29 Nov 2023

Partnerships Week 2023: ISA schools featured in ISC Celebrating Partnerships 2023 report

Partnerships Week 2023 marks the release of the annual Celebrating Partnerships report from the Independent Schools Council (ISC).

Partnerships between independent and state schools continue to evolve, as new alliances are formed and new areas of impact are explored by all involved.

Rudolf Eliott Lockhart, Chief Executive Officer of ISA, reflected on the ‘vital’ role that partnerships play for ISA schools in their communities:

“ISA schools are valued parts of their local communities and partnership work is a vital part of this. Good partnerships are partnerships of equals, with state and independent schools working together for the benefit of all the pupils in their care. They can provide outstanding opportunities for young people to make a difference beyond the boundaries of their school and to have a wider impact on their communities.

“It's right to celebrate successful partnership work: they are at the core of the educational mission of ISA schools.”

The influence of ISA Members’ schools in their local communities, and further afield, is once again showcased in the 2023 report as eight feature this time around. Get a snapshot of each below.

Azbuka-Russian English Bilingual School – Page 18

On page 18 of Celebrating Partnerships 2023, the role of Azbuka Russian-English Bilingual School as a founding member of the Bilingual Education Alliance (BEA) is highlighted.

The BEA is a network of leaders of bilingual schools, academics and policymakers. Supporting all types of schools with bilingual or multilingual curricula, in any combination of languages, this supports the broader advancement of foreign language teaching and learning.

This alliance offers schools joint training, masterclasses, networking, support with curriculum matters, liaising with parents and much more.

Benefit is not restricted to bilingual schools either, as students from non-bilingual schools experience cultural immersion opportunities through the sharing and training of foreign language teachers and resources. Read the full breakdown on page 18 here.

Lichfield Cathedral School – Pages 20 & 21

Making strides in support for pupils with English as an additional language (EAL) is one mission that Lichfield Cathedral School (LCS) are driving forward on.

Partnered with Lichfield Cathedral and the Ukrainian Friends of Lichfield, LCS have helped launch an open community of shared practice, aimed at understanding and responding to the help that students with EAL need. Some of these young people arrive in schools as refugees.

Two ideas are key to this initiative – academic development and emotional support.

Concerned by the educational and wellbeing risks that a lack of uniformity on EAL poses to students, educators are invited to discuss particularly helpful resources or activities, as well as what pastoral support they have in place within their settings. Best practice is then established by the group to guide schools in overcoming the barriers that these pupils can face.

With this partnership, LCS are reaching across the region. To date, 106 schools have been involved.

Pages 20 & 21 of Celebrating Partnerships 2023 chart the aims behind this project, its progress so far and plans for the future. Read all about it here.

ACS International Schools – Page 27

Awareness and acceptance of neurodiversity in education is one of many causes that ACS International Schools are fighting for with their partnerships.

‘Hacking Neurodiversity’ is a video-based project which aims to support teachers, students and parents with 10 powerful films.

Real-life stories from diverse backgrounds and across all age groups, these open access resources have attracted over 70,000 views to date. This leaves ACS at the core of programmes in a network of schools which embrace supportive learning environments that celebrate the strengths of all pupils.

‘Hacking Neurodiversity’ is a transformative experience for those its reached. The full playlist can be viewed freely here.

ACS International Schools are involved in a vast range of partnerships, and the best way to follow all their activities is on Twitter @ACSPartnerships.

King’s High School & the Warwick Schools Foundation – Page 28

Just over the corner from ACS is a feature on the Warwick Schools Foundation Evergreen Holiday Club. This partners King’s High School and Warwick School with Evergreen School, a local specialist state school.

Born out of a desire to support extended provision for local young people with learning difficulties, this strived to build the confidence and independence of disadvantaged pupils over the summer.

Activities at the club stretched from crafts, cooking and junk modelling to outdoor ventures including forest school. 17 students from King’s High School and Warwick School joined specialist staff from Evergreen School to deliver these exciting opportunities.

Beyond the haven this provided for families to send their children to over the summer break, and a range of new experiences for pupils, this club also connected young people – giving them a holistic environment where they could explore each other’s passions and dreams, as well as embrace their own independence.

Ibstock Place School and Knightsbridge School – Pages 30 & 31

ISA Member schools Ibstock Place School and Knightsbridge School are amongst the 17 independent schools that form Lumina Tutoring, launched by Harrow School at the height of the pandemic.

Lumina Tutoring was created with the aim of supporting children in care to fulfil their potential.

Online, subject-specific sessions combat the disproportionate loss of learning experienced by children who are looked after (CLA) over the course of the pandemic.

Students benefit from lessons every week, delivered across the full school age range and covering all subjects. Teachers then remain with these pupils through a complete academic cycle (up to exams).

This is a fully funded platform too, which also provides software, training and support to partner institutions free of charge.

The outcomes are truly remarkable. Young people have been helped to progress onto courses that were previously inaccessible with extraordinary results.

This commitment to improving the life chances of children in care also extends to the Lumina Summer School. For Year 12 students attending state schools, this programme offers expert guidance on the Oxbridge admissions process. It’s also an opportunity for pupils to develop more widely; enhancing subject knowledge, refining personal statements and offering practice on interview techniques.

Read the full feature and hear from the teachers and pupils involved on pages 30 & 31 here.

Sancton Wood School – Page 33

A practical PSHE programme which addresses modern challenges for teenage boys was the goal for Sancton Wood School, so they partnered with Cambridge United Football Club (CUFC) to tackle this.

A pastoral support group for boys and fathers, the Sancton Wood Supporters’ Club is a comprehensive programme of talks and events to support boys in Years 7, 8 and 9.

This opens up a series of parent talks to everyone in Cambridge, delivered by trained family therapists. Crucial subjects such as sex and relationships, setting boundaries and handling the change (mind and body) that teenagers experience are explored.

PSHE lessons are also taught by CUFC at Sancton Wood, focusing on non-violent communication, self-image, bullying and more key topics as part of the club’s wider Mind Your Head programme.

Partnership with the football league side also brings a variety of matchday experiences for boys and their parents, combining talks from positive male role models with the chance to enjoy a game.

Stafford Grammar School – Page 36

Choral Day is used as the perfect platform to widen access to music by Stafford Grammar School, welcoming pupils from 10 local primary schools to experience the magic of music education.

Stafford Grammar transport these students to the event, ensuring there are no obstacles preventing state schools across the region from getting involved.

Music workshops are enjoyed throughout the day, with pupils singing and learning songs. This culminates in a spectacular event presented to over 1000 parents. For many, this performance on Choral Day is their first ever opportunity to be part of a choir and concert.

Sharing their passion for music is at the heart of Stafford Grammar, and this extends beyond Choral Day too. The school’s concert band head out on roadshows to offer children across South Staffordshire the chance to experience instruments that they may not have seen or heard before.

For Stafford Grammar, music is about passion, participation and community.

ISA schools are invited to share their projects to [email protected] and on social media using the hashtags #schoolstogether and #powerofpartnerships.

Partnerships Week 2023 (ISC Graphic).png