From Games Makers to Learning Makers and From London 2012 to Rio 2016!

My last blog set out to 'signpost' some of the key steps that we intend to take on our 'expected' journey in 2013. This week saw us take the first of those steps when starting to develop our thinking around leadership pathways for students through the curriculum and in providing peer to peer support in the classroom.  There was certainly a 'eureka' , moment when, in the context of discussing how our students had made such a major contribution to the success of the London 2012 Games as volunteer Games Makers, we struck on the term 'Learning Maker'! It captures so well what we will be looking to do this year in identifying students who will be trained to work with staff to develop new and even more creative approaches to learning.  There'll be a lot more on this initiative over the coming weeks!
The first week of term has also seen Sixth Form students experience a brilliant and truly inspirational presentation on developments in Brazilian education by Phil Hawkins from the charity, Aprender. Phil is a former colleague of mine as a senior teacher in the the Croydon school where I was Head before leaving to come to Park House.  Phil initially spent a two year secondment working in Brazil, where he became passionate about wanting to do something to improve educational opportunities for the majority of the country's young people.  He's therefore established a school based around British approaches to teaching and learning and is developing the concept across the country through the work of his charity, Aprender. 'Aprender' very appropriately means 'to learn' in Portuguese and this year he is moving out to Brazil on a long-term basis to ensure that his compelling vision for learning continues to make the major impact that the results achieved by students from his first Aprender school in national tests are already beginning to show.
The student response to Phil's presentation was really positive and we will now be working with him over the coming weeks and months to support Aprender's  inspirational programme, which you can find out more about on their website, www.aprender.co.uk.  As a school so passionately committed to ensuring that there is a powerful educational legacy from London 2012 nothing could be more appropriate as Rio begins its own journey to 2016.