Impact Report 2022-2023

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REPORT 2022–2023



Our second year in the Partnerships Team at St Edward’s has been busy! Busy not just because of the multitude of primary school pupils we have welcomed, or the Lower Sixth service placements managed, or the external teaching hours taught, but because of all the listening and learning we have done with our partners, with other schools, with our pupils and with each other, as we strive to do more for the benefit of many. Learning is central to our Partnerships Programme, just as it is central to our academic programme. The feedback we received from our pupils and partners during the pilot year of our service programme Teddies Collaborates enabled us to roll out this important part of our Lower Sixth pupils’ experience with greater efficiency and impact, an experience which now involves all 180 Lower Sixth pupils as a compulsory timetabled part of their education here at St Edward’s. From page 5 you will learn more about the variety of charities and organisations with whom our pupils are working weekly for 90 minutes, building their own knowledge, confidence and sense of accomplishment, and also, we hope, benefitting many elderly visitors, primary and specialist-school children, museum attendees, refugees, trees and wildlife! Central to our learning is the importance of evaluation. All our programmes and events are evaluated appropriately to ascertain how both our pupils and our partners have benefitted, and how we can improve this experience or activity the next time. Evaluating the experience of 120 primary school first-time steeplechasers was a challenge but our Partnerships Team are inventive and are fantastic with young children, as you will read on page 11. Evaluation enables us to evolve, and evolution is a fundamental part of the Partnerships Team. Talking to our partners about how we can best support them is critical to developing a meaningful relationship. Celebrating together what we have achieved is good, but having the courage to recognise what could be adapted better to meet the needs of our partners as their challenges change is critical. The commitment to fit all this within an incredibly busy school day is testament to the courage of the conviction of the Governors who have invested in Partnerships at Teddies and to the support of our Warden, Alastair Chirnside. He takes the time to be involved in our endeavours whether it means singing alongside Father Christmas at our Science of Christmas event, calling into our Teddies Collaborates partners or giving out hot chocolate at our primary schools’ hockey tournament. Rachel Moffatt and Courtney O’Keefe, our two Partnerships superstars, put countless hours, passion and creativity into running these projects. Both of them represent the courage, kindness and integrity that we look to engender in our pupils through their Teddies journey. This booklet is testament to their dedication, to our community and to our pupils as we become ever closer, learning together. Rachael Henshilwood Director of Development and Partnerships


Inspiring Service When I took up my appointment as Warden in September 2021, people asked me about my priorities for the future. I talked about fostering scholarship, about delivering excellence and – above all – about inspiring service. Much has changed at Teddies in the last two years, and those same people are now starting to ask me different questions: among all the changes and innovations, which gives you the greatest cause for pride, the greatest reason for satisfaction? The answer is not the record breaking exam results or the upward trends in admissions. The answer lies beyond Teddies: the success of Teddies Collaborates and the development of a culture of service are the most important achievements of the last two years. Everyone involved in creating and running those programmes takes great pride in their work, in the difference which they are making to lives within and beyond Teddies. But none of us is satisfied, because much more work remains to be done. Our objective is to make service universal, for every pupil to be meaningfully involved in partnership work

...the success of Teddies Collaborates and the development of a culture of service are the most important achievements of the last two years. ALASTAIR CHIRNSIDE WARDEN

every year during their time at Teddies. The proof of success will be found in the Upper Sixth, who can choose whether to continue their work beyond Teddies. Already many of them are freely and actively choosing to continue, alongside their academic and co-curricular commitments. Our objective is for all of them to make that choice, and for all our leavers then to become active contributors to their communities and to society. When that happens, we will be able to say that they have learnt with us at Teddies the most

important lesson of all: the impact of kindness, integrity and courage. That is the destination, and we are well on our way. I hope that you enjoy reading about our progress in this second impact report. Alastair Chirnside Warden


A year in numbers

54 members of staff have worked directly with Partnerships and Teddies Collaborates

12 educational workshops delivered to 640 primary school pupils

OVER 180 L6 students taking part in Teddies Collaborates weekly placements across 33 different organisations throughout the year

305 primary school students involved in large-scale music events

OVER 500 local primary school children have been involved in large-scale sporting partnership events

20 local primary schools and three local state secondary schools are working in direct partnership with us

OVER 7 393 charity clients are individually supported by Teddies pupils each week through the Lower Sixth Teddies Collaborates programme

OVER £ 66 , 000 raised for various charities in 2022

, 000 free lunches have been provided to charities, schools and other organisations


Teddies Collaborates Teddies Collaborates is the name given to our school-wide service programme that begins with introductory sessions during the Shell year, building to a weekly timetabled placement for all Lower Sixth pupils.

