Chester Schools Together: A Celebration Event

Our Chester Schools Together partnership schools gathered for a wonderful evening of celebration and reflection following an incredible 12 months of collaborative projects and initiatives. 

Pupils, Headteachers, staff, parents and VIP supporters of the partnership came together in The Garret Theatre in Storyhouse for a presentation showcasing just some of the achievements of the unique collaboration between King’s, Blacon High School, Catholic High School Chester, Upton High school and The Bishops’ Blue Coat Church of England High School. 


Pupils and staff from each school spoke passionately about a series of projects, including: 

  • A 12 month creative partnership with Storyhouse, including weekly sessions with Storyhouse Creative Practitioners, Career Days, a Podcast Masterclass and a joint Drama Showcase
  • Scalextric4Schools Saturday Masterclasses, which saw a team from Bishops’ top the leader board in a national competition 
  • A series of specialist university preparation evenings and a joint trip to Oxford University
  • Mock Interviews for Oxbridge, Medic, Vet and Dentistry entry
  • Lifeguard qualification 
  • The Yoto Carnegies Shadowing Group Library Project
  • Learn to Row Programme 

The evening ended with a wonderful performance of the Chester Schools Together anthem Our Turn to Take the Stage by Blacon High School pupil, Charlie Clutton. The sing was written and composed by pupils in a Composition Workshop with composer, musical director and performer, Matt Baker. 



Chester Schools Together is an Independent State School Partnership (ISSP), which are are mutually beneficial partnerships between the state and independent sector, based on sharing of expertise, best practice and facilities to the benefit of children in all the schools involved. It was founded in 2018 and heralded a move away from outreach work to a collaborative partnership model, based on a shared ambition; to develop an annual programme of innovative projects and events for secondary-age students across the city of Chester.

The partnership is generously supported by The Westminster Foundation, which funds all project costs and the appointment of a School Representative in each state school. 

Mr Hartley said: “I was blown away by the passion of each and every one of the pupils and staff members who took part in the celebration event. To see first-hand the difference we are making to the lives of so many young people across the city was extremely inspiring. The success and growth of Chester Schools Together and all that it has achieved is something that makes me incredibly proud and is a great reflection of our own school’s ethos

“Since its inception in 2018, our partnership has grown with the addition of a new school each year and we look forward to this September when Queen’s Park High School will come on board. The scope and ambition of what we have been able to achieve has grown enormously over the years and we were delighted to receive a Highly Commended national award for Outstanding Educational Partnerships in November. 

“It was also wonderful to have the opportunity to publicly  thank all the people who make the partnership such a special organisation, so much of what goes on relies on the determination and vision of those involved. In particular, I would like to thank our Director of Rowing David Blackham and his top coaching team for making the dream of Learn to Row Programme a reality, they have been instrumental in creating something that I believe will have a lasting legacy for hundreds of youg people across Chester.”