I had the privilege today to visit Knowsley Park Centre for Learning, the most recently opened school in the Future Schooling in Knowsley schools transformation project. I’ve had an interest in this project since it was first conceptualised in 2001, and I was working at the NZ Correspondence School, attempting to contribute to a transformation project there. There are many aspects of the vision for Knowsley schools that appeal to me, including:
- it is a ‘system’ level transformation, accommodating learners from pre-school to post 16 education.
- it was an extremely well-managed transition, involving all stakeholders and phased to allow everyone an opportunity to engage and feel ownership.
- it has a strong emphasis on community – as reflected in the high level of community participation and use of the facilities out of school hours.
- there is a strong push for a sense of “being part of the Knowsley education system’, rather than simply belonging to an individual school.
- a great deal of effort went into defining and trialing new pedagogical approaches before the new buildings were actually built.
Of course, there’s plenty more to the story than this, I have lots of photos to ponder on, and some paperwork to read through which will be helpful as I prepare for a Future Schools workshop being planned prior to ULearn.
For now, however, I’ll return to my holiday here in the UK 🙂