Autumn Term Review

As we reach the end of 2017, it seems an appropriate time to reflect on some of the key events and activities that our members have benefited from this term.


New Membership Offer

Our new membership offer, informed by members, was launched in September 2017 with the four key priorities providing the focus for all activities and events. Tackling the issues that our members identified as most important, we are developing a collaborative and future focused network that is providing real value, benefit and impact for students, staff and leaders.

As we begin the planning process for the 2018/2019 membership offer we would very much welcome your thoughts on your organisation’s key priorities going forward as we aim to continue providing the support and solutions you need for a successful future.


A Stronger Network

Since September 12 new members have joined the Titan network. We are delighted to welcome the following schools as we continue to grow.

  • Cardinal Wiseman Catholic School
  • City of Birmingham Schools
  • George Dixon Academy
  • Heartlands Academy
  • Holte School
  • Holyhead School
  • King Solomon International Business School – Primary
  • King Solomon International Business School – Secondary
  • Nishkam High School
  • North Birmingham Academy
  • Oasis Academy Woodview
  • Edmund Campion Catholic School

“We are very much looking forward to working with you.” – Christina Stewardson, Cardinal Wiseman


A Supportive Titan Team

As we look to grow our membership we are also delighted to welcome new team members who have the skills and capabilities to deliver activities, events and projects to the very highest standards.


STEAM Inclusion Group

A key focus for Titan is the skills and employment agenda in Birmingham and in particular how we help our students develop the skills and capabilities for the job opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths (STEAM). In order to drive a STEAM focused programme of activity for our members Titan launched the STEAM Inclusion Group in September 2017.

The key aim of this group is to provide access to STEAM activities for students and CPD opportunities for staff across the network. The iRail project is open to 28 schools across Birmingham and is currently in the initial phase of the competition. Titan recently hosted a staff development day for staff across the network focused on the Bloodhound SCC Competition.

Should any of your staff wish to get involved with the STEAM Inclusion Group please contact Sarah Payne at


STEAM Staff Development Day

The Bloodhound SSC staff development workshop focused on the Bloodhound Rocket Car Challenge competition to ensure that staff are better informed and better able to support this STEM competition in their schools. Staff were given the opportunity to fully appreciate the student experience first-hand through a practical session where they built and launched a rocket car. The session was attended by 18 members of staff from 8 of our member schools and colleges. Our thanks go to Aston University Engineering Academy who hosted the event and in particular to Sukvinder Ubhi who delivered the session.

 “The hands-on experience at building a rocket car was useful and the day provided an opportunity to network with other peers.”

 “It was useful to see the project from start to finish and good to network with peers.”


Primary Head Teacher’s Meetings

The Aston and Nechells Consortium meetings have been expanded this year to include our wider Primary school membership. The newly named Titan Primary Head Teacher’s meetings provide opportunities for Head Teachers to address challenges across the key themes of Maths, Literacy, Safeguarding and Employability and to discuss ways in which they can collaborate and share best practice most effectively.

KS1 & KS2 Numeracy and Literacy Moderation Meetings

Following on from successful moderation sessions in the previous academic year, staff from Primary schools across the network have met for several internal moderation sessions. These sessions allow staff to come together and discuss internal assessment processes and to collaborate with other schools to ensure frameworks are fully understood and being met.

Expanding on these sessions, a full day moderation session is being planned for early 2018.

Should your school wish to get involved with the primary moderation sessions please contact Sarah Payne at


Secondary Head Teacher’s Meetings

The Titan Secondary Head Teacher’s meetings have continued to gain momentum since their reformation in January 2018. Secondary Head Teachers from across the Titan network meet to explore how they can best collaborate across a number of key projects and activities including the new national funding formula, the Sustaining Inclusion agenda, Progress 8 scores and GCSE remodelling.


Head Teacher’s Workshop

At the request of Head Teacher’s a workshop was organised for Friday 1st December, kindly hosted by St. John Wall Catholic School. The agenda focused on the new national funding formula, school restructuring and Progress 8 strategies for schools.

Julia Harnden, an Education Funding specialist with ASCL, led a discussion around the new funding formula. Julia works closely with schools specialising in developing sustainable strategic financial plans and building financial resilience. Cathy Eldridge and Paul John, Assistant Principals at St. John Wall Catholic School, then presented the strategies employed at St. John Wall School to improve Progress 8 scores and facilitated discussion as to how schools across the Titan network might use and adapt some of these methods. Finally, Katherine Marston, Head of School at St. John Wall, facilitated discussion as to the successes, challenges and key learning points from the restructuring process undertaken at St. John Wall.


“An excellent event with very useful information to support Head Teachers.” – Nicola Walters, Head Teacher at Handsworth Wood Girls’ Academy




Curriculum Lead meetings

Following the success of Curriculum Lead meetings in the last academic year, Curriculum Lead staff from across the network are meeting to share best practice, address challenges together and identify where further support and CPD might be required.

