On Thursday 21st June, the annual group Celebration Evening was held at St Anthony’s School for Boys in Hampstead. Heads, Principals and senior leaders joined Governors and Directors to reflect on best practice and celebrate successes in the Group. Highlights of the evening were the Alpha Plus Innovation Awards. Introduced in 2017 to encourage innovation, knowledge-sharing and creativity, the Innovation Awards were judged by a panel of Directors and CEO Mark Hanley-Browne. The winners for 2018 were:

Curriculum and assessment: Hilden Grange School.  The school introduced a writing checklist for use by the children themselves in order to self-assess writing skills.  It is used in Years 1-6 and has not only raised standards in writing, but also helped the children to become independent learners.

Teaching and educational resources: Wetherby Kensington, for the development of a comprehensive phonics programme called Anima Phonics, including online lessons and engaging classroom materials. Joint winner for this category was Abbey College Cambridge, for its learning theme of sharing thoughts through poetry. The poems, penned by EAL students in college, were judged by a professional local writer.  All the entries are now published in a hardback book.

Welfare and pastoral: St Anthony’s School for Boys won this category for the boys’ work in writing curriculum guides for the years below.  The boys write the curriculum content, including which subjects are covered and which elements they have particularly enjoyed.  The resulting guides are presented to the relevant Year group in the summer term.

Leadership, management and administration DLD College won for their work in developing digital literacy.  The staff have embraced a vibrant e-learning culture which has led to a strong focus on pedagogy.  Two student digital innovators are leading exciting projects and DLD is now recognised as a Microsoft School.

A new category was introduced in 2018 – a joint Alpha Plus Group/Delancey award for Collaboration in innovation Wetherby School won the accolade for their work in embedding Growth Mindset into all aspects of school life. A Growth Mindset champion team, comprising 9 volunteers from across the school, devised a course of 5 lessons for each year group and embedded it into the PSHE curriculum.  They also oversaw the introduction, monitoring and evaluation of Growth Mindset throughout the school.  This has become part of the school culture and parents have been engaged too.

All winners received £250 of gift vouchers and £250 for a charity of their choice.  The joint APG/Delancey award was £500 vouchers for the team and £500 for the charity of choice.