All schools hoping to achieve the World Class Schools Quality Mark are required to participate in an assessment centre event, at which their students are assessed for the characteristics and behaviours as outlined in the WCSQM Framework.

This year, the event took place at another outstanding and World Class School, The Morley Academy, in Leeds. 48 pupils from 16 schools participated in the 2017 assessment process.

One week prior to the event, the nominated 48 students were split into six project teams and given a clear brief on how to prepare for the event. Students were required to self-organise into a number of roles consistent across each team to deliver a design project for the remodelling of The Morley Academy’s ‘Old Building’ scheduled for 2019. The six project teams each focused on different areas of the design project, working as a team and with the other teams to ensure their design proposals complemented those of the other teams to produce a cohesive overall design.

  1. Outside reading terrace: Create a design proposal for the outside reading terrace
  2. Outside reading terrace: Create a design proposal for the heating and furniture within this learning space
  3. Learning and Resource Centre aesthetics: Create a design proposal, looking at the walls, floors and lighting within the Learning and Resource Centre and the IT suites
  4. Learning and Resource Centre aesthetics: Create furniture and layout solutions for the new Learning and Resource Centre and the IT suites
  5. Corridor displays: Create a design proposal for the corridor displays in the remodelled ‘Old Building’ which make learning interactive and which are easily changeable.
  6. Displays: Create a design proposal for two portable displays which link to the curriculum areas taught in the remodelled ‘Old Building.’

Each team was allocated a challenge and an assessor from WCSQM, with whom each team had to liaise prior to the event to ensure that they were on track with their plans and preparations. Teams were also responsible for liaising with and gaining approval from key stakeholders, including Jenny Makin, artist in residence at The Morley Academy, David Yeadon from David Yeadon Ltd. Architects who are leading on the remodelling project, Alex Green, Schools Programme Manager from LESS CO2 (environment and sustainability) and Primary and Secondary school pupils from The Morley Academy and GORSE Academies Trust.

Throughout the day, the team of assessors from WCSQM monitored each project team for the capabilities and behaviours that define a 21st century world-class student. The output from this process was fed into the overall assessment to determine the world-class status of each participating school. Students were assessed for, among other things:

  • Leadership qualities
  • Collaborative and cooperative behaviour
  • Social awareness
  • Enthusiasm for learning
  • Empathy, understanding and compassion
  • Critical thinking skills and problem solving

Each project team completed their tasks with outstanding results. The panel members, made up of key stakeholders, were impressed with the level of research and insightful design ideas produced by each team. Leanne Griffiths, Headteacher at The Morley Academy, was delighted with the final proposals, and in her summary at the end of the presentations, stated:

Thank you so much to all the students who took part for their commitment to delivering well thought out, practical ideas that our project team can now use to take our remodelling project to the next phase. You have certainly given us a lot to think about, and each and every one of you has shown World Class skills and commitment to your project.

Leanne Griffiths, Headteacher, The Morley Academy

These are absolutely exceptional students. I was incredibly impressed by how well they worked together as a team, and the insightful questions they asked.

Jenny Makin, The Morley Academy Artist in Residence.

The calibre of the students this year was extra-ordinary. Their skills of collaboration, diplomacy, resilience and tenacity were second to none; these are incredible young people, to whom I would trust our future.

Miranda Perry, Director of WCSQM.

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