Shells: OxClean This year in March our Shells (Year 9) went out into the community litter picking as part of OxClean Spring Clean. OxClean is an Oxford Civic Society initiative dedicated to keeping Oxford clean and tidy all year round. Spring Clean is part of the campaign and many schools, groups and organisations take part by litter picking, to try and tidy

Fourth Form: A History Day Fourth Form (Year 10) pupils at Teddies partnered up with pupils from years 3, 4, 5 and 6 at St Aloysius’ Primary School in June for a History Day and enjoyed interactive workshops focusing on the Great War. A team from the Museum of Oxford also joined us and hosted a workshop where the pupils studied a range of artefacts including fossils, engraved clay and old belt buckles and we investigated what this told us about past lives.

up the city and also encourage a behavioural change towards not dropping litter.


different periods of history was so much fun - we got to try on soldiers’ clothes and learn about the World War.’

Through our partnership with ImpactEd we surveyed the Fourth Form to enable them to reflect on what they had learnt from for this project. The responses were used to create this report: ‘Pupils in Year 10 scored highly in their reflections on their own attitudes to leadership after participating in the Primary School Leaders. This was particularly true for their Qualitative feedback also showed that the Year 10 pupils highly enjoyed their experience of participating in the programme and valued the opportunity to socialise with primary school-aged children.’ feeling of confidence at trying new things.


Lower Sixth immersion in the community

‘Teddies has long since seen community partnership as important, but we were properly impressed by the newly launched and formalised ‘L6th Teddies Collaborates’ programme, which requires every single Lower Sixth pupil to volunteer with a local partner every week. There’s a fleet of bikes on hand to get them to where they need to be, and pupils choose partners to whom their skill sets will be most valuable - from support in a local school for children with social, emotional or mental-health difficulties to dancing and playing games with residents of a nearby care home or helping out at the food bank. It’s a long term, meaningful commitment that greatly benefits all parties, but the Warden notes that beyond the practical support pupils offer from week to week, the programme provides a longer-term public advantage in helping children to have a completely open mindset and truly understand their communities in order to use their (fortunate) positions to maximum benefit both here and beyond.’



All Lower Sixth pupils choose from a range of placements in primary and specialist schools, care homes, charity shops, museums and community colleges. They attend weekly 90-minute placements for the whole of their Lower Sixth year, building relationships, learning and testing life skills and also developing their knowledge of self and the power they have to make a difference to others. All students undertake a six-week training programme before starting their volunteering placements including first aid and safeguarding training, managing cultural differences and communication and wellness skills.

ImpactEd ImpactEd data helps us to evaluate both the learning of our pupils and the benefit to our community. All pupils complete a survey at the beginning and end of their year’s placement. The following independently assessed data has been derived from the responses to those surveys. What was the impact of Teddies Collaborates on pupils’ community empowerment, sense of perspective, attitudes to leadership, self-efficacy and wellbeing? Teddies Collaborates had a positive impact on pupils’ community empowerment, attitudes to leadership, and self-efficacy. This was particularly true for female pupils who experienced greater increases in these measures compared to their male peers. When segmenting the data by placement, we can see that pupils who volunteered at Wytham Woods saw the biggest increases in their community empowerment and attitudes to leadership scores. In their qualitative feedback, pupils who participated in Teddies Collaborates reflected that they enjoyed the programme and observed that they had developed a wide range of skills including communication skills, confidence, and sense of perspective. What was the impact of Teddies Collaborates on the local community? Partner organisations and charities who hosted volunteers as part of the Teddies Collaborates programme were overwhelmingly positive about their experience. They felt that the Teddies Collaborates programme helped students to develop their sense of community, and that the pupil volunteers were able to build positive relationships and skills in their placement setting.

What was pupils’ feedback about the Teddies Collaborates programme?

As part of the baseline survey, we asked pupils in Autumn 2022 what they thought would be the biggest thing they would learn about themselves through the Teddies Collaborates programme. The most common answers were related to communication skills, leadership, confidence, and patience: • How I can adapt to unknown situations • How to improve my people skills and communication skills • How I impact and affect the wider world • How to interact better with people from different backgrounds to me In the final survey, we asked pupils to reflect on what they had learnt over the course of the programme and what they felt had the biggest impact on them. Here, pupils gave much more in depth answers, demonstrating the wide variety of skills they learnt and experiences they had through participating in the Teddies Collaborates programme: • Interaction with other people away from St Edward’s. It is so good to see different communities and meet new people • My ability to become independent and determined to complete a task • I felt impacted by seeing the younger years benefit from our teaching • The insight into the effort put in by refugees to learn English and integrate into the community • It really built my confidence because at first I found it quite difficult being in the environment but I came to love the people and the carers • I feel a sense of joy and gratitude that I am giving something back to the community

Many commented on the positive attitude, willingness to learn, and enthusiasm of the pupils from St Edward’s School.


