Through some of its partnerships, QE is able to share its experience and expertise as a successful school. In other partnerships the benefits are more reciprocal, with the partnership activity directly or indirectly promoting the learning and well-being of QE pupils on the one hand, while QE participants contribute their skills, knowledge and enthusiasm on the other.
The following paragraphs provide some examples of the partnerships in which the School is currently engaged.
In 2004, QE was the first school in London to be granted specialist Music College status. Since then it has established close relationships with five partner primary schools and with other local schools.
More recently, in 2009 QE was awarded Training School status. It became eligible to apply for this second specialism because it was recognised by the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) as a High Performing Specialist School. As a training school, Queen Elizabeth’s School is involved in partnerships with a number of universities and with other schools in Barnet.
The School runs foreign language exchanges with three European schools: the Collège St-Pierre in Bourg-en-Bresse, near Lyon, France; the Friedrich von Bodelschwingh Gymnasium (grammar school) in Bielefeld, Germany, and the Einhard Gymnasium in Aachen, North Rhine Westphalia, Germany. In addition, QE has a long-established partnership with the Sri Sathya Sai School in Kerala, southern India.
QE is heavily involved in the Barnet Central School Sport Partnership, which is part of the national School Sport Co-ordinator (SSCO) programme developed and implemented by DCSF, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), the New Opportunities Fund, Sport England and the Youth Sport Trust. The programme’s aim is to work towards a Government objective of providing every child with two hours of high-quality PE and school sport each week. One of the School’s PE teachers is also an SSCO, spending two days every week working for the Barnet partnership. Much of this work involves leading activities in primary schools. QE pupils assist primary schools with their sport through the same partnership – an arrangement that enables Sixth-Formers to put into practice skills they acquire in working towards the Community Sports Leadership Award. In addition, QE provides various primary schools with access to its swimming pool and other sports facilities.
The School shares a Foundation Trust with Queen Elizabeth's Girls' School. . Local secondary schools and individuals are encouraged to attend admissions tutors' presentations and mock interviews at QE. The School benefits from close links with universities; each year there are visits to QE by university vice-chancellors.
The Headmaster and other senior staff are active in forums in Barnet dealing with finance, admissions, inclusion and strategic thinking on the education of those aged 14-19. The Headmaster is also a member of Boys’ Academic State Schools (BASS) and the Grammar Schools' Heads' Association (GSHA), is Chairman of the Northgate School management committee (a school situated in the grounds of Edgware Community Hospital with pupils drawn from two psychiatric units) and is a mentor to new Heads. QE has good working relationships with local police, with pupils active in Barnet Youth and the Police CRAC (Communications, Results Action Committee).
For QE’s older students, our work experience and voluntary service programmes present further opportunities for developing valuable relationships with external organisations that are usually of mutual benefit.
The work experience programme begins at the end of Year 10, when students have an off-timetable day which encourages them to consider their career aspirations and introduces them to planning a route to a career. Having written their own CV, it is the responsibility of students, with the help of their parents, to find suitable placements. In this respect QE differs from many other schools which will find a placement for their students; the School believes that students seeing how an application process works is a vital element in planning a career.
All students carry out work experience at the end of Year 11. Work experience itself takes place over two weeks and in a wide variety of settings. Typically, these might include local NHS trusts, the City of London, local government offices, surveying and design companies, banks, building societies, dental surgeries and primary schools.
The feedback from employers is very positive. Here are some recent examples:
“A pleasure to work with; he is extremely intuitive…we had nothing but praise for him…I would rather hire him than many of the other graduates we have had on our desk who are much older and more experienced.” (RBS)
“Very impressive. He was able to grasp complex legal issues and execute instructions.” (Mills Chody)
“It was a pleasure to have him in my group, a highly competent and diligent individual.” (Chevron Ltd)
“Superb student, professional and polite.” (Britannia Building Society)
“Has worked beyond what I would expect of a student. A major asset to us in the week he was here.” (Stanburm Middle School)
Leading on from work experience is voluntary service. This programme helps to fulfil QE’s intention that boys should ‘make a difference to the community by acting as purposeful citizens’. Every boy in Year 12 is expected to commit 40 hours’ service per year (or one hour per week) in voluntary service. Again, it is his responsibility to find that voluntary placement; one that is related to his career pathway, or which allows him to make a contribution to his community. Recent placements have taken place at charity shops, libraries, primary schools, care homes. Boys have also served with political groups and with faith groups.