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    Celebrating the Power of Partnerships

    This week the Independent Schools’ Council (ISC) is running its annual Partnerships Week, shining the spotlight on the mutually beneficial partnerships between independent and state schools. 

    At Kimbolton, we have a number of flourishing partnerships and are delighted to work in collaboration, across the curriculum, with a number of brilliant local schools to share meaningful and enriching learning opportunities and experiences. 

    Within our thriving Combined Cadet Force (CCF), students from St Peter’s School in Huntingdon make up two thirds of our Royal Navy section and this is a strong working relationship that we have enjoyed for approximately 15 years.  Led by Lt Robson, a teacher from St Peter's School, all the RN cadets are able to benefit from his breadth of expertise.  All cadets are treated equally, and pupils from both schools have formed seamless and lasting friendships, sharing a mutual interest in the Royal Navy and working as a team - currently the senior students are working together to form a competitive Field Gun team. The cadets share some fabulous activities and experiences, such as completing their power boating qualifications and, latterly, representing the CCF in attending Remembrance Day at the Cenotaph and Royal Albert Hall in London – an incredible experience. 

    Another exciting opportunity for mutual benefit is our Community Service Unit (CSU) programme involving around 30 pupils from across three year groups. Kimbolton pupils can volunteer to help out at a range of placements, including local nurseries and primary schools, where they gain excellent work experience whilst developing valuable life skills through this mutually beneficial working relationship.  

    And once a year, the CSU hosts children from Spring Common Academy, a school for SEN children, where they organise craft and science activities and play fun games too.  This partnership has been thriving for many years and this year, CSU held a fundraising car wash with the money raised being sent to Spring Common Academy.  It is a great opportunity for students to make a valuable contribution to and give something back to their local and wider communities. 

    We also benefit from a continuing partnership with Greenfields Primary School in Kettering, a partnership that was established in 2015.  Each year, 12-15 Kimbolton Year 10 pupils work with around 60 Year 6 pupils from Greenfields, mentoring and creating activities, games, role plays and discussions for these younger children.  The aim of the project is to increase the resilience of pupils at Greenfields Primary School and to support them over the final years of their primary education and prepare them for transition into Year 7. 

    The Year 6s look up to our Year 10s - learning important life lessons from young people often makes it more memorable for them. In turn, the Kimbolton children gain mentoring and leadership skills and the invaluable opportunity to make a real difference by acting as role models for younger children. It’s a fantastic way to grow confidence and take on some extra responsibility, while having a positive impact on younger children.  The Kimbolton pupils also gain practical life skills, going through an application process to join this programme in the first place. Successful candidates then work in smaller groups to plan sessions around a particular theme, where they learn how to communicate effectively and how to manage young people in a fun but also educational way.  This well-established partnership is so popular that this year we had double the applicants for the places available! 

    Partnerships extend beyond the classroom and this term our Prep School has hosted two Community Mixed Football Festivals, welcoming four local primary schools. For many of the children, it was their first experience of playing football against another school, and it was wonderful to see all the children playing and learning together. 

    Our renowned Masterclasses also play a key role in engaging our local community whilst giving us the opportunity to share our facilities and expert teaching knowledge. Masterclasses which run throughout the year are open to Year 5 pupils from local primary schools who can attend a 6-week programme with a carousel of sessions, including Philosophy, Spanish, History and English, Mathematics and Sciences. 

    Frequently, independent schools have not only the facilities to share, but also the breadth of expertise and we firmly believe that the mutual benefit that these partnerships offer is invaluable.

    #schoolstogether #powerofpartnerships