How did partner charities and organisations benefit from Teddies Collaborates? To gain an insight on the impact of Teddies Collaborates on the local community, we invited partner charities and organisations to complete a feedback survey.

For the quantitative section of the report partner participants were asked to read a series of statements and give an answer between 1: Strongly disagree to 5: Strongly agree. The average scores were overwhelmingly positive, with all statements scoring above 4 out of 5. The highest rated statement was ‘From my perspective, the Teddies Collaborates programme has helped students develop their sense of community’, with an average score of 4.61 out of 5.

Provider responses










Average score (out of 5)



From my perspective, the Teddies Collaborates

I noticed that the student/s who volunteered with us from St Edward’s Oxford gained skills over the course of their placement.

The student\s who volunteered with us from St Edward’s Oxford were valuable.

Participating in the Teddies Collaborates programme has been bene cial to our organisation.

The student/s who volunteered with us from St Edward’s Oxford showed a willingness to try new things.

The student/s who volunteered with us from St Edward’s Oxford were able to build positive relationships with people in our organisational setting (e.g. sta„ members, customers).

programme has helped students develop their sense of community.

• The students were so caring and patient with the residents. Some of them often brought in things from home such as knitting to join in with residents • Our gorgeous Monday group who were engaged, enthusiastic and motivated to get involved! • Their attitude and willingness were amazing and an asset to the school • The students made an effort to make learning fun for the children • All students showed a very good attitude and approach to their work • A highlight was when a relative mentioned that they had bumped into one of the students while out with their family member and the student came over and engaged with the resident

We also asked partner participants what they thought worked particularly well about the Teddies Collaborates programme and what their highlights were. Some answers are shown below: • It’s great for an independent school to support a state primary via ARCh 1 . The Sixth Formers acquired new skills and experience of volunteering with younger children and acted as good reading role models • The developing of relationships between the students and the children was particularly noticeable • Having the same students each week built rapport with pupils and staff • It encouraged our residents to engage with the community

1. Assisted Reading for Children



Throughout the year we have organised a number of partnership events. The case study below shows the scale and scope of our activities with just one of our key partners this year.

Northern House Academy St Edward’s School is fortunate to sit across the road from Northern House Academy in Summertown, North Oxford. Northern House Academy is a special school for pupils who have been identified as having Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) difficulties. All their pupils have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) and a high proportion of students have additional SEND including Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Cognition and Learning needs (C&L). They have 85 pupils in the school whose ages range from 5-11 years old and as it is a countywide provision (1006 square miles) students can travel up to 80 miles a day to attend the school. 25% of the community are open to social care and receive extra support. The number of students known to be eligible for free school meals is 62.8% and the number of pupils in receipt of Pupil Premium is in the highest quintile nationally (64%). Northern House Academy has a clear intent and is committed to a student-centred approach to guiding and encouraging their students to reach their full potential. St Edward’s School has always had a good relationship with Northern House Academy but over the past year this relationship has expanded and grown to the benefit of both parties. As part of Teddies Collaborates, 33 Lower Sixth pupils from St Edward’s School volunteer at Northern House on a weekly basis for 90 minutes and 13 pupils volunteer in the two weekly sessions held at St Edward’s for Northern House pupils.

Here is what some of the St Edward’s pupils said about working at Northern House Academy this past year: • ‘I’ve taught them lots, but they’ve taught me more’, Izzy Bowden • ‘I think this experience has given me a different outlook on the world which will definitely stick with me going forwards’ Layla Majzub • ‘It helps me develop empathy and become a better person’ Memie Cholsaipant • ‘Seeing life from a different perspective by working with the children and learning to be more patient has been really insightful for me’ Leilah Changizi-Cooper • ‘Going to Northern House Academy, a school that is made for children with various mental-health and learning issues, it made me more understanding of the challenges that face both the teachers there and the children and further to this, it has definitely made me more tolerant of other people who are dealing with their own issues such as many of the children at Northern House’ Tom Phillips • ‘Getting to know the kids and feeling like you’re making a positive difference to their lives’ George Freeland


