Wednesday, 19 November 2008

I was reminded today why I was bowled over by my visit to Stockholm and the kunskkapsskolan schools with colleagues leading the first phase of BSF schools...

At the heart of the kunskapsskolan model is goal setting and personal tutoring which allows students to use the teachers, teaching spaces, time, the online curriculum and ICT systems to develop ownership, responsibility and excellence.

The powerful element that we still need to develop here in Leeds is the curriculum model which has two elements... STEPS and COURSES. English, mathematics and modern foreign language are delivered through 35 progressive learning STEPS which students work through at their own pace independent of age and sit examinations when they feel they are ready. COURSES are the way other subjects are delivered through six week modules differentited by outcome at three levels. The student and their personal tutor agree the level of difficulty and the student again sits appropriate examinations when they feel they are ready.

The curriulum is delivered through a school timetable which contains lectures, lessons, workshopd

and seminars. The student with their personal tutor puts together their own student timetable and agrees how they will use their them to achieve their goals. Students earn autonomy and freedom as they develop their skills, knoledge and understanding. The school buildings utilise old and redundant buildings at an average cost of around on million pounds for a group of 500 students and the focus is on developing wonderfully creative spaces inside the buildings using study rooms, lecture theatres, group areas, quiet areas, computer pods and cafes.

The system is underpinned by a knowledge portal, the kunsk@psporten, which contains curriculum materials, tools to support mentoring and assessment, reporting to parents and carers and is accessible from home and by parents and carers. Teachers become coaches and mentors still using their subject knowledge but supporting learning across subjects. They engage in collaborative development of pedagogy and learning materials. They also have increased contact time with their students.

A lot of the kunskapsskolan model is already here in schools like Pudsey Grangefield but we need to develop the portal so that anywhere, anytime learning becomes a reality in Leeds.

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