children's Achievement Project was launched in 2007 and Gloucestershire became an Associate Member. We have been involved with all the meetings and have enlisted six older students to work with young Black children in three of our Primary schools. It is intended that these children will be supported as they move through the critical transition from Primary to Secondary school. The University of the West of England, Bristol, - through 'Aim Higher' - has given financial support to this initiative.