When we asked Bex Holmes, Head of School about what worked particularly well about Teddies Collaborates she said:

linked to real-world mechanical engineering. The children built, tested and innovated their own toothed gears, belt drives and dual transmissions. Models included a wind turbine, a race car with gears, a dragster car, a search and rescue vehicle, and a tank. A teacher from Northern House commented: ‘The mixture of technical learning, step-by-step following of instructions and creativity in every session was fantastic for the children. They really look forward to every session’. Northern House Academy use the St Edward’s facilities on a regular basis. Each week they have use of our Astroturf and sports hall for ‘Star Time’. At the end of each term they hold their prize-giving assembly in the Olivier Hall and the parents and guardians of Northern House pupils can attend. This has been transformational for Northern House as they don’t have a space suitable to do this in their own school buildings. This year St Edward’s hosted their first sports day and their first football tournament. They used the Astroturf pitches and other schools joined them for a fun day with catering

‘This year the programme has become more structured with the same students working with the same pupils in class across the whole year. This has been invaluable to our pupils and they have built some strong relationships with the St Edward’s students. The students have all conducted themselves brilliantly, all following our school values-led practice. They have worked with the pupils to support their personal development and social skills. The pupils at Northern House have benefitted greatly from having the students from St Edward’s with them and we look forward to welcoming a new cohort next year.’

When the Northern House pupils come over to St Edward’s School we provide a variety of crafts, games and activities. This year we partnered with House of Fun who run STEM workshops. They ran several ibrick sessions which have been proven to stimulate curiosity and creativity. In the sessions the children used Lego bricks to create five models that introduced the concept of energy transfer using a transmission, in an interactive and engaging way that

and refreshments provided by Teddies. We have recently opened up a garden space in our Health Centre for Northern House Academy to use. Their pupils can garden safely, learn about nature and wildlife and sketch in the outside space. We have provided storage, tools and equipment in this gardening area and we look forward to seeing how this project develops over the coming years.


Sporting Initiatives We have continued to work in partnership with Oxford Hawks Hockey Club. In December 2022 we hosted the third Primary Schools Hockey Tournament at St Edward’s and Hawks hosted the fourth tournament as part of Project 2000, which is Oxford Hawks Hockey Club’s primary outreach programme. In March we welcomed Cutteslowe Primary School’s year 5 and 6 pupils for lunch and an afternoon of football skills and matches on the Astros. We also welcomed Refugee Resource Rovers in collaboration with Asylum Welcome, Oxford United in the Community, and Refugee Resource to play a Teddies team of Seniors and U16s in a competitive game which finished 2-2 followed by pizza and doughnuts! For the Primary Schools Cross Country we welcomed 120 pupils from eight local primary schools. We surveyed the pupils after the event and 90% said they enjoyed the event and 89% said they would want to participate in more competitive sporting events.

‘Thank you so much for including us in your invitations - we have enjoyed both cross country events we have participated in. The organisation is excellent from the initial invitation to the medal ceremony. We have always found your staff most welcoming. We look forward to the next event!’ STAFF FROM WEST OXFORD PRIMARY


We were the host venue for several sports events which included sports days for local primary schools, a football tournament for Northern House Academy and the Dynamos cricket Year 5 Finals day. Several local clubs, schools and sporting organisations such as Falcons, Oxfordshire Cricket’s programme for girls, use our sports facilities at no cost or at a much-reduced rate which continues our support to the local community.

‘We would like to say just what a wonderful day we all had. The children were all engaged and the day was extremely well run. Thank you.’ STAFF FROM CUTTESLOWE PRIMARY SCHOOL COMMENTING ON THE FOOTBALL MASTERCLASS


Academic Initiatives

This year we have opened up the super-curriculum evening talks and lectures to pupils from local secondary schools. Popular talks were the van Tulleken Brothers (Operation Ouch) on Global Health and Health Inequality, and Politics with Vadym Prystaiko, Ukraine’s former ambassador to the United Kingdom. We have welcomed students from our neighbouring schools including Cherwell, Cheney and The Swan School as well as from further afield. As part of the Inspiring People talks with The North Wall, we welcomed BBC Foreign Correspondent and World Affairs Editor, John Simpson. He did a ‘pre event’ with 24 pupils (12 pupils from Teddies and 12 pupils from Cherwell School) and in small groups pupils were given global politics topics to discuss. Afterwards the pupils joined the larger audience of members of the public and pupils from other schools in The North Wall where John Simpson told the audience about his fascinating career. For the second year running the pupils in Pathways and Perspectives have had the opportunity to participate in drama workshops with five local primary schools. The St Edward’s pupils lead the workshops, using their creativity and acting abilities to bring the lessons to life. The primary school children were actively engaged throughout the workshops which focused on themes ranging from internet safety to the Ancient Greeks and acceptance and kindness to others.

