Hurlingham and Chelsea School is to become an academy from January sponsored by the United Learning trust. Planned improvements for the school include the opening of a sixth form. Langford Primary School will also become an academy as a partnership arrangement.
The Interim Executive Board has set out it’s objectives for the schools in a letter to parents:
“A summary of the IEB’s vision and expectations:
• The schools would be defined by rigorous academic education, the highest standards of behaviour, outstanding musical and cultural opportunities and a strong emphasis on competitive sports.
• A world-class primary education
The style and quality of education at Langford would be at least as good as that more commonly found in the best London independent pre-prep and preparatory schools. It would focus on providing a traditional style of academic education for local children across the full range of ability, regardless of background.
• Sixth Form at Hurlingham & Chelsea
The IEB believes strongly that the school would benefit enormously from the addition of a sixth-form and that it should be implemented without delay.
• Bilingual Course
There are compelling arguments for considering a bilingual course (French and English) for 30 pupils in each year group at KS3 and KS4 at Hurlingham & Chelsea.
The schools would develop their own knowledge-rich curriculums, based on the new National Curriculum, in which pupils would be expected to study a foreign language throughout KS2, KS3 and KS4, with a high proportion studying for three separate sciences at KS4 for the GCSE.
The schools would have a systematic and organised approach to the setting, completion and marking of homework.
• Extra-curricular provision
Pupils would be offered a wider variety of extra-curricular activities and clubs, which should certainly include choral and instrumental music, drama, debating and competitive sports.
Meanwhile, the IEB’s priorities will be supporting the pupils and teaching staff and improving standards in both schools. Please be assured that we shall keep parents informed of progress and arrange a further meeting for parents before the end of the summer term.”
The schools sponsored by United Learning have generally achieved excellent results.
This summer GCSEs became harder. This meant the percentage “achieving 5+ A*-C GCSE or equivalents including English and mathematics” – which is the standard measure of achievement – declined slightly.
But while there was a decline of 2.9 per cent among the average of state schools nationally, United Learning academies saw an improvement of 1.5 per cent.
United Learning has an ethos based in its Christian roots but welcomes children of all faiths and none to its schools. It has independent as well as state schools in its group. Its first school – Surbiton High School opened in 1884. It now has over 30 academies and 13 independent schools – a powerful contribution to breaking down the “Berlin Wall” between the two sectors.