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Sixth Form Pilots Collaborative Student Learning Scheme
Beaconsfield High School is collaborating with the West Grantham Academy St Hugh’s, based in Lincolnshire, to pilot a virtual student learning scheme, led by the Sixth Form Student Leadership teams of both schools.
The pilot, focused on the sharing of ideas, best practice and academic support, brings together a Grammar and secondary school in response to the Education Endowment Fund’s research that found that collaborative working helps improve progress.
Using digital resources such as Skype and OneNote, Sixth Form students will connect on a weekly basis to discuss anything from specific essay questions to leadership skills. The students will work to build a rapport that facilitates genuine peer-to-peer learning, which can boost interest and develop a desire for wider study.
The schools have different models and a diverse mix of students, but are aligned on their values of providing environments where all aspects of education can be embraced, and where students are helped to acquire knowledge, skills and practical abilities. Rachel Smith, Head Teacher of Beaconsfield High School, comments: “We value student leadership a great deal and our Student Quality Learning Team presently work with a number of primary schools to help support students, as well as working with many fellow students within school. We have a strong desire to build on opportunities to aid social mobility and, by working with St Hugh’s, are not only teaching our students to collaborate academically, but to also take responsibility in their society.”
"St Hugh's recognises the importance of peer-mentoring, and has embraced this approach to learning within its walls for some time,” comments Susan Dench, Executive Head Teacher of West Grantham Academy St Hugh's. “The opportunity to liaise with a successful grammar school offering sixth form leadership and collaboration is a new venture for us, and one which has been enabled by the links both head teachers have developed through the SSAT (Schools, Students and Teachers network)."
Beaconsfield High School’s Head Girl Josephine McEvoy comments: “As a school, we value strong academic progress, but this is only one element of what prepares us for the future. Moral and social awareness are both important in developing our skills to collaborate in the work place, and so we are excited to work with another school to improve our skills and learning abilities.”
Tom Meredith, Head Boy at West Grantham Academy St Hugh's, comments: “I think it is great that we are learning together with a school outside of Grantham. We can share our ideas to make our schools better.”