Nominations are in, votes have been counted and we are delighted to reveal the winners of Alpha Plus Group’s Innovation Awards 2019, which generated lively engagement and enthusiastic participation from Alpha Plus schools and colleges this year. The worthy winners were:

Charlotte Butler at Portland Place School for the Strive Programme
Strive is a programme created to help students to pursue their interests beyond the curriculum. Each student receives a cohort-specific booklet, with suggestions for things to watch, read, listen, see and do. Furthermore, with light-touch guidance, students can research and develop their own Strive projects. Since its launch in September 2018, students have strived to create computer games, documentaries, have written travel guides, baked cakes to historic recipes and made costumes for an opera. For students who want to take the next step, Portland Place developed Strive Further, a Level 1 Extended Project Qualification. With pressures on the curriculum to focus on the narrow base of exams, Strive offers an alternative to the traditional learning environment. It enables students to use their imagination, pursue their passions, and develop their love of learning.

Tracey Dunning at Falcons School for Girls for the Eco Project
Falcons Girls are passionate about the environment. Under Tracey’s guidance, Falcons Girls set up an eco-committee with a Year 6 eco-lead and Year 1 – 6 Eco-Warriors. Pupils voted to the areas of focus: Grounds, Litter and Marine Life. They supported diversity and population with planting and other initiatives, set up recycling schemes in school and helped with picking litter in local parks and from the Thames. The Eco-Warriors also voted to reduce the school’s carbon footprint by having two meat-free meals a week. Well done everyone for helping to advance this important cause.

Hilden Grange’s team of Jason Davie, Claire Myers, Laura Richardson, Chris Cheeseman and Darren Cank for developing and embedding the Language of Learning
The aim of this initiative was to embed six characteristics of effective learning in pupils’ daily lives in and out of the classroom. After extensive consultation, six key words were chosen: Communication, Confidence, Responsibility, Perseverance, Positivity & Challenge. The merit system was updated to reflect the focus words and behaviours attracting merit were codified for each. Hilden Grange’s initiative showed great potential in helping to equip children with skills and attributes that will help them in their life as learners.

Seema Manji at Pembridge Hall for creating a digital and collaborative environment and preparing students for the workplace
Previously students had access to iPads for research only. Pembridge Hall’s Seema introduced Microsoft 365 and sharing and collaboration tools such as OneDrive, OneNote and other Apps. Parents were informed of the initiative, and provided with a step by step guide on how to use these tools at home and support their children’s learning. Pembridge Hall girls found it very exciting to create content at school and access it from home. After students were taught the basic skills in Computing, they used these skills in their other subjects too. Overall this had a positive impact on the school, as sharing, storing and creating new content is a now a lot more straight forward.

In addition to gift vouchers, this year’s prizes included a donation to a charity of choice. The worthy causes supported were: Aga Khan Foundation UK, The Girls’ Network, WWF-UK and Hospice in the Weald.