School of the year award for secondary in Cricklewood

Picture: Richard Tathum

Picture: Richard Tathum - Credit: Archant

A secondary school in Cricklewood has won a prestigious award for its development of children’s communication skills.

Hampstead School in Westbere Road, has been named secondary school of the year at the national Shine A Light Awards.

The school was praised for teaching its pupils and staff how to speak and listen effectively in the classroom.

Since 2009, the school has worked closely with Camden Council’s speech and language therapy team, and all year seven pupils receive a “listening lesson” where teachers observe children and give feedback to the school’s special educational needs team.

The school also runs award schemes, where pupils are encouraged to use their speaking and listening skills to earn “star of the hour” and “speaking and listening stars”, with teachers awarding pupils at the end of each lesson.

A study found that 118 pupils out of 178 improved their speaking and listening skills and became more engaged in the classroom as a result.

Jacques Szemalikowski, Hampstead School headteacher, said: “I am delighted that our pioneering work in communications skills has been recognised.

“At Hampstead School we are determined that when learners achieve the qualifications to get them an interview, their ability to communicate with others secures the position”.