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ISC Schools School Partnerships Week: Mill Hill and Copthall School

As part of ISC Schools School Partnerships Week we are going to join them in celebrating the great partnerships we have established with state schools.

We are highlighting our fantastic association with our friends and neighbours Copthall School which started in 2017 and formalised in 2018.

The aim of our partnership with Copthall is to improve academic results for pupils at both schools, to deliver an enriched educational experience beyond the curriculum, to create professional and personal skills development opportunities for pupils and staff and to provide opportunities for engagement with the wider community.

There have been many successful initiatives set up over the years and many exciting plans for the future. We are very proud of our friendship with Copthall and we will be posting about these different aspects of the partnership and its benefits across our social channels throughout the week!

Pupil Success

We are pleased to highlight the success of  Old Millhillian, Evelyn, who attended Copthall from Year 7 until Year 11, before transitioning to Mill School for her Sixth Form studies on a bursary and academic scholarship. Evelyn finished her A Levels this summer and is now reading Law at Downing College, Cambridge.

 Mrs Viala, Curriculum Leader of History at Copthall, commented ‘Evelyn was a fantastic history student who demonstrated the highest aspirations throughout her time at Copthall, and worked extremely hard to achieve them. As a barrister, she was a valued member of Copthall’s Bar mock trial team, and greatly enjoyed visiting the Royal Courts of Justice.’

 Evelyn said ‘I wanted to join Mill Hill because I used to walk past it on my way home from Copthall and I was so enticed by the atmosphere and sense of community. I always knew I wanted to read Law at Cambridge, and I knew that going to a school with an outstanding History and Politics department, like Mill Hill, would increase my chances of being successful.

 ‘I had an inspiring and amazing time at both Copthall and Mill Hill. At Mill Hill I was able to find myself and make the most of every single opportunity, from the societies to the community, I jumped into every aspect of Mill Hill life which made my time there even more rewarding and I have formed the most incredible friendships, which I will forever cherish.

It has been lovely to watch the partnerships between the two schools grow and I have no doubt the partnership will only increase in strength as time goes on. When I look back at my time at both schools I smile, knowing they have both encouraged me to work hard and illustrated that anything is possible, regardless of your background.’

Old Millhillians Club

We are also highlighting the work of our alumni organisation, The Old Millhillians Club, which regularly holds professional networking events that support and enhance the careers of Old Millhillians.

Each event is linked to a specific career path such as Accounting, City, Creative Arts, Engineering, Law, Media and Medicine. Over the past few years, we have been lucky enough to have been joined by the pupils at Copthall School for these events, who have fully engaged in the evenings, and who will be part of our careers event planning moving forward.

Laura Turner, OM Relations, commented, ‘We are looking forward to seeing many of the Copthall pupils at our upcoming ‘Lawyers Virtual Networking’ event tomorrow when our speaker, OM Guy S Goodwin-Gill, Professor of Public International Law at Oxford University and Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, will discuss and answer questions on human rights, migrants and refugees, elections and democratisation and children’s rights.’

Mrs Manuelpillai, Careers Co-ordinator at Copthall, also commented, ‘Our students have benefited from this partnership as they have from become more aware of careers and pathways helping them to pursue aspirational careers. Their networking skills and confidence to interact with professionals has improved which, in turn, has helped them secure aspirational courses.’

John Barron, Assistant Head (Sixth Form) and Staff Liaison to the Old Millhillians Club, said, ‘The Old Millhillian career networking events are always popular; with many pupils looking forward to the Lawyer’s virtual event on Thursday this week. These important events are not only opportunities to hear the expert opinion of distinguished and knowledgeable speakers but allow the pupils an invaluable experience on a professional level, where their contributions are welcomed and encouraged. These events often become a springboard for further reading, future networking and professional advice, which help guide the pupils along their chosen career path.’

School Governance

Today’s #SchoolsTogether post for ISC Schools Partnerships Week focusses on how education can be improved through governance.

School governors provide strategic leadership for the direction and development of the school.

In September 2020 Mrs Sanchez joined the governing body of Copthall School working alongside the Copthall staff and governors to ensure best practice for the school and its pupils.

Mrs Sanchez commented, “The importance of school partnerships cannot be underestimated, so I was delighted to sign the shared memorandum of understanding with Evelyn Forde, Head of Copthall, and our respective Chairs of Governors, back in 2018, when I first took up my position as Head of Mill Hill School. In doing so, we formalised our commitment to working closely together for the benefit of our pupils, staff and local communities. As part of this commitment, I was delighted, therefore, to receive the invitation to join Copthall’s governing body in September 2020; the opportunity to work alongside fellow governors to support the School in achieving its aims is a privilege.’’

Mrs Forde, MBE, Head of Copthall School, commented, ‘Having Mrs Sanchez on our Board enables her to bring a different perspective on our educational priorities and standards. Mill Hill compliments the provision that Copthall offers and provides a strong link for sharing good practice and opportunities.’

Future Initiatives – Mental Health and Wellbeing

We have been delighted to highlight our partnership with Copthall School this week for ISC Schools social media campaign. We have been able to celebrate and share just some of the benefits that our partnership has provided for pupils and staff at both schools, from careers opportunities and pupil development to strategic leadership. We are excited about the future of our partnership and upcoming initiatives, focussing on Mental Health and the importance of Wellbeing in both our pupils and staff.

Ms Novelli, Designated Safeguarding Lead at Copthall School, commented, ‘At Copthall we understand we ALL have Mental Health. We are very pleased to announce a Mental Health and Wellbeing partnership project with Mill Hill School which will include a Mental Health and Wellbeing Conference in 2022, including activities inside and outside of the school’s curriculum. Watch this space in the coming months as we announce exciting key speakers and activities for the conference.’

Ms Boyle, Assistant Head (Pupil Development and Wellbeing) at Mill Hill School, commented, ‘At Mill Hill we are committed to educating pupils about Mental Health, developing their knowledge and giving them the tools to support and seek help when necessary. These are at the forefront of all that we do and we are delighted to be partnering with Copthall School whose values and agenda align closely with ours. We very much look forward to working alongside one another to deliver a Mental Health Conference next academic year for pupils, parents and staff.’