Educational Partnership between City Heights E-ACT Academy and Dulwich College
The College has acted as an educational partner to the Academy since its opening in September 2013. The College aims to provide support for its educational work and to establish links and activities that benefit both schools through shared experience and good practice. The campuses of the College and City Heights are just two kilometres apart, which supports regular interactions between staff and pupils.
The aim of the project is to support the establishment and growth of this young Academy by offering the experience and advice of staff from Dulwich College, and to develop educational links that are mutually beneficial to teachers and pupils at both schools. Success depends on identifying areas where joint projects can be of direct practical benefit to pupils or staff.
Dulwich College was asked by Lambeth Council and by E-ACT to sit on the project development board for a new Academy in Lambeth some years before the new school opened in 2013. Once the school was established, Dulwich College's role extended: it continues to play a role in the school's governance but also supports the development of joint projects involving pupils and staff.
Both schools commit a certain amount of time by senior management to ensure the smooth functioning of the educational partnership. Three or four other key members of teaching staff are involved on both sides.
A joint bid from The College and City Heights secured funding from the Worshipful Company of Actuaries for Mathematics enrichment. With the cash element of the bid City Heights were able to purchase Maths Mastery for KS3 learning. Two highly qualified teachers from the College, both with maintained-sector experience, attended City Heights one afternoon per week to support the top Year 11 set (of 31 pupils) and their teacher. Despite the abrupt end to classroom teaching in March, they were able to deliver approximately 40 hours of teaching time. Pupils were covering some challenging topics, and with a pronounced range in ability, a second pair of hands in the classroom proved invaluable.
In 2019-20 our partnership work with City Heights reached a new level of impact when we aligned our Year 7 PE timetables allowing groups of pupils from City Heights to join The College pupils for outdoor Games lessons (rugby/football) and to use the indoor facilities (swimming pool). Members of the senior College Basketball team also initiated weekly basketball sessions after school at City Heights.
As part of their Liberal Studies Year 13 pupils from The College continued an established, and much regarded, scheme whereby they travel to City Heights during their designated periods to support Y7 City Heights pupils with their reading.
The Deputy Master External is a trustee of E-ACT Multi-Academy Trust, where he serves as a member on both the Education and Personnel Committees and advises on matters related to community engagement and SEND.
In response to COVID, he worked closely with E-ACT’s Education Team in order to maximise the delivery of online learning in senior schools across the Trust, and we were able to share invaluable experience by connecting the National Director of Education with the Director of Senior School for Dulwich College International (our schools in East Asia having been delivering online learning two months before the United Kingdom went into lockdown).
The educational partnership is still being developed as City Heights E-ACT Academy grows towards a full 11-18 secondary school. Assessment of the partnership activities relies on feedback from those involved as to the success and impact of the activities undertaken.
The aim is to provide support for the Academy's educational work, especially its transition to KS4 and Sixth Form, but also to establish links and activities which benefit both schools through shared experience and good practice.
“The pupils [at City Heights] have been so grateful for this [Mathematics] support and I am confident that it will help enable them to reach their potential and to receive the grades required for their post-16 destination. Additionally, it has added a new dimension to our partnership with Dulwich, which I believe over the last 18 months has taken on new heights.”
Morgan Haines, Headteacher of City Heights
Older students from Dulwich College are involved in some specific activities with pupils from City Heights E-ACT Academy, for example mentoring pupils in extension sessions. Recent leavers from the College also act as gap year assistants at the Academy, helping, for example, with mathematics or modern languages.
The educational partnership between the two schools is ongoing.