What are school led initiatives?

School led initiatives, funded by Camden Learning, provide the opportunity for schools to work collaboratively to establish better practice, building social and professional capital.

Through these initiatives we:

  • Support a range of collaborations within and across schools to develop the quality of teaching and increase its impact on learning
  • Make sure that Camden Learning’s work with schools is grounded in research and evidence informed practice
  • Developing a sustainable model that enables schools to support staff wellbeing.

Current Initiatives

Every Child Reading by Seven

In Camden, although our primary schools perform well above both national and London averages, 20% of our children still do not reach the expected levels in reading and writing by 11. Why zero in on reading?  It is the best proxy measure we have for what’s needed to break the link between family income and educational attainment. The initiative is meet the ambitious target – that every child should be a reader by the age of 7.

We are:

  • Revisiting the evidence both from this country and internationally about effective approaches to the
  • teaching of reading, with a focus on support for and monitoring of implementation within schools
  • Organising a Camden campaign to encourage a love of reading and a community of readers involving a broad
  • range of partners, for example business as well as libraries
  • Building on success in reading with a major initiative to ensure Camden children can speak and write with clarity and confidence by 11.


Mathematics transition KS2 to KS3

Brecknock Primary School,  Camden School for Girls, Eleanor Palmer Primary School and Torriano Primary School are developing a cross phase shared approach to a maths curriculum and pedagogy address specific challenge in KS2 and KS3 mathematics teaching for Year 5-7 continuity  with the following aims:

  • We will deepen teacher knowledge and understanding of the curriculum across KS2 and KS3 and the expectations of pupils at the end of each Key Stage.
  • Most effective use of formative assessment term 1 Year 7.
  • Our pupils in KS2 and KS3 will demonstrate a positive attitude to maths.
  • We will make common use of approaches, representations and language across phases.
  • Cross-phase colleagues will collaborate on issues of curriculum and pedagogy as a normal part of our schools’ transition practice.


Improving language & vocabulary acquisition in the Early years and Year 1, with a focus on disadvantaged pupils

Brecknock, Brookfield, Hawley & Torriano Primary Schools are working together to explore how best to deepen teacher knowledge and understanding of the oracy curriculum across EYFS and Year 1 and the expectations of pupils at the end of each year group, with a particular focus on the end of Reception assessment point. In summary:

  • How to accelerate language and vocabulary acquisition through classroom practice.
  • How to effectively use the assessment of oracy skills in EYFS and Year 1 to feed into the communication and language.
  • Oracy techniques embedded in all areas of the curriculum to support the learning of all children.


Opportunity Centres to facilitate learning beyond the school day

The pandemic has shown us the wide gulf between those who have good housing, IT equipment and

connectivity and those who do not. We have worked together to provide devices and Wi-Fi access in the emergency and enable home learning, but we know that every child needs to be able to learn beyond the school day – so we want to use the pandemic as a springboard to better learning for all our children and some families. We are currently trialling two school based opportunity centres at Acland Burghley and La Sainte Union Schools. These will:

  1. Provide opportunities in evenings, weekends and holidays to provide access, in the first instance, for secondary age students to learning and technology (including digital learning programmes); small group tutoring; good information, advice and guidance; and enrichment activities
  2. Explore the potential of Opportunity Centres as places parents can come to use devices or Wi-Fi or to attend more formal learning programmes, including those which help them support their children’s learning
  3. Consider when and how to involve primary schools and their pupils in opportunity centres.


Successful transition between settings and phases for every child

We have established school-led initiative to improve transition between primary and secondary schools by researching good practice and producing transition guidance for schools supported by training and development programme.  This initiative is drawing from the expertise of a number of Camden primary, secondary and special schools.   Outcomes from this work will be published in the Autumn 2023.


Camden accountability framework which captures the real story of the school

We are working with a group of Camden school leaders to strengthen professional accountability

within and across schools, offering an alternative to exam league tables and the Education Inspection Framework grading system.  We are developing a system which tells the real story of a school and captures the voices of children, parents and employees and trialling a ‘Camden School Report Card’, as a new system which:

  1. Recognises the value of the breadth of the education children experience
  2. Incentivises rather than disincentivises inclusion, recognising schools’ achievements with pupils who do not show up well on exam league tables or who arrive in school with a more challenging journey ahead of them, such as refugees
  3. Recognises success in improving children and young people’s health and wellbeing
  4. Considers the views of young people, parents and teachers
  5. Understands the importance of young people’s contribution to the community and opportunities to demonstrate leadership.

Outcomes from this work will be published in the Autumn/Spring 2023.