Latin Teaching Scheme (LTS) Teddies has been involved in teaching of Latin (and/or Classical Greek and Ancient History) in local schools for 15 years now. This year we have had two skilled and enthusiastic Sixth Form Classicists, George Bradshaw and Elliot Sarooshi, teaching Latin at Wolvercote Primary School, as part of ‘Kids Do Classics’. This enterprise will continue in September when we shall also be welcoming into the School pupils from The Swan School and, online, A-level Ancient Historians, wanting to read sources in the original language, from Blackpool Sixth Form College. Success for All Educational Trust: Academic Enrichment Day Teddies hosted our first Academic Enrichment Day and were delighted to welcome 30 Year 10 pupils from Redden Court School, The Royal Liberty School and Sanders Draper School that are all part of the Success for All Educational Trust in Essex. The day included a morning in Oxford starting in the Randolph Hotel with a talk from Tommy Turner OSE 2 and current student at Oriel College, followed by a tour of the Weston Library and Wadham College. Lunch was at Teddies followed by science experiments in the labs in the afternoon.

2. OSE: Old St Edwardian


STEM Activities In January, St Edward’s hosted the annual Biology Symposium in collaboration with the Oxford International Biomedical Centre. The North Wall was at capacity with an audience made up of Teddies Sixth Form Biologists and pupils from 11 of our partnership schools. This year we welcomed Oliver Featherstone from the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Naroa Ibarra-Aizpurua from the University of Oxford, Dr Oliver McCallion from the University of Oxford and Dr Hana Hassanin from the University of Surrey. In celebration of National Science Week in March staff from the Physics department visited Cutteslowe Primary School and delivered interactive demonstrations to every year group in the school with the aim of inspiring inquisitive minds. Themes included magnetism, electricity, air pressure and the light spectrum. Over 100 Year 6 pupils from three local state primary schools came for an afternoon of Christmas-themed fun. Our Biology, Physics and Chemistry departments gave interactive lectures with the theme ‘The Science of Christmas’. Physics staff discussed Rudolph’s ‘Incredible Journey’ highlighting the issues of friction and how fast he must travel. The Chemistry department focused on ‘The Colours of Christmas’ and chopped up poinsettia plants as part of their investigations. Following this, Biology teachers captivated everyone with ‘Plate to Poo’ by showing everyone the digestive journey of our Christmas dinner. We ended the afternoon with a visit from Santa Claus and Christmas carols around the tree.

Modern Foreign Languages – School Centred Initial Teacher Training (MFL–SCITT) Since September 2022 St Edward’s has entered into a partnership with the NML 3 SCITT and has become a training hub for aspiring language teachers. In September 2023, we welcomed our first cohort of trainees. SCITT is a government-funded scheme which offers trainee teachers a unique experience comprising a blend of academic training and school placements in both state and independent schools, as a route to qualified teaching status (QTS) and a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) delivered by Sheffield Hallam University. Trainees divide their time between their placement schools and hub and central training days. We are constantly developing our collaboration with local schools to develop our network of host schools in support of the hub and trainees. Modern Languages are at the core of any broad and balanced curriculum. Learning languages is a vital skill that helps prepare students for the wider world and broaden their minds. At a time when teacher training recruitment is proving a challenge at national level and targets are often missed, St Edwards is proud to be part of the solution by supporting the training of MFL teachers. The SCITT seeks to recruit talented and passionate linguists to become the next generations of language teachers.

3. NML: National Modern Languages


Music Initiatives

Music has continued to be a large part of our partnership work. We partnered up with Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra and hosted a ‘Come and Play’ strings day. Pupils from five local primary and secondary schools, joined with St Edward’s pupils and coached by musicians from the Philharmonic, produced a wonderful concert for families and friends at the end of the day.

We welcomed back Turtle Opera in May and June. Turtle Opera is a creative project for young people aged 11-14 who are on the Autism Spectrum and have an interest in music or drama. The highlight of the partnerships musical year was Zimbe! by Alexander L’Estrange. During Gaudy, the annual celebration of the arts at the end of the Summer Term, the largest choral gathering of primary school children in Oxford took place in the Olivier, as 250 primary and prep school pupils joined the St Edward’s Singers, Chapel Choir and a jazz Octet and performed Zimbe! Come, sing the songs of Africa! an uplifting celebration of traditional songs from all over Africa in jazz style. Year 5 and 6 pupils joined us from Cutteslowe Primary School, Wolvercote Primary School, the Dragon School and St Thomas Cantilupe Primary School, Hereford. After rehearsing together from late morning, parents then joined us for the final concert at 3.30pm – which really lifted the roof with its joy and enthusiasm.


School Charity

Our School Charity is chosen in January and fundraising runs throughout the calendar year to develop leadership and entrepreneurial skills across multiple year groups.

