(Pictured above from left: Phil Rowson, Principal Bluecoat Wollaton Academy & Alan Gray, Headteacher Sandringham School).

Because our network has grown rapidly, we currently have three lead schools, which exemplify everything that is World Class, and support the charity’s growth by providing capacity.

Bluecoat Wollaton Academy, Nottingham

Whilst we are extremely proud of our reputation for outstanding academic excellence, we place equal value on ensuring students grow and develop both personally and socially and leave us thoroughly prepared to become well-rounded and successful. To support this ambition, our extra-curricular and enrichment programme provides opportunities in student leadership, careers, post-16 and university visits, STEM, music, sport, drama and many other areas.

Student Leadership

There are many opportunities for our students to develop their leadership skills at Bluecoat Wollaton Academy, both within curriculum areas and the wider school. We aim to provide opportunities for our students to develop leadership skills by succeeding together as a community through a shared vision and our ethos, using student voice to make our school the best it can be.

Careers, Post-16 and Post-18

We believe that all our students have the capability and potential to develop and grow in their careers. The Careers & Employability programme at Bluecoat Wollaton Academy is therefore designed to support students at various stages of their academic journey ensuring that they are able to make informed decisions about their future career choices.


At Bluecoat Wollaton Academy, we believe that literacy is the key to improving learning and raising standards. Literacy is a key component of our Strategic Vision and is at the centre of our student leadership groups. We believe that students should be actively engaged in developing their literacy skills at every stage of their development.  To that end we have designed and developed a number of initiatives to foster independence and a love of reading and literature. A cornerstone of this is the student-run school magazine, the Wollaton Bulletin.


Despite our small size, Bluecoat Wollaton has a proud history of sporting achievement across all year groups, and have claimed gold medals and city championships in Basketball, Football, Dodgeball, Handball and Athletics over the past few years. Our PE department does not only develop champions, but also promotes health and wellbeing throughout the school in addition to the large and varied extra-curricular programme of activities providing opportunities for all.

The Arts

Our Arts Faculty work hard to provide an extensive range of opportunities for all students to engage with the arts. From trips to local theatres and galleries, to visits from the Royal Shakespeare Company and prestigious universities, we collaborate with organisations across the country. Students have opportunities to take part in concerts and plays, and through our strong network within the local community, working with local churches, have had artwork publicly displayed across Nottingham, as well as part of the Royal Academy of Arts’ Young Artists’ Summer Show. Wider engagement of students with the arts is a cornerstone of the department, and a large number of students work towards various levels of the Arts Award. As part of our ongoing pursuit of excellence, we are working towards the Artsmark Platinum Award.

As a leading school both within our trust and the local area, we work hard to support the improvement of others and are keen to continue this work more widely as a WCSQM Lead School.

Find out more about Bluecoat Wollaton Academy


Sandringham School, St Albans

Staff are encouraged to pursue World Class Initiatives for the benefit of students at the school and we believe there is no limit to what can be achieved if you put your mind to it. Students have numerous opportunities to develop beyond the confines of the classroom through a wide range of extra-curricular activities.

Mrs Finlay delivers an assembly on unlocking World Class…


This has been a significant area of focus for many years. We have learnt that building momentum and aspiration is key to encouraging young people to consider future careers in STEM subjects. Each year we run a whole-school activity, usually during British Science Week, to provide a common learning activity whereby students have can share experiences and enjoy something collectively. Examples of these include making contact with Tim Peake on the ISS and shared across our network which allowed all students to enjoy the technical challenge of talking to an astronaut travelling at 27km/h, launching a high-altitude balloon into near space again followed by all students across the network and having every student and member of staff plant at least one sapling in the Heartwood Forest to demonstrate our commitment to sustainability. We have another challenge lined up for 2019 which might result in a World Record being achieved. During British Science week we participate in the Big Bang Fair and run a Chemistry Show for junior school students. The school has an active amateur radio club who make contact with people from around the World. Other aspects of STEM include the Space education quality mark, regular participation in the UKMT Maths Challenge and winning the Pearson Teaching award for STEM in 2017.


Sport is a key feature of the curriculum at Sandringham and all students follow PE as an examination subject to the end of KS4. This provides students with a greater understanding about health and fitness, how to look after themselves and also maximise enjoyment in sport. The sports department deliver an exceptional extra-curricular programme of games across a wide range of sports. Key emphasis is on providing opportunities for all to participate if they wish. As a result of this level of activity, the school has been awarded the School Games Platinum accreditation


The arts provision at Sandringham School collaborates with many external agencies at a local, county, national and international level. Collaborations include curriculum enhancement opportunities, external experiences (workshops, performances, work experience), masterclasses and qualifications. The work of our Arts faculties has been recognised by The Stage (Finalist School of the Year 2018), National Teaching Awards (Silver Award for Team of the Year) and through our current Platinum Artsmark status. Typical student activities include the Gambia Memory Project, exhibiting in the Mall Gallery, and numerous music tours across Europe. The school runs a number of major shows each year including ‘Velocity’ which showcases the dance across the curriculum.


