At SJL we value the benefits of collaborative working and have consequently forged a number of partnerships with other groups, organisations and institutions. Below are some of the examples of well-established partnerships and how SJL students have benefited directly.
For some students an applied or vocational curriculum is appropriate and therefore we have strong links with Oaklands College in St Albans. These links have enabled SJL students to access courses most suited to their individual needs and use some of the best specialist facilities in the area.
At Post 16, SJL students are able to access A-level courses at Roundwood Park and St Georges which enables us to offer the broadest curriculum possible. Courses available at other schools include Sociology, Government & Politics and Accounts.
Sir John Lawes School holds joint Trust status with Roundwood Park School. This brings the two schools into formal partnership with the aim of raising the standards of education for the young people they serve.
As well as our partner schools in Harpenden we have close links with schools outside our local community. For example, we are part of the St Albans and Harpenden Strategic Area Partnership which enables SJL students to access a range of courses. We also have close links with The Bushey Academy and our students have benefited from a number of opportunities that have arisen as a consequence.
As part of our work as a Training School we have well-developed and formal links with a number of Higher Education establishments including the universities of Cambridge, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire. We have also used the links to enable students to access university facilities. One example of this is Year 11 students studying the Extended Project Qualification where they are able to use the library facilities at the University of Hertfordshire to aid their research.
The fantastic work that SJL students have done in the area of Globalisation and Sustainable Development has also helped to forge relationships with some established and global charities. This has helped SJL students to benefit from a wide range of opportunities for example they have had the chance to visit Zambia; Comic Relief have filmed in SJL and shown the results on the BBC; and four students met and discussed global issues with Gordon Brown.
Harpenden Secondary Schools Trust
The HSST was originally formed in 2011 by Roundwood Park and Sir John Lawes Schools in partnership with the University of Hertfordshire and Rothamsted Research. The organisations linked by the Trust work together to share facilities, provide additional opportunities for students, combine their expertise and consult each other about how best to keep improving. A report from the first Trust event, a mini-charette held with students from both schools at the University of Hertfordshire, can be found here.
In 2013 St George’s School joined the Trust so that all three Harpenden secondary schools are now represented within the organisation, ensuring it has the widest possible impact for Harpenden students.
There have been many exciting activities organised by the Trust partners since its inception, these include; The Life of Plants (Rothamsted and Science), cross faculty INSET and training (MFL), Students from UH teaching Harpenden students (RE), Rothamsted Year 8 Ecology Day (Geography), ECO-Schools joint meetings (SJL & RPS), The Peace Day, and student exchanges.
As the Trust matures, there will be many more opportunities for joint working. Currently the Trust Board are also working with the Local Authority on the education vision for a new Harpenden Secondary Free School, to address the local need for school places.
In the next 15-30 years, the world will face serious shortages of food, energy and water, as well as having to cope with climate change. Global food production will need to increase by over 40% by 2030, and 70% by 2050. In addition, global demand for energy and water could double by 2050. Even now in the second decade of the 21st century nearly one billion people are undernourished and food prices are at an all-time high.
We need to grow more food on not much more land, using less water, fertiliser and pesticides. Science and engineering will help us do this.
As the longest running agricultural research station in the world, Rothamsted Research is leading the way in providing the scientific knowledge, innovation and new practices to improve agriculture and develop environmentally friendly solutions for agriculture through our world-leading scientific research in plant and soil science.
Since 2011, Rothamsted Research has been a partner of the Trust.
Our aim in working with the Trust is to:
- discuss with students and teachers the issues affecting their future (e.g. food security and climate change) and the role scientists play in finding solutions to these global challenges.
- support the students and teachers in understanding current scientific and technological challenges so they can better participate in informed democratic societal debates;
- engage young people with cutting edge research, stimulating their curiosity in science;
- inspire and raise students' aspirations to take up careers in science;
- provide opportunities for our researchers to engage with different audiences to improve their own professional development; and to give Rothamsted Research the opportunity to hear the voice and understand the desires of the younger generation to help Rothamsted shape its future scientific strategy.
University of Hertfordshire
The University of Hertfordshire offers over 800 undergraduate, postgraduate, CPD and short courses and is the UK’s leading business-facing University. With a student community of over 24,500 including more than 2,000 international students from over eighty five different countries, the University has a global network of over 165,000 alumni.
The University of Hertfordshire is one of the region’s largest employers with over 2,700 staff and a turnover of more than £235 million.
The University's Outreach & Widening Participation team aims to provide information, advice, support and encouragement to prospective University students working closely with schools across the region and further afield.
Working in partnership with the Trust, the University is enthusiastic about supporting Sir John Lawes’ staff and students whether this be through campus visits, taster days, talks from academics or just by allowing staff and students access to some of the best equipped Learning Resources Centres in the UK.