St Albans Girls School has been awarded The World Class Schools Quality Mark (WCSQM) at an official ceremony at St Marys College, University of London.

The award was presented by Cambridge academic and noted science writer Dr David Bainbridge on December 1.

Head teacher Mrs Chapman said: “This is a truly superb achievement which is only made possible by the whole school community tirelessly working together to ensure our young people receive the highest quality learning experiences.”

As part of the requirements STAGS had to, firstly, be recommended by a school that had already has this prestigious award and Sandringham Secondary School kindly agreed to endorse the STAGs application.

Once that key recommendation had been received the process was fully set in motion. Following acceptance in June the STAGS submitted its latest GCSE data, and Ofsted evidence of its outstanding status.

The next step was for STAGs students to carry out a self-audit of the school, against the World Class Schools Quality Mark skills and competencies framework.  The self-audit had to be carried out within one week by students, unaided by staff, and had to consist of a video entitled A Week In the Life of... accompanied by a bank of evidence. The time limit of one week was imposed so that the school could prove they were ‘typically' World Class on a day to day basis.

If the school was successful regarding the self-audit, they were then eligible to participate in the WSCQM team challenge. Selected students from 17 schools were divided into six groups, each responsible for a single designated project at the same location, that of the Wren Academy in North Finchley.

This framework was set up to encourage pupils to work together with students from other schools that they had never met before. Each group of students had to plan their individual projects in advance .All the resulting practical work was scheduled to take place during a 5 hour time slot on October 20.  This short window of time was formulated to test the ability of the students to work to tight deadlines and under pressure, whilst also maintaining a high level of quality.

STAGS were asked to focus on improving the outside play area of the primary school by producing a colourful, attractive mural. In addition they also helped make a film of their achievements to provide the judges with all the proof they needed to award STAGS their new coveted status.

The school gives special mention to team members Safia Bensissi and Lorna Mistry from year 13, Lara Hall and Chace Smith from year 11, and year nine pupils Saasha Anawar and Mia Harris.

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