Crown Woods — Innovation for Post-Secondary Readiness
Crown Woods College located in London, UK, has approached personalized learning from an innovative perspective that permeates through the curriculum, staffing and even the physical layout of where learning happens.
Learning on a “human scale”
With a mandate to deliver “human-scale” learning, the new college is made up of three distinct small schools (which would be referred to as campuses in North America) for 11 – 16: Ashdown, Delamere and Sherwood. The post-16 school is Arden. The schools are serviced by “bespoke centers for sport, inclusions, arts and technologies.”
All students across the three schools will follow the National Curriculum at Key Stage 3 and a range of academic and/or vocational qualifications at Key Stage 4. This new model has been in place for the last two-and-a-half years, during the time the college has witnessed a significant and new progression in student achievement for Crown Woods within the Royal Borough of Greenwich.
It is the post-16 side of Crown Woods College where Kerry-Ann Troupe is embarking on a new approach to post-secondary readiness with Sixth form learners. Kerry is already employing flipped classroom ideas with her class and leveraging Flipped Learning Network ideas presented by Jon Bergmann and Aaron Sams. She asks learners to do research at home so they can come to class prepared for hands-on activities. She also recently became a part of the iTEC project – an initiative supported by 15 ministries of education combining resources, community and teachers to conceive the future classroom. Kerry’s Sixth form point of view will be a great addition to the project. The latest addition to her teaching is the SMART Collaborative Classroom.
Kerry is embarking on a new way to use interactive technology – a SMART Collaborative Classroom. This classroom is another extension of designing an environment around “human scale” education. It’s set up as a maxed-out learning lab to explore small-group learning with technology. She plans to experiment with new ideas and lesson models to make the most of this environment.
It’s early days, but already learners have peeked inside the classroom and are excited about experiencing a room designed around this new pedagogy. When we spoke, Kerry was putting together a lesson for her AS (year one A-level) pupils, exploring project-based, independent learning and self-paced perspectives as part of university preparation and admission exams.
One aspect of this project-based approach will be to pair stronger and weaker pupils together to inspire greater confidence and encourage brainstorming in the classroom where she can observe and facilitate engagement during the activity. For example, after the January exam, common mistakes cropped up and Kerry aims to employ both personal and collaborative methods for students to analyze and revise the answers themselves. First she will use the XC Add-on for SMART Notebook with student iPads in a whole-class setting to get individual responses on questions that were common mistakes by the class. Then they will brainstorm exam strategies and key topic concepts in groups on one of the three interactive displays in the classroom to collectively compare answers and arrive at commonly-shared decisions.
Whole-class learning does still have a place, including examination preparation. Kerry uses the document camera in a class setting by putting the text under the camera and analyzing what examiners expect for responses, recording the live annotations and sending the file to the students for review and consideration.
Kerry’s classroom is equipped with a SMART Board E70 interactive flat panel, LightRaise 60wi interactive projector, SMART Board 685 interactive whiteboard and SMART Document Camera 450. SMART Notebook software and XC Add-on for SMART Notebook will facilitate collaboration between the SMART hardware, school iPads and other school- and student-owned devices permitted for exploration in Kerry’s class. When SMART amp software becomes available, Kerry is also interested exploring the potential of this platform that is device agnostic and enables collaboration inside and outside the classroom.
Crown Woods during Bett
Crown Woods College has graciously opened its doors to school tours during Bett – an extremely popular tour that is booked over capacity with 60 people scheduled to experience the college from the perspective of its students and experience Kerry’s vision for how to learn in a classroom designed around collaboration. Thank you to Kerry and everyone at Crown Woods for making this possible!