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Alban Federation & STAHS Partnership

Working with the Alban Federation lead at Sandringham School Mark Nicholls, we are exploring ways we might benefit from and contribute to its training programme. Starting with subject knowledge, we have hosted workshops for  trainee teachers interrogating subject-specific pedagogies, definitions of scholarship and how to fuel and maintain passion for one's subject.


As subject knowledge is such a critical element of great teaching, the aims of the partnership are to identify subject knowledge as a key area for development. Building on this, the partnership aims to:

  • Rigorously audit, track and systematically improve trainees’ subject knowledge
  • Ensure that trainees have access to high quality subject expertise 
  • Address issues in subject-specific pedagogy, tackling common misconceptions


The partnership began with a meeting between an Assistant Headteacher and the Alban Federation and the first workshop/conference ran in 2016 to 2017, exploring the implications of the Carter Review. The conference and workshops models have run annually since, with a two year interlude due to Covid.


Critical to success are the productive working relationships established between STAHS and the Alban Federation - most particularly the two lead staff - and their shared understanding of trainee needs. 


Very positive evaluations gathered from 45+ trainee teachers each year and great feedback from STAHS staff volunteers who find the experience of working with people at the start of their careers galvanising.

Pupil Involvement

In 2017-18 100 Year 11 pupils participated in a revision carousel where the 45 trainee teachers offered 15 minute revision sessions, utilizing knowledge and skills gathered in the workshops.


Annual event - with a whole day conference each March. Occasionally a smaller department-specific workshop will be provided to tackle specific needs eg. challenging the more able.

The 2022/2023 a January workshop will be introduced following on from 'Applying for your first job' - a carousel of activities including interview practice, writing a covering letter and teaching an interview lesson.

The conference was run again on 8 January 2023. St Albans High School for Girls SLT hosted a training workshop for the trainee teachers from the Alban Federation addressing how to write a covering letter, interview technique and the interview lesson. It ended up with mock interviews and follow up feedback.