We are thrilled to have won the Independent Schools of the Year 2021 community outreach category. 

Competition was intense with a record number of entries across all categories. Independent Schools of the Year is an awards scheme run by the Independent School Parent portfolio of magazines to celebrate the success stories of schools and their students across the independent education sector in the UK and British schools overseas.

The award recognises our creative approach to supporting our primary school partners throughout the pandemic with our Primary Ambitions programme.  Primary Ambitions unites Year 6 pupils from 18 local state schools with a high proportion of free school meals with Emanuel Lower Sixth students every Friday from 2.00pm to 3.00pm. Our Lower Sixth students teach a variety of subjects to groups of 15 Year 6 pupils on our school site.  The modules taught cover subjects in the arts, language, literature, politics, science, technology, maths and sport with 20 different options for primary schools to choose from. The emphasis is on our pupils running each session, enabling them to develop leadership, coaching and mentoring skills as well as further develop confidence, empathy, kindness and respect for those from different backgrounds.  

The challenges posed by Covid-19 meant our partners needed our support more than ever. Given partner schools were unable to come on site, our pupils embraced the challenge and developed Primary Ambitions ‘Lessons-in-a-box’ to deliver to our partner schools. They prepared lesson plans, presentations, group and individual activities, how-to videos, and materials. Given the complexities of primary school teaching over the pandemic, providing opportunities for enrichment was invaluable. 

Lisa Irwin (Deputy Development and Community Partnerships Director)