Gillespie Primary School
Gillespie Road, Highbury, London, N5 1LH
T: 020 7226 6840 F: 020 7354 8537
Gillespie Primary School | Partnerships
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Gillespie is a vibrant school in part because of the value our many partnerships bring to the school community.


Full details can be found at:

Gillespie is part of a collaboration of 18 Islington schools (15 Primary, 3 Secondary) aiming for excellent outcomes for children in our community Co-lead by Mark our Headteacher.  We aim for :

  • Excellence in teaching and learning
  • Developing inspiring leaders
  • Collaboration between children
  • Innovative business management achieving best valueFutureZone is an education improvement partnership

We support and inspire each other in a number of ways:

  • Collaborating at a leadership level including the heads group, the leadership group of deputy heads and assistant heads, middle leaders group in conjunction with the Institute of Education and year group teacher cluster groups
  • Creating opportunities for children to work together across schools through exciting – termly projects:
    • Poetry competition
    • Kenwood House painting and writing project
    • Multimedia film project
    • The FutureZone football league
  • FutureZone Science Network and learning hubs. Our own Resident Scientist Carole Kenrick leads this group. As well as developing pedagogy and practice of science leaders the group leads science hubs amongst our schools where pupils attend science clubs together. Gillespie school hosts one of the hubs in our science Lab.


Music First

Music First is an ambitious 21st century music education programme, currently working in the borough of Islington, that provides all of our pupils with opportunities through music to work with children across Islington and to perform with orchestras in annual concerts at venues such as the Royal Albert Hall, the Barbican, and the Union Chapel. Music First has been set up in the belief that learning to play an instrument and play music with others brings many non-musical benefits.

It aims to provide these musical opportunities particularly to those who otherwise might struggle to access these benefits. In partnership with our own music teacher Caroline Music First provides a music education pathway for children in the last 3 years of schooling at Gillespie. This means that all of our pupils have an opportunity to learn a stringed instrument for three years. In addition, pupils who show enthusiasm and aptitude for their instrument have an opportunity to attend a weekly music hub at Highbury Grove Secondary School where they tap in to the fantastic resources of the school and a range of skilled teachers. Many of our children go on to local schools such as Highbury Grove and Highbury Fields have continued to play their instruments and have continuing musical opportunities through Music First in conjunction with their secondary schools.

Expected outcomes for students who have been attending the Hub over one year are:

Note reading

Able to read notes on the stave and common rhythms

Able to follow and read orchestral music

Group learning Evident ensemble skills
Singing Can confidently hold a part in a two-part piece
Creativity Can understand how to play with expression
Social development Is responsible for their learning and that of others, is able to lead, knows how to be a team player and is a confident role model


Linked Orchestras/opportunities

Music First Islington Youth Orchestra was formed in April 2015 with the aim of providing Islington pupils the chance to play in a large ensemble. Once Music First Hub pupils move on to secondary school, they are invited to join the IYO, to ensure they continue to progress and enjoy music making with students in the wider community. To take part, pupils must be in years 5-8, and above Grade 2 standard in an orchestral instrument. Please advise the Hub leader if there are pupils who you think would be suited to this orchestra.

Inazgar School, Niger

Global link with a school in Niger. Our children have shared work and sent films of themselves communicating in French- the second language children in both schools are learning. Mark the Headteacher visited the school in the South of the Sahara in October 2010 and was made most welcome by the fantastic children and community. Ugali, a teacher and administrator came to visit us in 2013. We regularly exchange gifts and books and in Spring 2016 we sent a book that the children had written and produced in French with the support of our French teacher. We cannot communicate with Inazgar School except by visiting and so our relationship is rather special and relies upon people from an organisation called Anti-Slavery International visiting the school with our gifts and messages.


Niger School rebuilt thanks to Gillespie fundraising!

Early in 2012 Inazgar School was destroyed in a flash flood. I am very proud and moved to inform families that your amazing and rapid fundraising which enabled us to spend £3,000 to rebuild Inazgar School has now resulted in the school being rebuilt, a new solar panel bought and installed to provide lighting, text books, and accomodation for Adam, the Headteacher of Inazgar School, his wife and their new baby.

In order to be able to teach the two classes each day Adam and his wife have to live close to the school, as it is in a remote desert region in the north of Niger and they have no means of transportation. When I visited in 2010 they lived in a simple structure made from wood and plastic rice sacks which hardly provided shelter from the elements or any privacy. They are most grateful that a modest but strong hut has now been built for them. Adam’s first job each day is to take a donkey and water containers to a water source over a mile away from the school and bring back water to sustain the children and provide for cooking the pupils’ lunch. You have saved this school which is still attended by up to 50 pupils. By attending the school each child gets a cooked meal, sometimes the only square meal they get in a day.

See attachments on the right for a letter written by Adam le Directeur d’Inazgar and for the translated version


Volunteer Readers

Reading volunteers come in to school to read one to one with specially chosen children who develop a positive relationship with their partner by playing reading games and through developing their confidence as readers. All our volunteers are well trained and are very much valued by children and staff at Gillespie. Many of our volunteers are parents/ grandparents or family members, we very much appreciate their crucial contribution to our school.


Arsenal in the Community

We have had a long and positive partnership with Arsenal in the Community. Arsenal football coaches train our children and our pupils attend a weekly inter-school competition including inclusion football at the Arsenal Hub. Gunnersaurus, Arsenal’s famous cuddly mascot, attends our Summer Fair every year.