School Charity 2022 Asylum Welcome

School Charity 2023 Oxfordshire Youth

In 2022 we raised over £66,000 for charities. Our School Charity of the Year was Asylum Welcome and we raised over £30,000 partly from the School Steeplechase being a large fundraising event for the first time. We have worked closely with Asylum Welcome for the past three years supporting the County Council’s work with Afghan refugees and particularly this past year with our Ukrainian friends. Our support was not just financial but also in the form of social activities and English lessons for many rehomed teenagers. St Edward’s now supports seven Ukrainian pupils with 100% of their school fees. Other charitable initiatives during 2022: Tilly’s raised over £8,500 for the Gatehouse (a local homeless charity). Simon Roche (HM of Segar’s) ran the Marathon des Sables also in support of the Gatehouse and raised over £11,000 . Kendall, focused on Save the Children Ukraine, raising over £6,300 .

2023 saw the introduction of Oxfordshire Youth as our School Charity. We worked together not only to fundraise for the charity but also to support them in other more practical ways. We have collaborated to champion the importance of children and young people’s mental health across our schools and communities and in July we hosted the Youth in Mind conference. Youth in Mind is the key annual mental health conference for everyone working with children and young people across Oxfordshire. It is organised by Oxfordshire Youth in collaboration with Oxfordshire Mind. The keynote speakers included Dr Sarah Hughes, CEO of Mind, and Paul James, Chief Executive of the River Learning Trust, which runs 28 state schools in Oxfordshire. There was also a variety of practical sessions led by local organisations. In December we were also proud that members of the School Choir sang at Blenheim Palace for Oxfordshire Youth’s 75th Anniversary Celebration. We were the host venue for several training courses for Oxfordshire Youth and in June we welcomed young people and staff to Teddies for jewellery making in the design workshop followed by pizza.


The Big Donate and other initiatives

Working with partners of Oxfordshire Youth including the Children’s Book Project we held our first ‘Big Donate’, encouraging families to have a sort out. Many of our partner organisations needed supplies for various projects running in the local community and we collected books, gardening equipment, skateboards and helmets, and educational games. We have also collected resources and shipped them to Africa ready for the first group of Year 8 students in Nyanga High School which is opening in 2024. Field House fundraised for the school building a few years ago.

The North Wall

The North Wall Trust is a charity that runs from The North Wall Arts Centre. It was established by St Edward’s School which continues to be the main financial sponsor and supporter. The North Wall has a focus on bringing together audiences and artists from Oxford and beyond to make, share and experience art of the highest quality. It delivers a year-round professional programme of public events, including theatre, dance, music and comedy performances, exhibitions and talks; workshops and courses for local young people; and residences and programmes for early-career artists. Activities take place in the arts centre itself, as well as in local outdoor spaces, schools and community centres around Oxfordshire.

The North Wall is run by a small, dedicated team who oversee the various aspects of the charity including programming, producing, marketing, technical, front-of-house, finance and fundraising, and all of the participation work. This is how The North Wall describes its work:

We encourage our community to create and participate We put children, young people and families at the heart of our participation programme. We forge long-term partnerships with local schools and community groups, co-creating projects for all ages that bring together people from different cultural and social backgrounds, fostering new relationships and empathy through creativity.

We support young artists through residencies, workshops and mentorship We create a nurturing environment where young artists can challenge themselves to grow their practice and flourish through residencies and mentorship. We encourage and support our network of early-career artists to collaborate to create new projects and offer opportunities to develop and showcase this new work.

We share inspiring performance and visual arts with our community Our programme celebrates the cultural diversity of our city, amplifying diverse voices and offering a platform for untold stories. We actively seek out dynamic work that pushes boundaries, challenges preconceptions and sparks our audience’s curiosity.


Participation at The North Wall

Children, young people and families are at the heart of The North Wall’s participation programme. The North Wall programmes family shows for NW Explorers (children aged 7 and under) throughout the year, with free ‘stay and play’ sessions for everyone attending. North Wall Inventors (for 8 - 11 year olds) exists to nurture and feed children’s curiosity and offer the space to experiment with ideas and imagination. We run workshops and courses during the school holidays, from printmaking to puppetry and stop motion animation to drama. YouthLab aims to inspire and empower young people aged 12-17 who are passionate about the arts and to encourage self-expression, working collectively and developing a craft. We offer workshops, masterclasses and performance opportunities in dance, theatre, music and visual arts, running during the school holidays. Arts in the Park focuses on delivering free workshops, performances and projects in and around Cutteslowe Park, with and for the community. Over the last year we have:

