Pupils at Exeter, Priors Hall and Woodnewton primary schools in Corby, which are all part of the Inspiring Futures through Learning (IFtL) multi-academy trust, are embarking on an innovative cross-school collaborative partnership.
The initiative will see children from all three IFtL Corby schools being involved in a series of unique activities and experiences, and having the opportunity to meet and work together.
Projects are being led by Joanne James, who after 15 years at Exeter – most recently as Assistant Headteacher – is now working across Exeter, Priors Hall and Woodnewton primary schools. It began this term with a Boccia contest for learners with SEND held at Woodnewton – A Learning Community for Year 3 and 4 children that was overseen by Joanne and facilitated by John Fursdon, PE lead at Woodnewton.
An art challenge, linked to the theme of colour progression which aims to inspire a lifelong love of art and learning, involving every year group across the schools is currently in motion. This will be followed by Maths, chess, eco-design and space challenges, and choir appearances at Young Voices in Birmingham and London. A number of other innovations are also in the pipeline.
Joanne said: “All three Corby schools are part of IFtL and our aim is to bring our pupils together to show them that they are part of a much bigger community. We want to extend the feeling of belonging in Corby, which IFtL is able to facilitate through its network, and the curricular and extra-curricular activities planned have really captured everyone’s imagination. For our first Boccia event it was wonderful to see all the children and staff mixing with one another from all three schools and enjoying physical activity.”
As part of her role, Joanne is also developing the online platforms and videos resources at each school – including children talking about their class stories to inspire their love of reading – and co-ordinating the sharing of best practice. “It is a really exciting opportunity for me to be able to support colleagues across our Corby primary schools with accessing knowledge and insight, helping us all work together rather than in isolation, and celebrate the brilliant work that is going on in every single IFtL school.”
The headteachers, Hannah Crawford and Jenifer Doherty (Exeter), Tess McQuade (Priors Hall) and Kim Kemp and Kate West (Woodnewton) are excited by the initiative and opportunity for the three schools to work even closer together.
Kim, who is also Head of Quality Assurance at IFtL, explained: “I am delighted to be working with Joanne and all the heads on the Corby cross-school collaborative partnership. This is something we have been planning for a while and we are thrilled to get this off the ground. Our schools have an ever-growing wider purpose in intellectual, social and character development and the programme of activities we are running will benefit our children and colleagues alike.”
IFtL CEO Sarah Bennett added: “At IFtL we recognise the power of schools working together that inspire people, children and adults. To be continuously learning, to be supported in their growth and to celebrate and help others in their achievements is something that we fully recognise and are driven to deliver in an ambitious yet sustainable way. We are committed to making a difference to our Corby communities.”