Gillespie Primary School
Gillespie Road, Highbury, London, N5 1LH
T: 020 7226 6840 E: EMAIL US
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.

Our partnerships include:


Full details can be found at:

Gillespie is part of a collaboration of 20 Islington schools (17 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 value FutureZone 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 including accessing the new National Primary Qualification (NPQ) leadership courses
  • 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
  • Cross school moderation meetings for class teachers to share excellent practice and to moderate pupil’s writing across cluster schools in the collaboration

Islington Primary Music Centre

Gillespie school is part of an ambitious music education programme, working with other Islington primary schools and an Islington secondary school, to provide pupils with opportunities through music to work with children across Islington and to perform with orchestras in annual concerts at venues including St Luke’s the headquarters for the London Symphony Orchestra. We have even played at the Royal Albert Hall, the Barbican, and the Union Chapel. We believe that learning to play an instrument and play music with others brings many non-musical benefits.

At Gillespie school all pupils learn a stringed instrument in their last three years at the school.  We have our own school music teacher who works with every class from nursery to year 6 and a strings music teacher who works in conjunction with our music teacher for one day per week to support instrument teaching to year 4, 5 and 6 pupils. The programme aims to provide musical opportunities particularly to those who otherwise might struggle to access these benefits.  In addition, pupils who show enthusiasm and aptitude for their instrument including targeted children receiving pupil premium funding, have an opportunity to attend a weekly music hub at City of London Academy Highbury Grove Secondary School called The Islington Primary Music Centre,  where they tap into fantastic resources and a range of skilled teachers. The hub is run by the prestigious London Guildhall School of Music and Arts. Many of our children go on to local schools where they continue to play their instruments and have continuing musical opportunities through Music In Secondary Schools Trust (MISST)  in conjunction with their secondary schools.

Expected outcomes for students who have been attending the primary music centre 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


Science For Life Project

Gillespie school has developed a science and technology lab at the school called Lab_13 inspired by the Lab_13 network in the Midlands and we have employed a resident scientist who has worked creatively with pupils across our school investigating their own scientific questions.  They have set up a Lab_13 management committee of pupils who have worked with her on innovative research projects and on organising school events such as our Science Spectacular, Science Week and STEM Clubs.  This work has had a big impact on children’s interest in science related subjects and on their achievement in science. The work has inspired us to seek to collaborate with other schools to share excellent practice and to develop a shared vision of building science capital in children and young people.  To this end we have partnered with sponsors to develop a new science initiative in Islington led by Gillespie school’s resident scientist and supported by Gillespie’s head.  We have named it Science For Life Project because our vision is to support and inspire children from primary through secondary to tertiary education in science related education which is additional to the core curriculum taught in schools.  In the long-term we hope to track the progress of pupils who have participated in this project and to find out what proportion of them choose to study science related subjects beyond secondary school and seek STEM related careers.

How does Science for Life work?  This is a science enrichment collaboration with a growing number of Islington primary and secondary schools. Currently over 20 schools engage in the partnership which has a key aim to develop science cultural capital in children across participating schools so that they begin to associate themselves with STEM related activities, interests and potentially careers.

Science for Life is led by Megan Begley scientist in residence at Gillespie Primary School, with support from the Institute of Physics and with funding from the Dame Alice Owen Foundation.

The project benefits science leaders and teachers across schools through developing professional learning communities and by developing subject knowledge and pedagogy with practical applications to teaching and learning.   Pupils benefit from participating in a range of activities including STEM clubs, original scientific research projects and by developing leadership skills to enable them to promote and enjoy science in their schools.  To find out more about the project please go to this website:


Associated School status with Sadlers Well Dance Theatre

We have a very exciting partnership with Sadlers Wells Dance Theatre.  The partnership will facilitates residencies at our school each year whereby Gillespie pupils work with Sadlers Wells dancers and education professionals on a range of dance projects linked to other curriculum areas.  In a typical year two classes get to engage in a sequence of dance lessons with a dance outcome at the end of the project. If we are lucky we sometimes get to perform the final dance on one of the stages at Sadlers Wells Theatre.


International School link with Oakbridge International School, Accra Ghana

We have a fantastic link where children share learning linked to our geography work in Year 2 around our local area. Children at Gillespie School and Oakbridge School share their learning about their local area and develop geographical skills making comparisons between the two cities where our children live. We also have a science link where our science leadership committee have worked on leading science activities and projects in conjunction with pupils at Oakbridge International School. Children are establishing cultural and social links with each other to learn about their communities and lives.