St Albans School and Abbey Primary School Partnership

Partner: Abbey Primary School
Partner type: Maintained School
Project category: Academic

Master classes are run every Friday afternoon during term time by St Albans School teaching staff. Classes in Design and Technology, Information Technology and Science are run at St Albans School, where the pupils get the opportunity to use equipment and facilities not normally available to them in their Primary School. Drama, Music and Art sessions are also run on Fridays; these take place either at St Albans School or out in the Partnership School according to need and locality of the Partnership school. Maths and French teachers also visit Partnership schools to run extension classes for different groups of pupils. Lower Sixth students assist the St Albans School teachers with the running of the Master classes in addition to those helping out as classroom assistants.

A timetable is established at the start of each academic year with each school participating for either a term or half a term.

In the academic year 2015- 2016 one of the St Albans MFL teachers is running French classes down at Abbey School on Tuesday afternoons throughout the year. In the first half of the Spring term the St Albans Art teacher will visit on Friday afternoons to do Tudor portraits with the Year 4 class. Throughout the Summer term the Year 6 class from Abbey will walk up to the workshop do D&T, whilst the Year 5s will be doing Science and the Year4s Drama classes at St Albans School.

Aims of the project

The aim of the project is to provide the Abbey School pupils with the opportunity to use facilities not normally available to them in their school and to benefit from the guidance of specialist St Albans School staff. Our staff are able to cover specific areas of the Primary School curriculum, such as programming in ICT, various Science topics and also practical skills for D&T. In the process staff provide training for the accompanying Primary teachers.

Good communication and coordination of the scheme is vital to its success: overall the scheme involves twelve local state schools and Cathedral Education, has thirteen St Albans School staff involved and between sixty and seventy Lower Sixth pupils who assist with Partnership activities on Friday afternoons.

Provision of time in the timetables of the St Albans School teaching staff is required to run the programme.

The Sixth form assistants from St Albans School benefit from working out in the community and learn valuable soft-skills.

Background and goals

The Partnership with Abbey School was established approximately twelve years ago and has gradually grown to include more activities. 


The main resource is the time provided by St Albans School staff and pupils; time is spent on the project by the teaching staff and Sixth form assistants, as well as by the Head of Partnership who coordinates the programme.

Materials for the Science lessons, D&T and Art projects are also provided.

Two science labs are utilised by Partnership on Friday afternoons, with two teachers each teaching half the class. Laboratory technicians set up for the practical activities. The D&T workshop is used by the children who individually build automatons. On occasions the children visit the Art department to make things out of clay which are fired in the school kiln.


Feedback is received from both the Head and teachers who are enthusiastic and appreciative of the support provided.


Pupil involvement

Three Lower Sixth (Year 12) assist with Art master classes, 3 with Drama, 4 with Science and 4 with D&T. In addition 4 students assist the Abbey School sports coach as volunteers on Friday afternoons throughout the academic year.


Frequency and duration

Activities take place weekly during specified terms throughout the academic year (see example for 2015-16 above).