Danish visitors explore 'stage not age' education at Portland academy

Dorset Echo: GUESTS: Andy Boatswain talking to Danish visiters at Sunseeker GUESTS: Andy Boatswain talking to Danish visiters at Sunseeker

SIX Danish visitors paid a visit to a Portland School.

Led by Hans-Jørn Riis, the consultant for School Department, Denmark, the visitors went to look around the Isle of Portland Aldridge Community Academy, after hearing about the ‘all-through’ education system.

The Danish visitors were also interested in finding out more about the academy’s provision of one-to-one Chromebook laptops for all students in Year 7 and above.

After being welcomed to the Osprey Quay Campus, the visitors were given a guided tour and saw how the ‘stage-not-age’ education system is working in practice. They got to see how mixed age lessons worked.

Gary Spracklen, director of digital learning and innovation, said: “It was a real honour for the academy to have visitors who flew in especially to see how our vision for learning is already making a difference.

“While at Osprey Quay Campus we also treated our visitors to time in the ‘Imagination Lab’ where they joined in with a mixed-aged lesson that was in progress. Here our visitors got to see Year 3 pupils working alongside Year 10 students to create wooden boat prototypes.”

Moving on to tour Royal Manor campus the Danish visitors got to see how the academy’s vertical tutor groups work.

They also saw an accelerated reader lesson in the library.

Head of faculty for communications Chris Wadley said: “It was really good to be able to show our international guests the difference one-to-one Chromebook technology and targeted intervention is making to raise attainment in reading.

“We have been using the accelerated reading scheme since September and already we have seen a huge impact across all our academy sites.”

Before they left, the visitors got to visit the IPACA boat building course which takes place in the Sunseeker training workshops, and see some of the opportunities the older students have.

Mr Riis said: “The academy is fast gaining a reputation for being one of the most impressive and innovative schools in Europe.

“We were delighted to come and visit and speak with many learners, all of whom demonstrated the benefit they are having under the vision IPACA has for this community.

“We look forward to visiting again in the future.”

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