Burnt Mill Academy Trust

Burnt Mill and Sir Charles Kao link up

A school partnership is enabling Harlow students to access state of the art facilities and extra courses.

Burnt Mill Academy and Sir Charles Kao UTC are working together for the benefit of students at both sites.

While Burnt Mill is oversubscribed with space at a premium, practical science lessons are now being taught to Year 11 GCSE students at the neighbouring school’s modern facilities.

The move has enabled Sir Charles Kao to also offer an extension to the science award to its own students which was not possible before due to staffing and timetabling restraints.

Lisa Tooley, head of school at Sir Charles Kao, said: “Students at Burnt Mill were asked if they would like to have their practical science learning in our fabulous, state of the art labs.

“As we only had a few students at Sir Charles Kao looking to take these classes, it was not financially viable to put them on until this partnership was formed.

“Now, once a fortnight, students from both sites come together for a 100-minute practical lesson to carry out experiments together.”

As well as science, Burnt Mill students are also studying GCSE geography and Spanish two days a week at Sir Charles Kao, making use of spare teaching space. On those days, students spend all day on site studying the two option subjects.

Mrs Tooley said: “These soft links allow our students to flourish and have access to the curriculum Burnt Mill is offering. At the same time, it gives Burnt Mill students access to our state of the art facilities.

“All education providers should be working together to improve outcomes for learners and share resources. Sir Charles Kao is a provision based purely around the STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects and even if we do not have the students on our role, why should other students in the town not benefit from our facilities.

“It also improves the ethos of this school as students get a sense of pride from seeing others wanting to use the facilities.”

A science study club is also now being held at Sir Charles Kao for students from both schools and students are working together on fundraising campaigns.