TES Independent Schools Awards 2020

It was a bumper year for the GDST at this year’s TES Independent School Awards. Eight GDST schools were nominated 12 times in eight different categories. The winning schools announced here.

GDST schools were shortlisted across the following categories.

Independent-state School Partnership

Wimbledon High School was nominated for an award for its outreach programme which includes students teaching Latin, Maths, English and study skills to pupils in local state schools. The school has also been working with the SHINE charity and local Year 4 children.

Alumni Engagement Campaign

Nottingham Girls’ High School was shortlisted for its Treasured Moments campaign. This was a project to connect Junior School girls with alumnae who attended NGHS during 1940-1960 through letter writing. A highly successful project, it developed the girls’ communication skills as well as bringing the different generations closer.

Putney High School was shortlisted for its 125th anniversary Portrait Exhibition which featured 12 trail-blazing alumnae. Each subject was photographed by Anita Corbin, an alumna herself. Each subject exemplified Putney’s pioneering and spirited ethos.

Sutton High School was nominated for its Lilac Letters project which focused on reviving the art of letter writing. Each student wrote to an alumna who attended Sutton between 1930 to 1970. This included researching the education of that era and focusing on what they would most like to learn from a person 50 years their senior.

Creativity Award

Notting Hill & Ealing High School was shortlisted for its exciting Da Vinci programme which encourages a polymath’s approach to learning.


Pre-Prep/Prep school of the year

Norwich High Prep School was nominated for a wealth of strengths and initiatives in its prep school including its Believing in Butterflies pastoral campaign and it Qualities academic programme. It has also been awarded Apple Distinguished Status and is also recognised for its community fundraising and active Forest School.


Student Initiative of the Year

Croydon High School’s Ivy Travel Pi-oneers was shortlisted for designing a solution for visually impaired bus passengers using a Raspberry Pi, the credit-card-sized computer. The four Year 5 students designed and developed an interactive voice-activated system for passengers to get real-time bus information. They so impressed Transport for London staff that they were invited to TfL offices to present their project to the technical team.

South Hampstead High School was nominated for its Family Phone Pledge initiative. A-Level Psychology students and the Head Girl team devised a school-wide survey to assess the impact of social media and smartphone usage on South Hampstead pupils. Their research revealed that 50% of pupils actually want to use their phones less, so the team developed a screen-time contract for girls and their families to use to encourage healthier digital habits.

Wimbledon High School was shortlisted for its Dare to Be book. Year 13 students developed this initiative as part of Diversity Week – a book with stories of inspirational and pioneering women, often with a connection to a WHS, collated and written by WHS students.


Wellbeing Initiative

Putney High School was nominated for its holistic approach to education; at PHS mental and physical wellbeing and academic attainment go hand-in-hand. Wellbeing is firmly embedded across the school and drives everything from individual pastoral care, to pioneering Biophilic classroom design, the ‘Breathe’ programme, and spearheading the Positive Schools Programme for the GDST.


Strategic Education Initiative of the Year

Norwich High School was nominated for its Inspiring Females programme, in particular last year’s Summit at Chelsea Football Club. It was the fourth and most ambitious IF event yet with more than 700 girls attending from 30 different schools to hear inspiring speakers such as Alice Walpole and Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu.


Best Use of Technology

Wimbledon High was nominated as a leader in its field for the use of technology in the classroom. It is a Microsoft Showcase School, one of the EdTech50 and the use of tech is seamless in all its lessons.