“Kara has done some really important work with us... This support has been a huge help to both our core operations and development work.”

Catriona Maclay, Founding Director, The Hackney Pirates

Hackney Pirates

The Hackney Pirates is an innovative educational charity designed to supplement the school system. We work with young people in Hackney to develop their literacy, confidence and perseverance, so that they achieve both in school and in the world beyond. We work exclusively with children who are identified by teachers and social workers as needing extra support because they are falling behind at school, and facing disadvantages in their personal circumstances. We support them with extra reading, writing and project-based learning opportunities. The Hackney Pirates was set up in 2010 by Teach First teacher Catriona Maclay and is staffed and led by a team of professional teachers. We started our activities with a pilot project to establish the demand for the activity, and have been oversubscribed since our first session. We are based in The Ship of Adventures, an exciting community-based learning hub and events space complete with a secret passageway, flying boat and magic telephone. The Ship is a gift-shop/book-shop and café where we sell the work the Young Pirates make in sessions. • Holistic Aims: We focus on literacy alongside confidence and perseverance, in order to both raise school attainment and develop working skills • Personalised attention: We work with hundreds of volunteers from the local community to provide extra personalised attention focused on learning • Real-World Projects: We create motivating project-based learning opportunities through the regular publishing of real-world products such as books, websites and CDs • Environment: We conduct our activities in an inspiring unconventional learning environment • Targeted approach: We focus exclusively on pupils identified by teachers and social workers of being at risk of falling behind, and work with them in the critical transition years from primary to secondary school.