Impact of partnership work done in 2020 (ISC annual Census 2019)
- 69 state schools involved
- 500+ state school pupils involved
- 523 staff hours given
Our established masterclasses with four local primary schools, which have been running for over five years now, continue to be popular and very well received, with one deputy head writing, “Thanks again for organising these events - the children absolutely love them” while another headteacher writes, “It's always really lovely to visit your school and the children gain a lot from their sessions.” One teacher who experienced a masterclass contacted us to say, “I have been meaning to email you for some time - the Geography masterclass was during our Sports Day when all TAs were needed, so at the last second I went on the trip. It was wonderful and inspiring - I loved every second of it and made sure the teachers were well-aware. I was so impressed by the amount of effort that went into a day for relatively few children and I have been buzzing about it ever since (and more importantly, so have the kids!)”
Whilst the stability of the scheme has undoubtedly contributed to its success – the consistency and regular contact between us and the four schools has created a degree of commitment and trust – it is not stagnant with new subjects being introduced and feedback from the schools being acted upon. One was experiencing difficulties in being able to arrive punctually (and thereby was not gaining the maximum benefit from the sessions). As a result we have arranged for our minibus to collect their students and – for one session – invited them for lunch so they were prepared for an exciting afternoon of design technology. Their response is included below:
“Thanks so much - we were spoilt by the bus this time so I wasn’t sure if it was going to happen again! The only times that we struggle with are the first thing ones since taxis usually come late and our school car is used for picking up latecomers and doing home visits for non-attenders, so your bus today was extremely helpful. The DT day one is so helpful because of our awkward lunchtime. Thanks again.”
It should be highlighted that these comments are entirely unsolicited.
Our Combined Cadet Force with a local state school continues to recruit well and foster links between the schools – they were also invited (along with five other state schools in the area) to our careers fair. We have also hosted UKCAT testing for ourselves and other local state schools to enable their students to access the testing service needed for their university applications. Our links with state schools are not restricted to interaction with students: we have hosted staff CPD training sessions for examination courses and held a Newcastle Schools’ Careers Guidance Network Meeting along with other careers meetings for both state and independent schools.
On a more informal level, our annual parents’ association runs a ceilidh night which includes a performance from a visiting state school as well as our own students.