Why Queen Katharine Academy was shortlisted for the BMC Award

The department vision was to promote social mobility at KS5 through academic attainment. They completely revised the curriculum at KS5 following Josephine’s attendance at a dedicated PTI residential weekend. This inspired her colleagues to revise the KS3 and KS4 curriculum too; lockdown provided an ideal setting for this level of revision to take place.

This revision has resulted in an increased uptake in the subject at KS5, as well as the increased provision of all three subject strands at A level by student demand. This is unprecedented in the history of the school and is a great leap forward as these are challenging, academic subjects.

New reading and debate clubs have been introduced to promote self-confidence and public speaking. In addition, interactive Shakespeare workshops were devised to engage learners and extra-curricular visits to Harry Potter Studio World and the West End took place. Students are also now entered in to termly Young Writer competitions.

Inspired by the PTI, the department decided to run a weekly ‘Lunchtime Lift’. This series of talks by colleagues from within and outside the department has been especially popular and has promoted cross-curricular communication between departments. Because of this, a core subject behaviour liaison support network was set up, as well as a system of ‘Triple A’ visuals for year 11 students regarding attainment, attendance and attitude to learning. This has resulted in an improved atmosphere for learning, not only in English department but across the school.

Weekly ‘uplift and inspiration’ emails promote mental wellbeing. The department also aid learners’ concentration by using diffusers with academically enhancing and calming essential oils such as peppermint and cedar and playing Mozart.