St Michael's Academy Logo

01935 423863

Email Us

Challenge Partners

Our philosophy and strategy is informed by the following principles:

  1. Practitioner led and engaged: School practitioners started Challenge Partners and should be actively leading the system, making decisions, with a strong voice in national policy that drive pupil outcomes.

  2. Improving and sharing practice through collaboration: We facilitate best practice sharing through collaboration to reduce the variability and drive the best to grow new practice. Drawing upon effective practice, emerging innovation and productive academic research, to share and create knowledge to improve the quality of teaching and sustainable leadership. We invite and provide each other with both challenge and support to provide the best for our pupils.

  3. A national network of local partnerships: We develop collaborative communities at school, local, national, and international levels around Teaching School Alliances, Multi-Academy Trusts and other existing partnerships, and so create a model and voice for national reform.

  4. Accessing the best from beyond education: We look beyond the education sector and access business and other sectors for effective practice, advice and finance.

  5. Creating sustainable solutions: We seek sustainable school improvement and trust that if schools value it enough they will pay for it, and that by pooling resources, schools get more out than they put in.

Quote from our Review

  • The headteacher and the senior leadership team (SLT) are relentless in setting high expectations for all members of the school community.
  • The school is calm and purposeful and pupils describe it as a ‘happy place’ to be.
  • Pupils are proud of their school and their achievements and speak passionately about the experiences they receive at St. Michael’s.
  • Curriculum provision is borne from a deep understanding of the needs of pupils and the context of the school.
  • The ‘St. Michael’s experiences’ and the ‘University of St Michael’s’ are key components in increasing pupils’ linguistic, artistic, cultural and sporting skills. Pupils consider it positive to be good at something.
  • Teachers create learning which inspires pupils.
  • Pupils themselves describe learning at St Michael’s as ‘fun’, ‘brainworking’ and ‘memorable’.
  •  Differentiated, targeted questioning keeps pupils alert and their confidence in their teachers encourages them to ‘have a go’.
  • Teachers are confident in their subjects.
  • Pupils display a pride in their presentation and are eager to share their best pieces of work.
  • The challenge of misconceptions was seen at the start of one lesson due to the teacher’s vigilance and ‘next steps’ in books leads to pupils making improvements.
  • Strong relationships make a significant contribution to learning.
  • There is a positive climate for learning in each classroom, routines are well established and pupils rise to high expectations.
  • Teachers believe that pupils can do well which is infectious as pupils become resilient and determined.
  • Teachers are prepared to take risks.
  • The use of resources to create interest is evident across the curriculum.
  • The use of real life, tangible examples enable pupils to deepen and embed their knowledge, skills and understanding.
  • Enjoyment of learning is leading to high levels of engagement.
  • Leaders provide a secure and caring environment so that all pupils can learn without barriers.
  • Pupils are showing that they are keen to do well and older pupils have ambitions for the future which involve further study.
  • Consistency in the approach to managing behaviour has changed the culture of the school.


Challenge Partners Report