Our students response to recent inter-Campus events such as the Swansea Campus Evacuation, SE Inter-Campus House Cross-Country, GCSE and AS French Conference, Wilton-Hindhead Inter-House football and netball and A Level Geography Field Coursework has really encouraged the Leadership Team to take a leading role in promoting inter-Campus events. To that end, Headteachers from the SE cluster Campuses now meet via VC twice a term to discuss teaching and learning and collaborative enrichment opportunities and we have made the concerted effort to visit our neighbouring Campuses.
This term, I have made visits to two Campus visits. With Mrs Squires, we visited Stoke Poges Campus. Their Headteacher, Mr Connery Wiltshire, is a former senior leader with responsibility for Sixth Form. We were visiting the Campus to learn more about their ASPIRE programme (personal development), student tracking and to view their highly commended SDL Classroom Competition entry. We met their successful Enterprise team and heard about how their Sixth Form students were developing their leadership roles in school. We left with an enthusiasm to explore a possible enrichment opportunities in textiles, with both schools fortunate enough to have access to textiles equipment and teaching specialists.*
I was made very welcome by both the staff and students at Stoke Poges Campus and was privileged to meet one of their student leaders with overall responsibility for the student leader team. I was interested to hear about their individual commitment to improving their school whilst juggling the academic demands of their subjects. Particularly impressive was their Young Enterprise project ‘Blend’ which has been extremely successful, please take a look at their website. Overall, it was a very valuable visit with a number of ideas to think about and share with the staff and students at Hindhead.
With Mrs Rafferty, we travelled up to Stoke By Nayland Campus to again explore their pastoral support processes (primarily attendance) but also to see how they were taking a lead in Primary SDL and student leadership. Students were proud of their school and the inter-house rivalry was evident in the awards assembly. One of our challenges for 2017-18 is to make the house system more prominent and better communicated.
With Mr Ivan Mulinder, we took a tour of the school. We saw their 3rd placed classroom competition entry (excellent use of floor to ceiling room separators) and came away with a handful of possible ideas – write on wall-paint, transparent classroom walls and an excellent example of student-driven leadership notice board (top left of the gallery below). We were envious of the available space at Stoke By Nayland, indoor and out, plentiful enough to allow for a Primary library, music instrument storeroom, various SDL learning areas and lockers inside and undercover. The Primary students were articulate and confident young people, much like our students, a reflection that Mrs Rafferty also highlights upon.
We spoke at length with the Sixth Formers, of personal responsibility and how they moved their requested fitness suite from proposal to reality. In addition to their open working spaces, the Sixth Formers were able to express to us, just how important their own physical space was to them.
It was wonderful to see Stoke By Nayland Campus and how their open-plan SDL teaching benefitted from various designated SDL locations within the school. Our conversations around their Mayan chocolate were particularly enthused and the SDL Maths Game designs were particularly impressive. I am interested in learning more about their teaching within the guidelines of Y3-8 and Y9-13 models. I would like to thank the staff for their generosity in giving up their time, reflections on SDL and willingness to share resources.
At both Campuses, Mrs Squires and Mrs Rafferty were introduced to their counterparts, with conversations initiated and future project conversations seeded, I am hoping that these visits (and reciprocal invitations) will prompt greater collaboration. We also picked up on the inventive use of space at both Campuses, with clever, quiet, single student study units, dotted here and there throughout both school sites. We hope to experiment with that idea here at Hindhead Campus. We took inspiration from their classroom competition entries and have put our support behind a 2017 classroom competition.
Here is my call to arms. If we have any interior space specialists from our community who would be so kind as to offer a seminar to our students, do get in touch. This in room design on a show-string budget, with your inspiration and our perspiration, we hope to do great things.
On behalf of the Trustees, staff and students at Hindhead Campus, I would like to offer our thanks to both Campuses. I hope to be able to welcome you and your staff to Hindhead Campus in the not too distant future.
*In light of feedback, can I confirm that we are investigating the feasibility of offering enrichment opportunities in textiles. We are not planning to offer textiles as a curriculum option presently. I apologise if I have raised any students hopes.