School 21 is a pioneering new 4 to 18 school in Stratford, East London, for children from all backgrounds.
The three founders of School 21 Peter Hyman, Oli de Botton and Ed Fidoe came together with a shared belief that education must be done differently if we are to prepare young people properly for the world they are going into. Their conviction was that we needed schools to rebalance head (academic success), heart (character and well-being) and hand (generating ideas, problem solving, making a difference).
So School 21 has developed a series of pedagogies and approaches that give students the chance to find their voice, develop deep knowledge and understanding, and create beautiful work that has real value beyond the classroom.
WE WANTED A SCHOOL DESIGNED FOR THE 21ST CENTURY
We had seen that many young people were leaving school under-prepared. Not only did they sometimes lack the qualifications they would need to realise their dreams: even students who had good GCSEs and A-levels found school made them quiet and unimaginative, too focused on exams.
ALL OUR STUDENTS WERE BORN AFTER THE YEAR 2000
THEY WILL GROW UP TO HAVE JOBS THAT DIDN'T EXIST 10 YEARS AGO
Or which don't exist now!
EDUCATION NEEDS TO TEACH THE BASICS...
BUT MUCH MORE BESIDES: SCHOOLS NEED TO TEACH THE WHOLE CHILD
WE CAME UP WITH 6 ATTRIBUTES WE WANTED OUR STUDENTS TO ACQUIRE
AND WE BUILT THE SCHOOL AROUND 2 VALUES: INTEGRITY AND HUMANITY
WE WANTED A SMALL SCHOOL SO EVERYONE WOULD KNOW EACH OTHER
WE WANTED TO HAVE 75 STUDENTS IN EACH YEAR
YOU CAN START IN RECEPTION AGED FOUR AND STAY UNTIL YOU ARE 18
WE HAD TO GET PARENTS INTERESTED AND STUDENTS INVOLVED
WE STARTED IN A TEMPORARY BUILDING HERE IN STRATFORD
...WHICH WE SOON MADE HOME TO EXCITING LEARNING
WE WATCHED THE NEW SCHOOL BEING BUILT FROM OUR WINDOWS
WE BELIEVE IN REAL-WORLD PROJECTS
THE STUDENTS DESIGNED A CLASSROOM FOR THE NEW SCHOOL
THEY DEVELOPED THEIR OWN IDEAS ABOUT GOOD LEARNING SPACES
AND PRESENTED THEIR IDEAS TO THE ARCHITECTS
WE PUT SPEAKING AT THE HEART OF EVERYTHING WE DO
WE HAVE COACHING GROUPS OF JUST 12 STUDENTS AND A TEACHER
Each teacher at School 21 is matched with one coaching group of 12 students. They meet every day so that every child is supported.
OUR STUDENTS LEARN THROUGH DISCUSSION AND EXPLORING IDEAS
WE HAVE ORACY LESSONS, LEARNING ABOUT SPOKEN LANGUAGE
IN THE SUMMER, EVERY STUDENT GAVE AN IGNITE SPEECH
AT THE END OF THE YEAR, THEY WROTE A PLAY CALLED THE TREE
THE WHOLE SCHOOL COMMUNITY GATHERED FOR THE PERFORMANCE
IN SEPTEMBER 2013, WE DOUBLED IN SIZE
WE MOVED INTO OUR NEW BUILDING AND CREATED MAGICAL EXPERIENCES
WE ARE FILLING OUR SCHOOL WITH BEAUTIFUL WORK CRAFTED BY OUR STUDENTS
WE OPEN A BRAND NEW SIXTH FORM IN SEPTEMBER 2017
SCHOOL 21: FOR SUCCESS IN THE 21ST CENTURY