The ISA Awards

(Click here to view the winners of the ISA Awards 2017)

The ISA Awards is an annual event that celebrates success in our Members’ schools, and recognises the breadth of quality and provision in independent education across the country. The Awards cover everything from Early Years provision, to innovation in Performing Arts or STEM.

The ISA Awards are an excellent opportunity to celebrate your school’s success with your staff and fellow ISA Members, and promote your achievements both to existing and prospective parents, and the wider community.

The shortlisted schools have now been announced! 

Click on each category below to view the criteria for entering and the shortlisted schools.

Judging took place over the Summer and it was certainly a tough decision for our judges to make. The winners will be revealed at our prestigious Awards Ceremony at the Autumn Study Conference in November, this year hosted by Paralympic Gold Medalist, Danny Crates.


The ISA Awards 2018

ISA Early Years Award for Excellence and Innovation in Provision

Shortlisted schools: Grantham Preparatory School, Holme Grange School, Springmead School

Applications were sought from schools that can evidence the outstanding quality of their Early Years setting (open to any ISA school with Early Years, Pre-Prep or Nursery provision, including Reception). Evidence can be wide-ranging and may include EYFS inspection outcomes or value-added data, or evidence for innovation in provision with an emphasis on the curriculum.

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The lucky winner of this Award will also receive this Outlast Classic Sink for their school, which has been kindly donated by Community Playthings, and is part of their Outlast Mud Kitchen collection. 

ISA Junior/Prep School Award for Academic Excellence and Innovation

Shortlisted schools: Bowbrook House School, Woodlands School Hutton Manor, Finborough School

This award is open to schools with provision covering the Junior/Prep years in the 5-13 age range. Excellence could be evidenced through pupil outcomes (including value-added data) and provision via inspection evidence or other recent external recognition. Judges will also look for evidence of curriculum innovation in one or more subject and/or extra-curricular areas where the positive impact on pupils is clear.

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ISA Senior School Award for Academic Excellence and Innovation

Shortlisted schools: Adcote School for Girls, Finborough School, Alderley Edge School for Girls

Open to schools with pupils in secondary and/or post-16 provision, judges are looking for excellence and/or innovation in pupil outcomes, or curricular or non-curricular programmes, evidenced as above.

ISA Award for Outstanding Sport (Small School*)
*1 class per year group

Shortlisted schools: Torwood House School, Appleford School, Woodlands School Great Warley

Applications are sought from small schools that can evidence their outstanding sporting provision in relation to opportunities offered to pupils. This might include partnership work with state schools or the community, extensive extra-curricular programmes, or opportunities to access national/ international events. Applications from schools demonstrating high levels of participation in Sport across the school are particularly encouraged.

 ISA Award for Outstanding Sport (Large School*)
*more than 1 class per year group

Shortlisted schools: Alleyn Court Preparatory School, North Bridge House Senior School, Rosemead Preparatory School

Applications are sought from large schools that can evidence their outstanding sporting provision in relation to opportunities offered to pupils. Again, this might include partnership work with state schools or the community, extensive extra-curricular programmes, or opportunities to access national/ international events. Applications from schools demonstrating high levels of participation in Sport across the school are particularly encouraged.

ISA Award for Excellence and Innovation in the Performing Arts

Shortlisted schools: Duke of Kent School, Cransley School, Frederick Hugh House School

This Award will be presented to the school that can provide evidence of going the extra mile in terms of Performing Arts provision and achievement. This may include innovative teaching techniques, or an offering of extra-ordinary opportunities for pupils, that help to enhance their Performing Arts. This category covers dance, drama, instrumental music and choral singing. Schools wishing to apply may evidence just one or all of these areas.

ISA Award for Excellence and Innovation in the Fine Arts

Shortlisted schools: Trinity School, Bredon School, Lyonsdown School

This Award will be presented to the school that can provide evidence of going the extra mile in terms of Arts provision and achievement. This may include innovative teaching techniques, or an offering of extra-ordinary opportunities for pupils, that help to enhance their learning in the Arts. This category covers fine art, sculpture, design and photography. Again, schools wishing to apply may evidence just one or all of these areas.

ISA Award for Innovation in STEM

Shortlisted schools: Ditcham Park School, Leighton Park School, Heywood Preparatory School

The judges will be looking for evidence of innovation and outstanding provision in one or more STEM disciplines. This might include innovative teaching methods, extra-curricular provision, or engagement with the wider community.

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ISA Award for Excellence and Innovation in Mental Health and Wellbeing

Shortlisted schools: Alderley Edge School for Girls, Cardiff Sixth Form College, Our Lady of Sion School

The Award welcomes applications from schools with forward-thinking methods of ensuring Pupil and Staff Wellbeing. This may include innovative projects involving mindfulness or resilience, or initiatives that help with prevention and enhance student welfare, self-esteem and inclusion within the school.

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ISA Award for Excellence and Innovation in Partnerships

Shortlisted schools: St Joseph’s School, St Petroc’s School, St Christopher’s School Surrey

Schools that can demonstrate strong community or state sector partnerships are encouraged to enter this category. Judges will be looking for evidence of partnership working, sharing best practice, and provision of opportunities for maintained sector pupils or working with the wider community.

ISA Award for Outstanding Contribution for International Understanding

Shortlisted schools: Derby Grammar School, Hull Collegiate School, CATS Canterbury

Applications are sought from schools that can evidence an outstanding international contribution – perhaps through charitable work, engagement in overseas projects, and innovative teaching.

ISA Award for Outstanding Provision for Learning Support

Shortlisted schools: Beech Hall School, Bellerbys College Cambridge, Torwood House School

All our schools have a diverse population. Some children will thrive once they are given a little extra help and ISA schools are very good at this. Schools applying for this award might want to say what they do to recognise each child’s needs, what imaginative support they put in to match those needs, how they monitor progress or how they help all their staff to have an input into each child’s development. They may want to talk about outcomes and to give some success stories which do not have to be linked to exam results, for success is a much wider concept.

ISA Award for Excellence in Extra-Curricular Activities

Shortlisted schools: St David’s College, Hipperholme Grammar School, Springmead School

Applicants that can evidence their outstanding extra-curricular provision in relation to opportunities offered to pupils (in addition to sport and music which are covered in other categories). This might include CCFs, other uniformed organisations, chess clubs, debating societies, Duke of Edinburgh schemes, etc.

ISA Award for Outstanding Engagement with Parents

Shortlisted schools: Woodlands School Great Warley, Quinton House School, St James Senior Boys’ School

Schools can demonstrate outstanding interaction and cohesion with parents and show evidence of going the extra mile to work with and support parents. This may be through collaborative projects or innovative communication methods, for example.