Tuesday, 1 December 2009

learning from Brockhill Park

A visit to the inspiring Brockhill Park Performing Arts College in Kent who are doing many of the things we will be featuring in our new Portland institution. Brockhill Park is improving rapidly - performance leapt when they introduced vertical groupings of students in mini-schools with their own leadership, very much like our planned Home Bases, and increasingly exploring Stage not Age learning. Brockhill Park is the country's leading Animal Science school - we too will be featuring a specialism in Science (Sports and Environmental Sciences) and have much to learn from their successful practice - we are even considering a farm ourselves. In this photo children in the school farm are busy managing the daily feeds of their animals, which range from iguanas to cattle - although many animals were away winning prizes at the Kent Show.

Like us, Brockhill Park  place considerable emphasis on Creativity and their walls show how this permeates everything they do, in maths, science, dance and more. The school places great emphasis on practical work and is a long way from the cells and bells factory schools of the last century. Last year their "not in employment education or training figures showed only 2 NEETS, which is uniquely successful. Their emphasis on activity - in their case every student does, and enjoys, dance (and many are now professional standard) coupled with a sizeable walk each day into the school itself means that there is not one obese child in the school. Our emphasis on recreational through to Olympic sport might share that aspiration too.

Brockhill Park is one of many successful and improving schools in the UK and abroad we will be sharing idea with, and learning from. Last night Prof Heppell led a professional development lecture with their staff as they too look forward to a new build school.

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