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XP Visit – Blog

How far would you travel to be inspired by teaching and learning?…our journey continues..

(This time) our journey involved heading north on the M4, A449, A40, M50, M5, M42, A42, M1 and M18, passing Newport, Birmingham, Sherwood Forest, Nottingham, Chesterfield and Sheffield, ending in the fascinating city of DONCASTER.  This city is famous for its mining history, home to the world’s oldest horse race, and the location where the ‘Flying Scotsman’ was built in 1923.  This part of the world also shares a similar history to us folk in South Wales.

418 miles there and back – but what did we find?..

A well-researched statement is that the creative curriculum is alive and kicking in primary schools, but it is in danger of being dead and buried in secondary education.  Students are nurtured and express themselves in primary education through a variety of amazing teaching and learning activities.  We are often concerned that the transition to bigger secondary schools can be challenging, and on occasions frightening for many students. 

Our visit to XP School, Doncaster consolidated the thinking that smaller secondary schools can be considerably nurturing and successful.  Occasionally when you walk around a school you get ‘a feel’ and ‘a sense of belonging’.  This was extremely tangible as we were kindly shown around the school and invited to talk with numerous impressive students.  It became clear that their ‘Project-Based Learning’ was a driver of success at XP.  We will explore this further…………

Their clear strategy to enable PBL was developing environments, structure, resources and clear attitudes to learning.  When these stars align students thrive and outcomes get achieved. The final outcome of their PBL ends with ‘a product’.  This is another powerful ‘take away’ from the visit.  This powerful celebration of learning and achievement ensures a relevancy and purposefulness to all the students work. 

Food for thought, and to be continued…….       

JO – blog