I had the privilege of visiting the US last week, on a tour of Boston, New York and Washington DC. I couldn’t resist visiting some of our member schools and seeing what great learning was taking place.
British International School of Boston
I spent seven years working at this school, leading the Middle School and the IMYC. It was wonderful to go back and catch up with former colleagues and students. The students who I taught IPC to in 2009 when they were in Year 3, and Geography through the IMYC when they were in Middle School are now in Year 12, which made me feel extremely old! But what lovely young people they have grown up to be; I really understood the value of the Personal Learning Goals and how the school helps to shape students through their use of them.
I also got to see the New England Zoo present to students with some animals that they had brought with them! The students are working on a challenge set to them by MIT on designing their own superheroes and they were learning about different adaptations and features of animals that they might want to consider in their superhero designs. I observed them learn about a snake (yes it was live in the classroom and no, I didn’t touch it!) and how it was so shiny because it had just shed its skin. There was also a ferret that is able to bend completely in half so that it can turn around in small tunnels. There was also a cockroach (I didn’t touch that either!) that has a hard shell to protect itself. Some of the younger students were dressed up as superheroes and I felt inspired by the wonderful learning taking place.
Creative Minds Charter School, Washington DC
This school has an incredible campus and building, located in the historic Sherman Building on the campus of the Armed Forces Retirement Home (AFRH). I received an incredibly warm welcome from students and staff as I entered the building and saw some wonderful examples of learning both in person and on the walls. One group of students was learning about the planets as part of their IMYC learning and were making a scale model that accurately represented the distance of the planets with beads and string. It was fantastic to see them collaborate to produce this and their surprise when they realized how far away they are!
Nord Anglia International School, New York
I had visited this school before, but there is now a new leader in place for IPC and IMYC, so it was fantastic to meet Nicola in person! We discussed planning and assessment in detail, as well as developing links with other schools. I saw some wonderful examples of learning on the walls and met some absolutely delightful students, who were an absolute testament to the Personal Learning Goals and overall philosophy of learning in the school. I look forward to a continued partnership with Nicola and the teachers here.
It is such a privilege to be able to visit schools and see the learning that is taking place. Thank you to the schools above for letting me come in and thank you to all of our teachers all over the world for the fantastic job that you do!