Automatic Kettles, Toothbrushes, Light Bulbs, Television Sets, Bars of Chocolate; I wonder if you know what connects them?
If we added the World Wide Web to this list, we’re sure you’d know that they are all British inventions, the products of the creativity and imagination that ensures our country continues to punch above its weight in the international community. So what has this to do with Honywood School?
At Honywood we are creating something as unique as the items above were when they were first produced, something that ensures that young people in our local community receive an education that matches the very best the state sector can offer across the globe; an education that will support Britain’s future quest for entrepreneurs, innovators, problem solvers and creators.
In the last six years, more than 2,000 visitors from China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Holland, Israel, New Zealand, Norway, Palestine, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden and the United States alongside visitors from more than sixty British schools have come to see what we are creating and have been amazed at what they have found. We’ve been invited to speak at conferences across the country and across the world, including in our own House of Lords. We are one of a handful of schools globally to be awarded the prestigious accolade “Apple Distinguished School” for our innovative approach to learning design. So what have all these observers seen that has lit up their imagination?
Honywood School is already a school of great distinction because we don’t try to be a school in the mould that most in our community will recall from their own school days (a mould most schools across the country still replicate). Schools have traditionally focused on two key things, teaching children to comply with the order society imposes and offering passports to the future in the shape of examination passes. Our ambition goes far beyond these two limited goals as our aim is to secure the future success and long-term happiness of our young people as they become the power behind the future success of our economy. To achieve this we have thought deeply about the kind of adults these young people will need to become as they mature. We are clear that more than anything, they will need to be adults who can take responsibility for continuing to learn for the rest of their lives, if they are to add value to the world around them and become successes in the modern economy.
Thus at Honywood we are designing learning experiences that develop the independence of mind that will allow our youngsters to take on the challenges they will face in their adult lives. Those learning experiences put youngsters in the centre of their education, requiring them to become excellent decision makers, creative and innovative in their solutions to the learning challenges we pose. As a result a more organic and flowing model of learning has been developed at our school that is far more individual in its design.
Learning design at our school ensures every learner enjoys a personalised learning programme designed to ensure each learner leaves us:
• A skilled collaborator, able to communicate effectively in different situations
• Curious about the world around them
• Craftsmanlike in their approach to learning and to life
• Confident in their capability to overcome problems
• Constructive and considered in the way they approach new challenges
• Qualified to access the pathways that unlock their dreams