Southwark Schools' Learning Partnership 2020

Southwark Schools Learning Partnership (SSLP) is a collaboration between local secondary schools. The partnership promotes projects for students and CPD (Career Professional Development) for staff.

Dr Joe Spence and Catherine May, Head Teacher of St Saviour’s & St Olave’s CE School, are co-directors of the partnership, providing leadership in connecting schools, teachers and students. We also organise a variety of SSLP projects and employ a coordinator to help enhance their impact.

The SSLP priorities for 2020/21 are to enhance student voice and to encourage a partnership-wide conversation about race and racism in education. With all the opportunities we are developing this year, we are striving to consider these priorities and how they can be central to our planning and delivery.

Dulwich College opportunities shared with our SSLP partners in Michaelmas Term 2020:

Connecting Schools...
These opportunities give schools access to something that would be difficult to achieve alone.

Thinking About... is a joint project between Dulwich College and the SSLP which attracted the attention of twenty nine schools during the Michaelmas term. Every Tuesday we have welcomed a different guest speaker to present via Zoom webinar to Year 11+ students. Over the 10-week series we attracted 683 registrations from students, staff and parents - almost 300 students have joined these talks. Alleyn's School, Kingsdale Foundation School and Queen's College London have all hosted a talk on behalf of the SSLP, and students from St Saviour's & St Olave's, The Elmgreen School, UAE Southbank and The Charter School North Dulwich have co-hosted with Dulwich College. Our most popular talk was Professor Duncan Wheeler thinking about Spanish National Cultures closely followed by Lord Peter Hain thinking about Sport and Apartheid. All recordings can be accessed via the SSLPs YouTube channel.

Pathetique Sonata Online Lesson... John Carnelley, Deputy Director of Music (Academic) and Luis Parés, Head of Keyboard, used Zoom to lead an interactive session and in-depth study of this set work for GCSE students, which included the history/development of the piano, listening and appraising group activities, and a structural analysis with an annotated score. The lesson was open to all Year 10 & 11 music classes from SSLP schools. The recording is available to watch on the SSLP Music Hub webpage, where supporting materials can also be found.

Oxbridge Interviews... Dulwich College completed 45 mock-Oxbridge interviews for applicants from SSLP state schools in December 2020. Having a mock interview with an unfamiliar expert in their chosen subject, really helps SSLP applicants prepare for their Oxbridge interviews. We also held Mock Multiple-Mini-Interviews for 12 students applying for medicine degrees, each student received seven 5-minute interviews within an hour. We wish all the applicants the very best of luck.

Connecting Teachers...
These opportunities provided teachers from SSLP schools access to events that would allow them to interact with others from the partnership.

Middle Leader Professional Development... together with James Allen's Girls School we have sponsored a series of four professional development sessions for new and aspiring middle leaders from SSLP schools. More than 50 teachers from fourteen SSLP schools have signed up and taken part in the first two sessions on developing a team and having difficult conversations. Although we haven't been able to meet in person, the Zoom meeting functionality has allowed teachers from Dulwich College to hear from professional trainers and to meet peers from other schools virtually in breakout rooms.

Connecting Students...
These opportunities allow students from multiple SSLP schools to work together as equals on a joint aim.

Beginner's Arabic... we have been hosting weekly Arabic lessons for students from other SSLP schools for several years, but this year we were forced to take the lessons online. Rather than stifling the enthusiasm of students we had a record amount of interest with students finding the Zoom lessons more accessible than travelling to Dulwich College.

Entrepreneurs Networking... our OA networking event on 12th November was opened up to older pupils from Dulwich College and other SSLP schools giving them all an opportunity to hear from and to meet potential mentors and future collaborators.

Guest speakers... using online technology we have still been able to welcome external guests to speak to our clubs and societies, and some of these have been opened to interested students from other schools. For instance Modern Languages and your Career was a virtual talk by Martin Hamilton, a forensic accountant, who eliminated doubt about whether modern languages can influence or improve your career. Later in November Kate Davis, an artist who works across a range of media, including film/video, drawing, printmaking, installation and bookworks, talked to SSLP art & design staff and students about using art to reconsider what certain histories could look, sound and feel like.

As a partnership of equals Dulwich College recognises it is just as important to participate in SSLP projects as to host them for others.

This year the SSLP is focusing on the issue of race with an SSLP Anti-Racism Project. Our staff and students actively participated in the Anti-Racism conference in November, led by St Saviour's & St Olave's school. The keynote speaker was OA Ndu Uchea who founded Word on the Curb. Students are now starting to plan the spring term element of the project. They will work in four clusters of three schools, and each produce a short film that will spark a facilitated conversation about race with their year 8 peers.

Music classes at Dulwich College submitted 5-second audio and visual recording to the BBB-Beethoven project run by JAGS. The submissions were edited into a montage tribute to Beethoven's 5th symphony and released on his 250th birthday.

Keen photographers from both our staff and student bodies have committed to the SSLP Photography project which is a five-month competition where students and staff, in their own categories, enter one picture per month in response to a theme.

To learn more about the SSLP contact:

Katie Barretta

SSLP Co-ordinator

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"I really enjoyed the format of this session, especially that it was led by students, and expertly so."
Thinking About attendee
"I really loved this talk, the presenter was great and the slide show interesting. I found out things I didn't know and how to explore more. Thank you I look forward to the next one."Thinking About attendee
"I just finished both interviews and I think they went reasonable well. I talked about port-war housing as you advised. Thanks so much for all your help it made me feel a lot more confident."Oxbridge applicant
"A really good session with lots of ideas, good ways to overcome the virtual delivery barrier and a good mix of interactive/video with lecture-style sections."Professional Development attendee
"I will strive to change the social norms in our society to make sure that people stop being casually racist."Anti-Racism Conference attendee