Independent/Maintained School Partnership
Copthall School is an 11-18 all-girls’ converter academy close to us in Mill Hill. We have a partnership founded on shared activities for pupils such as society meetings and sports matches as well as mutual staff CPD from which both sides are learning. The two schools regularly provide contrasting school experience for each other’s TeachFirst and salaried PGCE teachers. The Head of Copthall has attended an HMC/GSA event with the Head of Mill Hill School.
The aspiration is that the communities of both Mill Hill and Copthall share the benefits of educational partnerships between MHSF and Copthall. The partnership aims to provide opportunities for pupils and for staff to develop:
• Improved academic results for pupils
• An enriched educational experience beyond the curriculum for pupils
• Professional development opportunities for pupils and staff (preparation for university and employment beyond for pupils, and continuing professional development for staff)
• Personal skills development (sometimes referred to as character education)
• Opportunity for engagement with a community larger than that contained in the school’s own walls
Copthall received an OFSTED inspection in Spring 2016 that placed it in ‘Requires Improvement’. Since that determination, a new Head began in mid-2016 and the Governing Board was substantially renewed, including the Mill Hill School Senior Deputy Head becoming a Governor and taking up the Chair of the Education Standards Committee. Through this link, we have quickly built a partnership which is now underpinned by a Memorandum of Understanding.
There are opportunities for Copthall pupils to participate in certain co-curricular activities at Mill Hill, for example using Mill Hill's sports and music facilities. Other than that, the chief resource in play for both schools is staff time.
Pupils have the opportunity to learn together through shared co-curricular activities, such as debating on International Women's Day, and academic activities, such as PE GCSE mock moderation. More measurably, shared staff CPD of various sorts has enhanced the skills of teachers in both schools who have participated.
So far, pupil involvement has centred around girls in Years 9-11.
There are a number of ongoing core activities with an aspiration to provide 1-2 significant additional projects per academic year.