Case study

The Cornwall Hub story

We are an established hub engaging in activities which reflect the priorities of our partner schools. Our core aim has always been to explore fresh and thought-provoking educational practices and work together to collectively raise the standard of education in Cornwall. Through regular combined meetings with our Teaching School, we have sought to focus on initial teacher training, collaborative school to school support and leadership development through evidence based and innovative teaching and learning. As a group of committed schools, we have been developing and sharing best practice and learning in order to support and embed a culture of trust and engagement. Our partner schools have especially found this beneficial through sharing strategies and resources. For example, we explored the challenges of ‘life after levels’ and through reviewing each school’s strengths and weaknesses, senior leaders have been able to confirm commonalities, look at issues and then implement identified areas to develop.

Our focus on innovative and adventurous teaching and learning links in with Challenge Partners’ principles of collaborative school improvement networks. Schools have found taking part in QA Reviews at their own and other schools to be of immense value. Through receiving and giving positive dialogue about what is going well and areas for development and identifying support needs senior leaders have been able to implement improvement strategies into their own schools. This can be seen in the higher-than-County average results in Challenge Partners member schools compared with those not in the Network of Excellence.

A long-standing emphasis on initial teacher training has enabled us to attract an increasing number of high quality trainees to our School Direct programme for primary and secondary schools and also host trainees from Higher Education Institutions in our Lead School and Partner Schools in the hub and Teaching School. Ongoing professional development opportunities are sought and delivered to hub schools and this ensures we attract and retain the best teachers. Through Teachmeets, IT courses and our annual conference, staff are given opportunities to discover and then apply their knowledge, thereby delivering outstanding learning for all. We are looking to further encourage best practice and innovation in order to equip all our students with the ability to be passionate, curious and questioning learners.

Les Hall, Hub Manager