This partnership is part of an established network of 13 former Education Action Zone schools set within East Birmingham, and has worked to develop a shared, progressive residential programme.
A key aim for the partnership’s programme is to ‘reinstate enjoyment into the curriculum’. Residentials are based on curriculum themes – Respect for the World, Citizenship and Other Cultures, and The Arts – and feature a range of creative activities, some teacher-led and some facilitated by external experts.
The schools – six mainstream primary and one 4-19 school catering for students with special needs – are all located in East Birmingham, a particularly deprived area which is undergoing rapid, major shifts in its ethnic profile. The community of families face daily challenges in their lives that frequently interrupt learning and can limit aspiration. The Pilot Partnership is a social enterprise that has grown out of the former EAZ. It coordinates a range of networking and activities – one of which is the schools’ Learning Away programme – to support the schools to overcome these barriers to learning.
Residentials are held at local centres, and by working together the schools have been in a strong position to negotiate which services and activities are included. The goal is for residentials to be seen by the wider school communities as a natural and integrated learning tool for all children.
The residentials support the partnership’s work in tackling prejudice and there has been a determined effort to include children who would not normally take part in such activities, sometimes for cultural reasons.
“The partner schools were particularly pleased with the collaborative planning that had been undertaken. This had been beneficial in a number of ways including brainstorming ideas, sharing responsibility and resources, and the coordination support by the EAZ.”
Learning Away Coordinator, The Pilot Partnership (East EAZ)