HIGH flying students from across York and North Yorkshire came together at a city private school as part of on-going partnership work.

The event at St Peter's School to debate ‘the greatest breakthrough in history’ was organised by the York Independent State School Partnership (ISSP) and saw gifted and talented Year 7 students from across the city come together for the first time to work collaboratively on the project.

Feedback from those taking part has been very positive with students reporting that “they enjoyed the session because they were challenged, got to discuss things they didn’t know about, and had to use that and other information in a way that they were not overly familiar with”.

The York ISSP was first initiated in 2006 when Jonathan Taylor, then head of Bootham School, approached the head of Educational Services at York City Council, to explore possible shared activities between all of the city’s schools.

It now includes 12 secondary schools in total - nine state/academy schools and three independent schools.

Among those taking part were Barlby High School who became a member of the partnership in 2018, having already collaborated with York ISSP on the Institute of Education's First World War Centenary Battlefields Tour Programme 2015.

The “Legacy 110” project which followed went on to win Best Partnership Community Award 2014 – 2018 for its service of remembrance at York Minster and exhibition at York Castle Museum.

In addition to the Year 7 breakthrough event, Barlby High School students in Year 8 have been attending a Maths Excellence Club at the University of York while Year 9 students have recently returned from an autumn residential course at Brathay Hall in the Lake District.

This combined masterclasses with outdoor activities as well as the opportunity to meet new friends.

Barlby principal, Julie Caddell, said: “The Independent State School Partnership is a great opportunity for our most able students as well as those with a passion for learning, to meet like-minded people and work collaboratively with them in order to fulfil their potential.

"We have a number of great opportunities coming up, including a series of lectures aimed at Year 7 and 8 students and hosted by the University of York and a visit to Oxford University for those students who may aspire to go in the future."

Barlby belongs to the Hope Learning Trust, which now has ten partner schools, five secondary and five primary. The schools in York ISSP are: All Saints RC, Archbishop Holgate CE, Barlby, Bootham, Huntington, Joseph Rowntree, Manor CE, Millthorpe, St Olave’s, St Peter’s, The Mount, Vale of York and York High.