Tuesday, 13 October 2009
Learning from others
As we promised, we will be bringing the best ideas and "ingredients" for learning home to Portland to build our unique 'recipe" for learning, and that means seeing, sometimes, for ourselves what other like minded schools are doing. We learn from them.
Today heads and governors from our participating Portland schools visited the nearly-built (they move in in July 2010) St John's School in Gravesend. It was so encouraging to stand in an entirely corridor free school - and confirm just how much extra space it creates for learning, but also to stand inside the three separate "Communities" where St John's children will spend most of their time - rather like out "home bases" or whatever we finally call them. And mixed age groupings are a big part of the learning evolution at St John's.
Best of all was to be able to hear headteacher A J Stanley and staff articulate their vision - and to hear how excited staff and children are about moving in. We were excited to see just how much space they had created with slightly less children than we have, but instead of feeling like a BIG school, the intimacy of their small communities, with their own learning spaces and children staying in them for much of the day really made it all feel very comfortingly human scale. Exactly what we are seeking.