First News Education -

Partnerships and where to find them

Brought to you by Lyndsy Killip, Queens Park School

They’re out there – you just need to look

In my 10 years in education it always amazes me how differently all schools operate. With our one aim to enrich the lives of children – why do we not make the most of communities around us?

With fewer staff, increased workload and tighter budgets, it’s about time you tapped into a world of resources just on your doorstep.

In our quest to open our doors, make links and be outward facing it quickly became apparent with links came more links and now people are knocking at our door to come in and we love it!

This year we have welcomed dentists, police, authors, first aiders, mental health specialists, construction companies, large multinationals, small local shopkeepers and the local football club to name but a few to Queen’s Park Primary School.

How? You just need to ask.

Find the longstanding member of staff who has seen people coming through the doors in the years gone by, get them involved in inviting people back to the school. Look for the person with the passion for making partnerships and empower them and make it part of you school vision – to be an outward facing, welcoming school.

So what’s in it for the kids?

Real life role models, exposure to the outside world of industry, jobs and experiences. Complimented by the opportunity to raise aspirations and give them something to aim for.

What’s in it for you?

An enhance curriculum aimed throughout the school with real life experiences. More opportunities for less money with many businesses offering free resources and workshops.

What do the parents think?

Some of the partnerships we have made have come with the added bonus of parental engagement – through coffee mornings, parent classes and holiday time opportunities – this has increased our sense of community.

More importantly – what do the children think?

It’s written all over their faces! During a recent teaching and learning review one child spoke about being prepared for jobs that haven’t even been created yet and being inspired by the people coming through the door.

How do we share our success?

At Queen’s Park Primary School we have recently joined the Children’s University network as Westminster Children’s University. Through this a number of schools have signed up to take advantage of our extracurricular opportunities from out established partners. With this engagement they find they can approach the businesses for their schools individual needs.

So what next?

We have set our sights on being a centre of excellence for wellbeing and positive mental health. As such we have been exceptionally lucky to be supported by Avril Mcdonald – author of the Feelbrave series of books, been chosen by TenderUK as a pilot school for a mental health programme and further developed links with Mosaic – so watch this space.

About the Author

Lyndsy Killip is a Deputy Headteacher at Queen’s Park Primary School.

Follow her school on Twitter: @QueensParkPS