Meetings have taken place in the following subject areas:

  • English – hosted by Aston Manor Academy
  • Maths – hosted by Holyhead School
  • MFL – hosted by Holte School
  • Science – hosted by St. John Wall

Further meetings in these curriculum areas plus those listed below are planned for the New Year.

  • Humanities
  • Technology and Vocation
  • Sport
  • Performing Arts
  • Food technology

These meetings have proved incredibly valuable in terms of sharing best practice and encouraging cross-school moderation sessions and several CPD sessions have been organised as a result, including:

  • English – GCSE Specifications workshop – Monday 4th December at Nishkam High School
  • MFL – Edexcel GCSE Training Session – Monday 8th January, Holte School, 1pm-3pm
  • Science – Maths in Physics Workshop – Wednesday 17th January, Aston Manor Academy, 4:30pm-6pm

“Having the opportunity to network with other Curriculum Leads has not only been beneficial to my own practice but also for other members of the department.  The opportunity to share ideas and have the opportunity to have bespoke workshops tailored to our needs  will have some real impact within the classroom.”

Should your school wish to attend any of the planned CPD sessions or get involved with any of the Curriculum Lead meetings please contact Ross Anderson on


Skills, Employability and Careers

The new Skills, Employability and Careers (SEC) Group has been very well attended and has proved to be extremely successful in the Autumn term.

Jackie Plimmer, Relationship Manager at Titan, has galvanised support and commitment from Careers and Outreach teams across the network whilst also building and strengthening relationships with employers to increase the work they do with our schools. Other key activities have included building primary school and employer relationships and Woodview Primary and St. Mary’s CoE Primary have been running employability focused activities. These essential links between primary schools and employers will continue in the Spring and Summer terms.

Employer engagement is a top priority for us at Woodview Primary as it raises aspirations, helps develop employability skills and builds confidence by speaking to new people who students would not normally get the opportunity to meet.

Following the session with Life (a creative design agency in Birmingham), our children went home full of new ideas about the types of jobs they might be able to do in the future. It was a  superb afternoon with a wonderfully supportive local employer – thank you to Life Agency and Titan for this opportunity’” – Paul Doddridge, Principal at Oasis Woodview Primary School

“Thank you for your help in promoting the Reading Stars programme to schools and please do continue to do what you are doing.” – Andreas Michael, Aston University

Skills and Careers Fair

Titan is delighted to announce that we will be hosting a Skills and Careers Fair in June 2018 for students in Years 6, 7 and 8. With careers advice now a statutory requirement for Year 8’s and employers consistently requesting that young people be better prepared for the world of work, Titan aims to deliver an event that focuses on both the student and the employer. We will also focus on the importance of a successful transition from Primary School to Secondary School. Further information will be available soon so watch this space!

If your school would like to get involved with the SEC Group or take part in an employability programme please contact Jackie Plimmer at


Supporting Our Most Able Students

The Titan led Eureka Project, funded through the EU Erasmus Plus Programme, provided the opportunity to visit two schools in the West of Ireland to investigate their practices and approaches to working with the ‘Most Able’ students in their schools. 8 delegates from Titan took part with staff from St. George’s Academy, Handsworth Wood Girl’s Academy, Hamstead Hall Academy, Aston Manor Academy, King Edwards VI Aston and Birmingham City University.

Delegates visited Colaiste Baile Chlair, Claregalway and Colaiste na Coiribe, Knocknarra, Galway where they heard from senior leaders, observes lessons and had opportunities to meet and talk with students and teachers. Many thanks to those who attended, and to our partners in the project for their fantastic organisation and delivery.

“I was very impressed with the host schools and how they catered to all of our needs. The location was excellent and we had plenty of time to talk to our local colleagues and those from within Europe. The organisation of the whole trip was impressive and I was impressed by the programme of events, as it seemed tailored to the needs of individuals within the party. My expectations of the trip were surpassed; spending time in lessons will be useful when deciding on what strategies would have the most impact in my own school and I have been able to liaise with Birmingham colleagues and make connections within our area of the city.” – Sally Yates, Handsworth Wood Girl’s Academy


New Projects with CBSO

Titan is delighted to announce that we have been awarded funding from the Arts Council for an exciting project in partnership with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. The ‘All Kinds of Everything’ project is inspired by the diversity and inclusivity of our network. The project will begin in February 2018 and, over the next 12 months, will give 3 secondary schools and 4 primary schools the opportunity to work with composers and artists from CBSO to develop a musical piece which they will perform at the Symphony Hall in late 2018.

If your school would like to get involved with this project please contact Sarah Payne at


FE, HE and PTP Meetings

This year’s FE, HE and Private Training Provider meetings have been focused on the apprenticeship agenda. With changes to apprenticeship standards/frameworks and how organisations best use the levy, discussion has been focused on an event aimed at schools to assist them in getting the most out of apprenticeships regardless as to whether they are levy payers or non-levy payers.

Further details will be available shortly regarding apprenticeship related events in 2018.

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