This summer, we launched our inaugural Talk Education Awards for Innovation in Education
– and we were blown away by the sheer number and quality of entries from hundreds of schools across the globe. We’ve harnessed our team’s combined 300 years of experience and on-the-ground, insider knowledge to keep tabs on what amazing things schools have been up to, and our panel of informers and judges – experienced researchers and educational experts, former heads, teachers and advisors, all with their eyes and ears to the ground – spent the summer locked away in very heated discussion, whittling down our winners and shortlist to the schools who have impressed us the most.
Our awards are different. They are designed to celebrate the schools who are changing the face of independent education by forging ahead with really new, revolutionary ideas. We’ve heard from schools adapting their menus to boost brainpower, rewilding farmland to offset their carbon footprint, and offering holiday courses and transformative bursaries to refugee children. Others have told us of their plans to open a groundbreaking wellness space with doctors, physiotherapists, counsellors and nutritionists all under one roof, and extolled the successes of pioneering new alternatives to Saturday school. Some schools have launched bespoke diplomas to equip pupils with the soft skills needed to thrive in a 21st century world, while others have introduced VR and AI technology in lessons and created hybrid online schools. It’s safe to say that few are resting on their laurels.
So, without further ado, drum roll please….
Innovation in nutrition or food
This could be a new catering team, a change in dining facilities, a revised menu to encourage pupils to eat more healthily or a new approach to monitor pupils at risk of eating disorders.
Wells Cathedral Junior School
& Wells Cathedral School
For inspiring and encouraging eco-awareness in pupils or creating an eco-innovative learning space or building (everything from farms to carbon neutral classrooms).
WINNER: SWISS INTERNATIONAL SCIENTIFIC SCHOOL IN DUBAI
Community engagement or charity fundraising
For a school which has found a new way to open its doors to the wider community, or pioneered a new approach to raise money for charities at home or overseas.
WINNER: TONBRIDGE SCHOOL
This could be the launch of an ambitious new foundation or a successful new approach to publicising a school’s bursaries scheme, resulting in an increased number of candidates.
WINNER: CALDICOTT SCHOOL
Best use of technology
We're less interested in how much schools have spent or how many shiny Macs they have, but in how effectively they use tech to enhance pupils' learning.
WINNER: GIGGLESWICK SCHOOL
Inspiring co-curricular activities
We want to celebrate schools’ innovation in the teaching of music, art, drama, sport or clubs.
WINNER: DRAGON SCHOOL
Pastoral care and wellbeing
All schools tell us that their pastoral care is top-notch - we're interested in the initiatives schools have introduced to guarantee that theirs is unparalleled.
WINNER: WALHAMPTON SCHOOL
Thinking beyond the curriculum
How do schools inspire pupils to think beyond the core and challenge themselves to take their interest in a subject further?
WINNER: GODOLPHIN & LATYMER SCHOOL
The Alice Rose Award
Alice Rose, co-founder of Talk Education, sadly passed away in May 2022. Very much loved not only by the Talk team but by schools and parents alike, she remains a driving force behind Talk Education, and it is thanks to her brilliant vision, her positivity and inspiration that Talk has grown into the huge success story it is today.
In honour of Alice, our judges have selected the school that embodies the qualities Alice was most passionate about - a school where children are allowed to be children, one that supports growth and learning but allows them to climb trees and get muddy knees, where confident, nurtured, happy children enjoy their childhood. A true home-from-home.
The Alice Rose Award has been awarded by the whole of the TE team, as well as Alice’s husband James Rose and her three young boys.
There was no shortlist for this very special award, and all schools were carefully considered.
Thank you to all of the schools who took the time to tell us about the amazing, innovative things they are up to – a wonderful reflection of the incredible commitment of so many schools across the globe.
See you next year!