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Photo of a Mandarin class in progress

Inspire programme

The Inspire Programme’s purpose is to provide inspiration and raise aspirations across all year groups. Inspire is designed to challenge our more able pupils and offer them opportunities to hone their knowledge and skills beyond the offering of the Academy’s curriculum.

There are a range of provisions including Mandarin and Latin lessons, University Challenge Days for aspiring Oxbridge pupils, Masterclasses headed by leading professionals in their fields, competitions, science and engineering courses, University summer schools, overseas trips and opportunities to work with our main partner Deloitte Consulting.

Pupils who enter the Academy through the Governors’ Aptitude test are automatically included in the Inspire experiences and opportunities.


Our Masterclasses aim to deliver accelerated, rigorous, and specialised sessions, providing opportunities for pupils to engage with other academically successful children or those who share similar passions or potential.

Previous speakers have included:

Martin Donnelly, Permanent Secretary of State for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
Aysedeniz Gokcin, Classical Pianist
David Holland QC, Landmark Chambers
Dr David Howell, Divisional Clinical Director for Critical Care at University College London Hospital (UCLH)
Virginia Monaghan, Vice President of Music Commissioning and Content, MTV UK

Partnership with Deloitte Consulting

Deloitte Consulting works closely with the Academy to develop our pupils’ skills to enable them to access the best possible opportunities when they complete their education with us. This holistic education programme is designed to raise the achievement and aspirations of young people by giving them the skills needed to secure professional employment and improve understanding of careers at multinational businesses such as Deloitte.

The partnership centres on supporting our pupils within the following ‘themes’: character and culture, enterprise skills, leadership and raising aspirations and employability.

Character and culture

A selection of pupils in Years 7-9 participate in a weekly discussion on important global issues, raising their awareness of current affairs and offering opportunities to develop their presentation skills. The session is led by a professional from Deloitte.

Strength and personality workshops also take place throughout the academic year to help pupils gain a better understanding of their strengths and personal characteristics to inform their future education and career choices.

Leadership and enterprise skills

Deloitte volunteers support pupils in our Business GCSE classes to participate in enterprise challenges. This enabled our pupils to reach the Coca Cola Real Business Challenge Regional Finals at the Oval in 2014, in which our students were awarded Best Viral Marketing Campaign for their promotional ideas.

With Deloitte’s assistance, a team of Year 9 students finished second place nationally in the Premier League Enterprise Academy Challenge 2014 and, as a school, we are proud to have won the right to represent Arsenal Football Club at the Premier League Enterprise Challenge for three years running.

Leadership development workshops take place to enable our prefects, house captains and members of the school council, reflect on their social style, identify the leadership qualities they possess, and review where these skills can take them in the future.

Aspirations and employability

Our Year 10 pupils have benefited from workshops on interview skills, CV writing, presentation skills, and career mentoring, supporting many of our pupils to do well at school, increase their employability skills and ultimately improve their job prospects. The Deloitte team run a Preparation for Work Day for the whole year group which includes fantastic mock interviews and feedback.

Motivational speakers come once a term to share their life experiences and career journeys with our pupils to enable them to reflect on their subject choices and develop a better understanding of how to achieve the career they wish.

Confucius Classroom

In May 2014, St Mary Magdalene Academy was given one of 34 Confucius Classroom awards in the UK.

The Confucius Classroom programme is funded by the Office of the Chinese Language Council International. It aims to stimulate and support the innovative teaching and learning of Chinese language and culture.

Being awarded the prestigious status of Confucius Classroom is an acknowledgement of the Academy’s successful and continual commitment to the promotion of Mandarin and Chinese culture – not only in our Academy, but also in our local area through school outreach work.

Photo of the three Mandarin teachers at St Mary Magdalene Academy

Supporting the growth of our Mandarin program, through Hanban, we have three Mandarin teachers from China. From left to right: Danni Fan from Chongqing, Lena Bai from our link school in Beijing, and Cynthia Li from Beijing.