Duke of York's Royal Military School

Upton House School, Windsor Celebrates NACE Challenge Award Second Accreditation

Published by Upton House School on Wednesday 20th of December 2023

The National Association for Able Children in Education (NACE) has named Upton House School the 160th school to be accredited for the second time with the NACE Challenge Award. The award is given in recognition of school-wide commitment to high-quality provision for more able learners, within the context of challenge for all.

NACE CEO Rob Lightfoot said: “Upton House School has worked hard to attain reaccreditation through the NACE Challenge Award. It has displayed a continued commitment to develop an environment in which all learners are challenged and supported to be the best they can be.”

The award is based on the NACE Challenge Framework, which sets out criteria for high-quality provision for more able learners within a wider ethos of challenge for all. The framework is available as part of the NACE Challenge Development Programme – a suite of resources developed by NACE to help schools evaluate and improve their provision for more able learners.

NACE’s assessor reported: “The school has a culture of high expectations … where high achievement is expected and there is a culture of celebration, positive feedback and healthy competition. There is an extremely broad balanced curriculum and … a strong culture of promoting lifelong learning and encouraging pupils to aspire to academic success alongside an emphasis on promoting wellbeing.”

“Teaching and learning … was consistently good or better with mutual respect and a climate of positivity that permeates every lesson. Pupils hold their teachers in high regard feeling valued and cared for, giving them confidence to stretch and challenge themselves and aspire to excellence. ‘Our teachers are really sociable; they know us really well and care about us – it’s like a family really.’”

Improving provision for the more able remains a priority for many schools. The experience and evidence gathered by Challenge Award-accredited schools also shows that effective strategies to improve provision for the more able are likely to have a positive impact on the achievement of a much wider group of learners.

To attain the Challenge Award, schools must complete a detailed self-evaluation using the NACE Challenge Framework, submit a portfolio of supporting evidence, and undertake assessment by a NACE associate. The assessment process includes examination of school data and key documents; lesson observations; and interviews with school leaders, learners, parents and governors.

CEO Rob Lightfoot said, “The Challenge Award is presented in recognition of whole-school commitment to and achievement in providing effective challenge and support for all – spanning school leadership, curriculum, teaching and learning, processes for identification and tracking, extracurricular opportunities, strong communication and partnerships, and ongoing evaluation.”

Upton House School will now remain part of the international community of Challenge Award-accredited schools which have demonstrated a sustained and effective commitment to meeting the needs of more able learners, and an interest in sharing expertise for the wider benefit of the education community.
Upton House School, Windsor Celebrates NACE Challenge Award Second Accreditation  - Photo 1
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