Lower School celebrates national Challenge Award

9 October 2020

The National Association for Able Children in Education (NACE) has accredited St Mary’s Lower School  with the NACE Challenge Award. The award is given in recognition of school-wide commitment to high-quality provision for more able learners, within the context of challenge for all.

Director of St Mary’s Lower School, Mrs Emma Stanhope said “We are thrilled to have attained accreditation through the NACE Challenge Award. At St Mary’s, we are committed to developing an environment in which all learners are challenged and supported to be the best they can be. In this environment, our pupils develop the strength of character and the self-confidence they need to make the very most of the life that lies ahead. St Mary’s is an academic school and this award is formal recognition of the effective strategies we have in place to provide provision for the more able pupils which then has a positive impact on the achievement of a much wider group of learners.”

The NACE award assessor recognised that school leaders have created an ethos of high expectations and are passionate about seeking out and celebrating all children’s achievements and strengths including those of the more able and talented. Work is tailored for the individual and the Lower School teachers’ subject knowledge is robust with pupils’ workbooks showing that there are high expectations across the school for well-presented and accurate work. The award recognised that oracy is of a high quality at St Mary’s Lower School, with teachers routinely asking questions that promote thinking and extend understanding.

The award is based on the NACE Challenge Framework, which sets out criteria for high quality provision for more able learners within a wider ethos of challenge for all. Offering provision for the more able remains a priority for many schools and has been highlighted by Ofsted as a key focus. St Mary’s Lower School is delighted to have been invited to join the NACE Leading Schools Network, a community of schools which have demonstrated a sustained and effective commitment to meeting the needs of more able learners, and an interest in sharing expertise for the wider benefit of the education community.
For further information about the National Association for Able Children in Education (NACE) see www.nace.co.uk/challenge

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Two St Mary's Lower School pupils sitting in a Library holding books and laughing
Additional places now available

Due to increasing demand at St Mary’s, additional places are now available from September.


Enquire today to find out more: www.stmaryscolchester.org.uk/contact/enquiry-form/