Shaping our future?

At the conclusion of today’s Depute Head Teachers’ Conference each of the six groups made a presentation in response to the task.


East Lothian is about to embark on a radical building programme where we will be building new school for 10-15 year olds.

Each school will have 700 pupils, 45 teaching staff and 20 support staff (there are no other limits on the school design or facilities)

Your solution should address the following – but not necessarily as separate points. This list is not exhaustive.

  1. Describe the aims of your school
  2. Design your school building.
  3. etc, etc

The following are just some of the themes which emerged from the various presentations:

The need for core knowledge/skills – perhaps the morning given over to such a focus

Opportunities personalisation of the curriculum

Flexible days – longer in the winter shorter in the summer.

Flexible spaces – as opposed to dedicated classrooms

Less movement round the school – use of pods, zones

Teams of teachers – cross curricular

Much more negotiation

Create a hub in every school

No year groups

Sharing responsibility and power – rotation of responsibilities

Challenges or key questions permeating the school year for all pupils

Using technology – openess, transparency, responsive, aware’ “see what I did today”

Learning logs, personal laptops – parental access to information

“It will feel like home”

Making use of the community and being of use to the community

The importance of seating in social areas

Development of learning groups of staff – critical freinds who plan, observe and evaluate together

Environment, environment, environment – making use of the outside

Develop cross-curricular expertise

Develop assemblies (staff and pupils) which have real power

5 year contracts

Sharing power – not just distributed leadership

The campus approach – linking schools together within a community

The Head Teacher becomes the “Lead Learner”, “Head of Pod” or is done away with in favour of a rotation system

Timetable courses rather than classes

It’s impossible here to capture the vibrancy, collaboration and innovative ideas which came out through this exercise.  We are photographing all of the presentations and will post them here soon.

I can recommend this task for any group of teachers.

Entrepreneurial Leadership in action!!!!!

6 thoughts on “Shaping our future?

  1. Today I attended an in-service on A Curriculum for Excellence in which the phrase ” this will create a problem within secondaries” or words to this effect came up several times. After reading this post, why do so many administrators seem to think that the secondary system is so set in stone? I remember Munn and Dunning. They were always quoted as a pair, but in fact Dunning rejected virtually all of Munn’s radical proposals because of the constraints of the secondary school mindset. Roughly 30 years on, we are about to do the same thing again. Let’s hope not!

  2. Pingback: Don’s Learning Log » Blog Archive » Disciplinary Learning?

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