Earlier this year, we launched our 2023 Talk Education Awards for Innovation in Education
. For the second year running, we were blown away by the sheer number and quality of entries from hundreds of schools around 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 advisers, all with their eyes and ears to the ground – have spent the summer locked away in very heated discussion, whittling down our shortlist and winners to the schools that have impressed them the most.
Our awards are designed to celebrate the schools who are changing the face of independent education by forging ahead with new, revolutionary ideas.
We’ve heard from schools who have ripped up the traditional curriculum to teach coding and robotics from Reception; collaborated with big-scale businesses for pupils to test new products and ideas (and act as real-world guinea pigs); and tapped into fast-growing industries to launch the most up-to-the-minute, future-ready academic programmes. City schools have told us of the innovative ways they’ve made space for kitchen gardens and beehives on campus; other schools have been busy joining forces with social enterprises to raise awareness of gender equality, and our ears pricked up when one told us they managed to raise over a million pounds for their bursary coffers in just 36 hours. We’ve loved hearing about sports lessons with a difference (yes, that includes training for a Channel swim), and schools using outdoor education to collect data for marine conservation societies or volunteer for local fire and rescue services. It’s safe to say that our judges had no easy task.
So, without further ado, drum roll please…
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: CATERHAM PREP SCHOOL
Community engagement or charity fundraising
For a school that 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: PORT REGIS SCHOOL
Inspiring sporting activities
From encouraging members of the F-team to nurturing future Olympians, we’re interested in achievements and initiatives related to anything that gets pupils active: be it sailing or squash, cricket or CCF.
WINNER: EASTBOURNE COLLEGE
Equity, diversity and inclusion
Lip service doesn’t cut it: we want to hear how your school is going above and beyond to make a genuine impact and ensure every single member of the school community feels included, represented and celebrated.
WINNER: BRYANSTON SCHOOL
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.
WINNER: IBSTOCK PLACE 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: HIGHFIELD AND BROOKHAM
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: WELLINGTON COLLEGE
Pastoral care and wellbeing
All schools tell us that their pastoral care is top-notch – we're interested in the initiatives they have introduced to guarantee that theirs is unparalleled.
WINNER: ETON END 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: DEAN CLOSE SCHOOL
Performing and creative arts
We want to celebrate schools’ innovation in the teaching of music, art, drama, dance, photography, D&T and anything else that gets pupils’ creative juices flowing.
JOINT WINNERS: BRAMBLETYE SCHOOL & TOWER HOUSE SCHOOL
Support for life beyond school
Instead of telling us how many pupils got into their first-choice university, we want to know what your school is doing to help ensure pupils are fully prepared to bid goodbye to their school bubble and tackle an increasingly competitive further education market head on.
Entrepreneurship and business
Today’s pupils need to be prepared for jobs that don’t currently exist – how are you coaching and empowering the leaders of tomorrow?
WINNER: BRIGHTON COLLEGE DUBAI
WINNER: DLD COLLEGE LONDON
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!