Collaborative Education

At AKS Lytham we work hard to provide a rounded education from academic excellence to sport, musical and dramatic performances through a wide variety of schemes, including the Duke of Edinburgh Award and Combined Cadet Force (CCF). The aim of this support is to ensure we meet the individual needs of each pupil in our community and help them find their individual pathways to becoming the best that they can be.

By providing multiple learning opportunities for our pupils, we are helping to build character, self-confidence and the strength of individuality to support each child in understanding who they are and what they want to be in later life.

The advantage of being an independent HMC school is that we are less constrained by continually shifting government guidelines and can build our own ethos and curriculum; we can provide a much more individually crafted learning experience. This only works with a professional, dedicated, knowledgeable and skilled staff team; a team who have the confidence to reflect on their own experiences and bring in best practice from across the education sector. The success of this approach for AKS isn’t hard to measure; our results very much support our thinking.

It is to our advantage at AKS Lytham that we can easily and successfully keep our outward looking approach alive. As part of United Learning; a group of schools across the UK that work together to provide education for over 37,000 pupils, we are all working together to deliver the following five key principles (see graphic).

Collaborative ThinkingThese principles provide a fantastic foundation but do not restrict us. We are free to take the best from inside and outside our group and share this knowledge to develop an evidence based approach to our learning that is helping us deliver the best examination results at GCSE and A level of any independent school in Lancashire.

To further expand our open approach to best practice, we have recently embarked on the journey to become a ‘Round Square’ school (www., a network of schools across 40 countries. I know membership will help us make continuous improvements, along with structured opportunities to collaborate and share experiences with like-minded peers around the world. It helps build resilience in staff and pupils by challenging us to look at ourselves and take on new ideas whilst sharing what we do well. We can’t wait to hear what our team (pictured) learn at the Round Square Conference they are contributing to in Switzerland this week.

The sharing of best practice, new ideas and testing those ideas in the real world is the key to good education for both the teachers and pupils. We aim for our children to move on from school having developed a life-long love of learning, so that they can approach life’s challenges with an open mind and the confidence to try and excel at new things; along with the ability to collaborate thinking with others to reap broader benefits.

M H P Walton