ArtsLab is The North Wall’s artist development programme for early-career artists, which aims to foster excellence and support early-career talent from across the UK. We create a nurturing environment where artists can challenge themselves to grow their practice and flourish through residencies, workshops and mentorship. Highlights from the last year include: Catalyst Easter Residency Catalyst is a two-week residency, providing a framework of support for early-career writers and directors to develop their craft, to progress their work and to establish a strong network of peer creatives. Goya Theatre new musical This summer our ArtsLab graduate company developed and previewed their new musical Four Felons and a Funeral ahead of its Edinburgh debut. The show’s director and writer Sam Woof was named as one of this year’s Fringe Five, recognised as a breakthrough theatre-maker. Lung Theatre new dance production LUNG spent four weeks at The North Wall creating their new show Woodhill , which uncovers the explosive true story of life in UK’s prisons, told through the eyes of families of prisoners and people who work there. The show went on to receive five-star reviews and several awards at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe and will tour to London and Oxford this Autumn. Brown Boys Swim tour and workshop programme ArtsLab graduate Karim Khan was commissioned by The North Wall in 2020. After the huge success of The North Wall’s production of his award-winning play Brown Boys Swim at the Edinburgh Festival, the show embarked on a national tour, including runs in London, Birmingham, Manchester, and a return to The North Wall.

Run 3 community projects

Delivered 33 YouthLab workshops and masterclasses Collaborated with 10 Schools and colleges Worked with 2 , 736 different participants Produced a 3-day festival with the National Theatre

162 bursary places

Hosted 15 work experience placements Launched 2 weekly youth theatre groups


OX2 Collective OX2 Collective is a youth theatre running in partnership between The North Wall and St Edward’s School. The company included nine young people from The North Wall’s

Feedback from participants Has the experience had an impact on you? • Helped me understand drama and theatre work in a more professional context and understand the values of my talent. • I am so happy I got to meet so many more new people and proud to call all of them my friends outside of school. And even people who were from Teddies I felt closer to, as we had time to bond and share our interests for theatre. What skills have you developed since being part of OX2 Collective? • Confidence, public speaking, knowing my worth. • Speech projection and clarity, confidence and learning to play a character very different to myself. What are your thoughts on the group dynamic of 50% St Edward’s pupils and 50% North Wall participants? • It’s so cool working with people older than me and seeing everyone else’s talent, it’s really inspiring. • I love the mixture and diversity; I feel like I’ve made lifelong friends and it was amazing to socialise with people in and outside of the school that I may never have met otherwise. Also, The North wall is the perfect venue in collaboration with the school to provide all the services needed during the period. Feedback from parents/ carers Has the experience had an impact on your child? • My child can struggle socially sometimes. This project helps her hugely with her confidence, with feeling included and with feeling like she has a place she wants to be and will be liked for who she is. • Yes, she has benefitted from all she has learned on this journey and from being able to do so in a professional workspace with such creative tutors. It has strengthened her love of acting.

YouthLab programmes and eight pupils from St Edward’s School, who together worked towards a production of Strangers Like Me by Ed Harris, which was performed at The North Wall as part of the National Theatre Connections festival in April 2023. The company started their regular 90-minute sessions in September, which ran weekly during term time. The first few weeks focused on forming the company and building a good group dynamic. Towards the latter half of the Autumn Term the group started to unpick the play text and explore the characters in the play. Rehearsals officially started in January 2023, which gave the group around nine weeks (15 hours) to rehearse the play to a high performance standard. The group performed a ‘home performance’, which a director from the National Theatre attended who then gave feedback for the company to consider and implement ahead of the transfer to the festival.



Below we hear the stories of three brilliant bursary pupils, all from different backgrounds. All pupils and teachers who came into contact with them learnt and gained from their range of experiences.

Josh Brangan Currently studying Mechanical Engineering on a Scholarship at Harvard University, USA It was a substantial change for me to transfer from Highcliffe School, my regular state day school in Dorset, to an independent boarding school in Oxford. However, it was made simple by all the wonderful people I met along the way and the incredibly supportive community. I will always be thankful for all the new and exciting opportunities that the School gave me because they completely changed the course of my life. The awesome teaching staff and depth of support really helped me to make the most of the education available to me. And then there was the rowing. Through hard work, rowing at Teddies and my amazing coaches I became the best athlete that I could be. Teddies also showed me the world of international rowing and competing for GB. The combination of academic and athletic opportunities introduced me to the US college system, which was

