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National Teaching School

Mulberry School for Girls is one of the lead schools for the London City Alliance (Teaching School Alliance).

Below is a summary of some of the main areas of our work.

School-led initial teacher training – City Excellence in Teaching

Mulberry School for Girls leads City Excellence in Teaching an innovative one year secondary school-based Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programme through School Direct, in partnership with the Institute of Education and five secondary schools in Tower Hamlets.

We recruit trainee teachers who share our commitment to social justice and our core belief that every child deserves the best quality education and outcomes regardless of background.

We run an enhanced shared professional studies programme across a cluster of five secondary schools in Tower Hamlets which focuses on inner city, inclusive pedagogy and practice. Participants talk very highly of the quality of training and mentoring they receive with many being employed within the cluster following the successful completion of their training year.

The work of City Excellence in Teaching, in partnership with UCL IOE, has recently been recognised as best practice by Ofsted. The full report can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/improving-access-and-achievement-in-initial-teacher-training

For more detailed information on City Excellence in Teaching, please go to: www.cityexcellenceinteaching.co.uk

If you would like to know more about City Excellence in Teaching or are intererted in training with us, please contact Ruth Smith Deputy Headteacher at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Supporting other schools

Mulberry is a National Support School. Mulberry is currently working alongside teachers and leaders at Greenwich University Technical College to share expertise in self-evaluation systems and subject pedagogy and practice.

Mulberry has helped to establish Somerset Challenge a school-led collaborative partnership, with the goal of raising standards of achievement for young people in Somerset. Dr Ogden, our Headteacher, chairs the Somerset Challenge Board and has worked closely with Somerset colleagues to establish a similar model to that of the successful London Challenge.

Colleagues from the English Faculty at Mulberry have also worked with Headteachers and English teachers from schools across Somerset to share strategies from the ‘Fetch Me a Pen’ project (see below) in order to improve higher order literacy across subjects and schools.

You can learn more about Somerset Challenge at: https://slp.somerset.org.uk/sites/sa/challenge/SitePages/Home.aspx

If you would like to know more, or discuss possible school to school support, please contact Shanaz Begum Executive Assistant to the Head at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Research and Development:

Research-informed classroom practice underpins professional learning at Mulberry and the way we approach any professional development as part of our Teaching School work. Below are some of the research and development projects we are currently engaged with.

Leadership and Place Project: Professor Kathryn Riley UCL Institute of Education

Mulberry pupils have made a significant contribution to this research and development project which explores issues of identity and belonging and the role of education.

Key questions included: how can schools create a space for young people to be safe and confident in who they are? How can they help them find their place in the world and understand how to shape it?

 ‘Fetch Me a Pen’: Academic excellence in subject teaching across schools and subjects.

In 2013, Mulberry made a successful bid to the London Schools Excellence Fund to establish an academic literacy research-informed professional learning project involving different subject specialists at Mulberry and in other partner schools. The project is still ongoing and has the following aims:

  • To increase teacher knowledge, skills and confidence around literacy and writing in their subject in order to improve teaching methods
  • To create resources that will improve the delivery of lessons on writing in specific subjects across the curriculum
  • To increase student knowledge, skills and confidence around writing, in turn improving educational attainment and progress
  • To embed academic writing work in the participating schools, their departments and curriculums, and to disseminate work amongst other schools and organisations
  • To rigorously evaluate the work we do in order to judge its impact and inform our future steps

At the heart of the project is the strong belief that every child is capable of developing an academic voice regardless of their background. The project has therefore focused on working alongside colleagues to identify the key issues they face, then co-construct, trial and evaluate teaching and learning strategies and resources appropriate for their context. We have created a staffing infrastructure across all participating schools to make this work.

Another key aspect of the project has been to provide a safe environment where teachers can discuss their own literacy knowledge gaps and gain confidence in their own ability to identify and address the literacy issues of their pupils. Crucially, before an academic writing toolkit can be shared with pupils, it has to be shared with and understood by teachers first.

In light of the recent national curriculum and assessment reforms, the ability to communicate with sophistication, confidence and flair, both verbally and in writing is more important than ever and so many visiting schools have shown great interest in this work.

Please click here to watch a short film to learn more about the project.

If you would like to learn more about the project and how to get involved, please contact Ruth Smith Deputy Headteacher at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.