The school is involved in exchange visits with Spain, France, Germany, Singapore and the Gambia. We invest heavily in International Links and encourage students to develop a love for languages and international affairs. Each year the International Evening is a celebration of the variety of cultures across the school. Students perform in different languages and use this as a platform to educate the audience.

Wider opportunities

We run a High Starters Programme to challenge students a in range of activities. Examples of this include University Visits for all students, training a number of students as Youth Health Champions, running an annual Mental Health Conference for the community and delivering the Brilliant Club for less advantaged students.

St Mary’s College, Hull

The consistent and successful World Class initiatives offered to students at St Mary’s College is just one of the many reasons why St Mary’s was one of our first lead partner schools. 

St Mary’s College is immensely proud of the young people we serve, all that they bring to our community and all that they achieve. It is our experience that given the right environment and opportunity, ordinary people can, and do, achieve extraordinary things.

Alongside our fundamental commitment to exceptional pastoral care, an authentic and inclusive education for all and a relentless focus on basic expectations and standards, we have a proud history of providing our students with innovative and unique enrichment experiences which have grown through the development of key partnerships with a range of leading organisations.

Our students have high aspirations thanks to a curriculum which is ‘Distinctively Ambitious, Distinctively Coherent and Distinctively Enriched’.  We recognise that the benefits of a strong academic core significantly outweigh the sum of each subject/component part. Instead, this core provides the vehicle through which students are able to develop their critical thinking skills, deepen their understanding of key concepts and build their cultural capital. We believe that the Personal Development of our students is one of the most important aspects of education. We are passionate in ensuring that teaching and learning across the curriculum is enhanced with an exciting, innovative and engaging calendar of opportunities which provide our young people with memorable and moving experiences.

World Class initiatives at St Mary’s College 

The school’s pioneering and highly successful initiatives include:

Academies of Sport 

Officially designated as a Specialist Sports College in 2001 St Mary’s College has an outstanding reputation for Physical Education, school sport, health and well-being in the city of Hull. 

Despite the withdrawal of the specialist Sports College status funding in 2010, SMC unlike most other schools, made a strategic decision to continue to invest heavily in sport and has in fact increased its commitment to PE and school sporting initiatives. 

The college has an established, highly successful partnerships with our top-flight rugby and football teams in the city; students are now representing their sport at international level. SMC was designated as one of the Hull City AFC Tiger Trust’s first Community Hub Schools and has a dedicated Sports Enrichment Officer who develops sporting opportunities within the curricular and extra-curricular programme for both boys and girls. We have highly successful Inclusion sports teams who excel in their field, bringing home a host of medals and trophies annually.

Academy of Music & Performing Arts

St Mary’s College prides itself on being one of the first Royal Shakespeare Company’s Lead Associate Schools in the country. Having initially been invited to pilot the scheme for the RSC, St Mary’s has grown our scheme and now works in partnership with other secondary, primary and special schools across the region. The partnership also includes our leading regional theatre, Hull Truck, enabling our students to take part in an annual festival either at Hull Truck or at St Mary’s College. As well as leading innovative teaching of Shakespeare, our students have opportunities to visit Stratford upon Avon to see and participate in productions and to take part in residential work experience programmes at this world class organisation. The Royal Shakespeare Company regularly brings their professional productions to St Mary’s College. 

Our Academy of Music & Performing Arts has expanded following the huge success of the programme with the RSC. The college has now established a regional centre for excellence in music and the performing arts. This Academy has enabled SMC to have a refreshed vision and commitment to music and arts education. West End star Kerry Ellis is now patron of the Academy.

Alongside many partner primary and secondary schools in the city, SMC has a dedicated pool of outstanding music teachers who bring fresh, relevant and affordable music tuition for children and young people aged 3-19 in our Trust schools. The Academy has been awarded as a recognised school with the CDMT (Council for Dance, Drama, Music and Musical Theatre) which acknowledged that the teaching, learning, experience of staff at SMC and the safety of the students meets the highest industry standards. Since then, the Performing Arts department have made the shortlist for a number of national awards in the sector and the Music department. Alumni now study at the country’s top conservatoires, perform on the West End, appear in the country’s beloved soap operas, in national UK tours and have event been recipients of the prestigious BAFTA awards. St Mary’s College is also a Trinity College Champion Centre for their delivering of teaching and widening access tuition of music in the community.

The Medical Health & Social Care Academy (MHSCA) 

Now in its 7th year, St Mary’s College Medical, Health & Social Care Academy was the very first of its kind in the country, working in a formal partnership with the NHS and the University in Hull. This highly innovative and exciting venture offers sixth form students unique and highly-prized advantages in the field.  If their ambition is to pursue a career in medicine, health care, social work or physiotherapy, they have access to extended and highly sought-after work placements and one to one mentoring from professionals in their chosen field. In 2017 the MHSC was awarded with a ‘Widening Participation’ award from NHS Heath Education England and now supports new and emerging Medical Academies across the country. They have recently launched a series of ‘MedBlog’ podcasts documenting the special relationships between mentors and mentees and exploring numerous fields of work in the heath and care sectors. 



For more press information on St Mary’s College, Hull please contact: 

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