Now in its third year, a further tranche of schools were awarded the prestigious World Class Quality Mark in a special ceremony at Queen Mary University of London last week. The total number of schools now accredited is 44, and these are many of the highest performing non-selective state schools in England. Sandringham was accredited in the first year of the programme, and now support the assessment of other schools. This year, Mr. Found, Deputy Headteacher and Benjamin Watkins from year 12 went through the assessor training programme and were awarded with assessor status. No mean feat and they are now able to assess other schools. 

As a reminder, schools have to be nominated by existing holders of the World Class Quality Mark. This is to ensure that the process really is driven by peers and celebrates the beyond outstanding taking place across the country.

For the first time, a special essay competition was devised to encourage WCSQM schools to develop the talents of their students. The essay was for students in years 9 and 10, with the title: 

"What evidence do we have that teenagers' brains are different from adults' brains? Briefly, why do you think teenagers might need brains which work differently?"

A number of our students submitted essays and from these, a group of staff at Sandringham selected three to submit to the World Class Schools Quality mark team.

The selection process was as follows. 

  • The lead judge Dr David Bainbridge established the assessment criteria
  • Three colleagues from Bury St County Upper School science. department established a long list from all submissions.
  • Two external, independent judges, scientists  Dr Mark Stevens,  from the British Beet Research Organisation, and  Dr Evan Reid, from Cambridge University established the short list. 

Dr David Bainbridge determined the winners from the short list, who will be announced at our Awards Ceremony.   

Out of our submissions, two were short listed and invited to the Awards Ceremony along with eight other students from other WCSQM schools. Whilst neither won the overall competition, they received an honorable mention and special award for their outstanding work and had a very enjoyable evening.

Dr David Bainbridge, lead judge, Cambridge University academic and renowned author, said "I was extremely impressed by the standard of what I read. The participants showed a remarkable ability to gather information from a wide variety of primary sources, and to craft it into clear, structured scientific arguments which were also fun to read!"

Well done to Kristen Kemp-Robertson and Jack Peacock for reaching the final ten, and also to Joel Hodgson-Stokes for being selected as one of our three entries.

You can download their entries here:

Essay by Kristen

Essay by Jack

Essay by Joel


Well done everyone.