Case Studies

Stronger Together

Our firm belief is that the many benefits of being part of a multi academy trust starts with the sharing of best practice and resources, and working collaboratively to ensure that every child within the SELCAT family of schools receives the best possible education and opportunities.

Collaboration is developing rapidly within our Trust and we are confident that this collective approach will continue to provide increasing benefits in the future.

To experience what this looks like in practice and the impact our collaborative projects are having on the staff and pupils within our schools and delivering our vision, read some of our case studies. These will continue to be updated on a regular basis so visit us again soon.

CS1: Improving Teaching and Learning: EYFS to KS4

Case Study 1

Improving Teaching and Learning: EYFS to KS5


As a relatively new Trust, all staff had previously been invited to a SELCAT induction day but further opportunities for teaching staff to work more closely and collaboratively continued to be sought at all levels. With one of the core values of the Trust being ‘Achieving Together’, it was important to provide opportunity for sharing best practice in teaching and learning and to facilitate a collaborative approach, involving working together on activities or learning tasks in a group small enough to ensure that everyone participates.


The identified target learners were subject leaders and teachers ranging from EYFS to Year 12 across St Mary’s Primary School and St Thomas More Secondary School.


Key Priorities/Success Criteria

  • Embed a collaborative culture which would continue to develop over time. As part of this we would see engagement and participation at twilights – indicating the value and impact of the network.
  • A development of trust and social capital amongst staff, with established connections, that can continue to be developed and utilised.
  • A more in depth understanding of children’s progress and transition through the subject curriculums from EYFS to KS4, utilising practical opportunities for children to benefit from the collaboration between staff.


Our Approach

  • We identified 3 main start points to collaborative learning as seen in the table below. Common Planning Time is scheduled within specific schools for subject or year group teams. 



  • The nature of these sessions is rooted in the priorities of Professional Learning Communities and Critical Friend groups to share, question and develop current practice.
  • Sessions are scheduled to take place in lieu of Staff Meetings and teams are given broad objectives and recording templates to ensure they are well managed with timely and efficient planning and communication.
  • Prior to these meetings, SLT members audited staff to identify current strengths and knowledge, including further subject specific training and courses already attended, to ensure this could be shared with others. An initial welcome prior to the first meeting set out to create truly shared visions and goals; staff then broke into smaller working groups to reflect on these.
  • Feedback and shared outcomes were recorded in a common format and circulated between interested parties to ensure impact.

Specific Resources

Curriculum leaders and teachers brought current curriculum plans and teaching resources, with a particular focus on the transition between the KS2 and KS3 curriculum set out for the first meeting. Some subjects also shared key texts or children’s books with exemplars of work, others shared assessment levels and compared outcomes. 



  • Subject leaders/teachers were able to identify any overlap in curriculum learning to ensure that there is both more new content for pupils and that learning within a subject is always building on and progressing from previous work.
  • Teachers were able to share new/unknown resources and strategies with other colleagues and share knowledge of content that had been tried but deemed more relevant to a different age group.
  • Useful lines of communication established directly between subject leads, allowing for updates and sharing of consequent training attended and successes with resources or approaches discussed.
  • A shared resources drive was established on the SELCAT Hub online, enabling the sharing of resources and exemplars following on from the meeting for continued impact.



  • A high proportion of pupils have always moved from St Mary’s to St Thomas More at the end of KS2. The two schools have therefore always held close bonds in terms of community and family transition, but the new approach to collaborative working as part of SELCAT looked to provide a more consistent and progressive academic journey for pupils.
  • Feedback from St Thomas More teaching staff reflected the positive impact of understanding children’s prior learning experiences and how assessments were made on their planning for the next stage of learning.
  • Feedback from St Mary’s teaching staff explained that the sessions allowed them to identify the best ways possible to prepare pupils for the Year 7 curriculum and beyond, adapting some of the terminology and response structures used.
  • Feedback from subject leaders in both settings identified the useful sharing of knowledge of programmes/schemes and information from external providers such as specialised courses.
  • In St Mary’s recent Ofsted report it was noted that ‘Members of the Trust and the governing body bring a wide range of expertise to their roles’ and through collaborative working within the Trust, we endeavour to share this expertise across all schools to achieve the greatest impact for pupils and a sense of a wider working community for staff. 

CS2: Developing Primary Middle Leaders

Case Study 2:

Developing Primary Middle Leaders


The 2019 OFSTED framework has a strong focus on the sequencing and progression in all subjects, with an emphasis on the acquisition of knowledge. Expectations of middle leaders are much higher than in previous frameworks. It is therefore very important that subject leaders have a good understanding of the rationale for the curriculum area they lead.


On joining the Trust, schools were at different stages of curriculum development, and support was needed to ensure that curriculum thinking was sophisticated and coherent.


The identified targeted learners were subject leaders across our primary schools.


Success Criteria

  • Subject leaders feel ownership of their curriculum areas.
  • The curriculum to be coherent and well sequenced in all subjects in all schools.
  • Middle leaders confident in explaining the priorities and sequence for their subjects.



  • Each school in our Trust has the freedom to choose and design its own curriculum. As a Trust, we wanted to make sure that leaders at all stages felt that they were supported to produce, or develop, the best quality curriculum intent.
  • The Director for Primary Education met with all subject leaders in the six primary schools over the course of a year, to develop the middle leaders, so that they had ownership of their curriculum areas. This took the form of a coaching conversation in order to either help form the long-term plans where these were in the early stages, or to facilitate these leaders in being able to explain the rationale for both the content and the sequence of curriculum planning.  Repeat conversations would also take place so that leaders felt supported, any difficulties could be ironed out and progress could be checked.
  • This was then further quality assured through work with our School Improvement Partner.
  • We have also established subject networks in all foundation subjects, which meet termly. This gives leaders he opportunity to share expertise, share resources and develop a strong network of support.


Outcomes and Impact

  • During the first year of this support, four of our six schools were inspected by OFSTED. They all achieved either ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ OFSTED outcomes. This includes improvement from a declining good judgement before joining the Trust.

Subject leaders are constantly developing their knowledge and confidence of the subjects they lead.

CS3: Unlocking the Power of the Intranet


theHUB is SELCAT’s trust-wide intranet and provides colleagues with key information at their fingertips through a simple and intuitive graphical display. Designed fully in-house by the central services team, it is tailor made to support SELCAT colleagues both from the teaching and support side of the organisation.


The key to the development of this valuable resource is colleagues consulting theHUB first and putting forward suggestions for items to be added.



  • theHUB is built on the myhubintranet application, a stable and secure platform that comes blank out of the box but can be configured exactly to suit our organisation’s needs.
  • There is a lot of dynamic information involved in schools, but there is also a great deal of static information that colleagues need to access at some point in their time at SELCAT. We wanted a system that shared the information in a familiar website format and could be accessed by all our staff.
  • We needed a way of sharing resources across the Trust that didn’t involve multiple emails and reached everyone.
  • We also wanted everyone to feel part of a larger organisation.


Outcomes and Impact

It saves time! Both in colleagues being able to find answers to their questions quickly, but also in not having to guess who to go to in order to pose questions in the first place.  It is a one-stop shop for all colleagues in the Trust.


For further information, contact Paul Drake, Chief Financial & Operating Officer:


“theHUB is excellent with policies, risk assessments, external reviews, audits, finance, health and safety, pensions, pay slips, teaching resources and wellbeing resources, all with different levels of access for all staff.” Lizzie Englefield, Headteacher, Coloma Convent Girls’ School