Armela Lasku Currently working for an international criminal defence team at the Kosovo Specialist Chambers, after studying Law at the University of Oxford I joined St Edward’s from Matthew Arnold, a secondary school in Oxford, and the thing that surprised me most about Teddies was the real opportunity to get involved in so many different activities. During my time at St Edward’s, I tried hockey and rowing for the first time, and took part in both the RAF and Army sections of the Combined Cadet Force. I also enjoyed one-to-one piano lessons in the Music School as well as seeing plays and exhibitions at the School’s North Wall Arts Centre. One of my top highlights was the close-knit environment of my boarding house. I made friends for life that I will cherish forever. Further, it was amazing to win the Adams Award at Gaudy in the Upper Sixth. The award was recognition of dedication to studies, consistent hard work and genuine interest in knowledge. I currently work for an international criminal defence team at the Kosovo Specialist Chambers, which is something that I am passionate about and really love! I have also just finished Bar School and look forward to developing a career at the Bar. I would advise anybody considering applying

something I had never even considered before attending Teddies. As a result, I am now a mechanical engineering major at Harvard, rowing as part of a great squad, and pushing myself to be the

best I can be. If I were to say anything to families or pupils thinking of applying for a bursary to study at St Edward’s, I would say that it is an incredible school that can change your life like it did mine. For that to happen you must make the most of every opportunity that is available to you, try new things and work hard! I have so many things to thank St Edward’s for, so if you get a chance to go there, be sure to cherish your time as they will be some of the best years of your life.

for a bursary to go for it! It is a

once in a lifetime opportunity, and at Teddies your life will completely change.


Reuben Oladele Currently studying BA Sociology and Criminology at the University of Birmingham I came to St Edward’s for the Sixth Form from a state school in London, and boarding was a new

My experiences at St Edward’s – living away from home, being in a co-educational environment, and studying the breadth of subjects through the IB programme – have all been excellent preparation for university life. I am starting to plan my study abroad year in the USA, which I hope to do next year. My plans for the future are to train as a detective after completing my degree. I feel very lucky to have been given the chance to study at St Edward’s where there were so many opportunities. My advice to anyone considering applying for a bursary is to be yourself, and not to put pressure on yourself to be anything else. Everyone who is offered a place at St Edward’s is valued individually, and you each benefit from and contribute to school life during your time there.

experience for me. I really enjoyed the House community

and the way you become like a family with all the people in your House. The welcoming atmosphere made it much easier to be away from home. I particularly valued the supportive relationship I had with my Housemaster. In the classroom, I had the opportunity to study the IB, which I did not know anything about before as it was not on offer at my previous school. It was great to have a wide range of subjects to choose from and the teaching was excellent. I appreciated the positive relationships I had with my teachers.


A Governor’s Commitment It has been good to reflect on all that has been learnt in the course of this busy and productive year. In all our ventures, it is important that we ask ourselves ‘And what difference does it make?’ As Governors,

None of this happens in a vacuum. Large celebratory events like the Zimbe concert and the Christmas educational workshops, in depth projects like the OX2 initiative and the large scale, longer term Teddies Collaborate programme require meticulous networking and planning to overcome logistical difficulties. Enormous thanks go to our partners for the opportunities they offered and for their constructive feedback, to those responsible for timetables for being prepared to make changes to enable pupils to be able to make a useful contribution and especially to Rachel Moffatt and Courtney O’Keefe whose smiling and steely focus on making Teddies partnership work delivers positive outcomes for all involved. Sarah Ainsworth

we are keen for Teddies pupils to take advantage of all the many opportunities Oxford has to offer and Oxford is made up of many diverse communities that can remain hidden from each other. The genuine engagement offered through the Teddies Collaborates programme has enabled our pupils to learn from and to contribute to these different communities. In doing so they have had to learn more about themselves, to draw on their own strengths, to develop different skills, to navigate their way through difficulties, to work constructively with others, valuing their contributions. These are skills they will take with them through life and it has been encouraging to hear them talk with passion about their placements,the people they have worked with and what they have learnt.

The genuine engagement offered through the Teddies

Collaborates programme has enabled our pupils to learn from and to contribute to these different

communities. SARAH AINSWORTH


Our partners

‘Mikhail and Hayden, were popular with the rest of the volunteer team, for their

good humour, hard work, and unfailing cheerfulness. We asked them to do tasks which were neither exciting nor glamorous nor even particularly challenging… both discharged their duties conscientiously and it was a pleasure to have them with us.’



‘I had a lovely chat to Buster yesterday who had endless news for me. He is normally

“everything’s fine mum” but I literally couldn’t get him off the phone. He loved going to his school as part of his community programme with Peter to work with the children. He was laughing so much about a particular incident, but I loved the fact he was already talking about the interaction he had with both a student and a teacher at the school. He realised there are so many benefits to what he is doing, and I do think he will look forward to this every week. Well done to you and your team for setting this up.’ SANDRA M, PARENT OF A SIXTH FORM PUPIL

St Edward’s School Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 7NN

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