Education   Secondary School  

March & June, 2011
Wilnecote High School, Tamworth

Wilnecote High School came to us keen to explore the opportunities presented by running longer lessons, teaching outside the classroom and giving students the chance to construct their own journey through the topic. In order make this exercise a valid we agreed that the topics covered to should be those set out in the scheme of work for the time of the project and that the project should only use the same number of teaching time as the topic would normally be allocated.

In the first phase of the program teachers from four different subjects worked with an artist each with a day’s planning and a few days delivery. The line-up was.

PE: Craig Stephens worked with Ms. Dickins and her students on Balance without equipment and undertook a free-running project.

Science: Jack Trow worked with Ms. Razaq and her students leaning about germs and viruses of different kinds.

French: Chris Dugrenier worked with Ms. Fomperine and her students inventing and building a board game based on Tamworth.

History: Charlotte Gregory worked with Mr Marsland and Ms Stoddart looking at witches and witch-hunting.

In the Second phase James Yarker spent an hour with each teacher from the first phase inventing fresh approaches to their next curriculum topic, leaving them to carry out the plan.

Then a second batch of teachers followed the same format as the first phase.

PE: Jack Trow worked with Mr. Sewell and his students looking at analysis and imroprovement of skills through observation and feedback.

German: Chris Dugrenier worked with Ms. Kelleher, Ms. Fomperine and their students on a useful phrasebook and language CD for visiting exchange students.

Geography: Craig Stephens worked with Mr. Trotman and his students researching sustainable living and created a trade fair displaying their ideas for eco-homes.

Science: Kerrie Reading worked with Ms Johnson and her students looked at how the different properties of materials make them suitable for different uses in architecture.

The project was unspectacular and barely documented because it was tightly focussed on deliveringresults at a class teacher level, looking to work in a way which would be replicable and sustainableyear after year. It succeeded in making the desired impact on the school as it persuaded them that extended lessons were a valuable contribution to teaching and have started adopting this approach.

A final third phase is still underway with James working in school on one-to-one teacher support model.


Artists: Craig Stephens, Jack Trow, Chris Dugrenier, Charlotte Gregory, Kerrie Reading.
Teachers: Ms.Dickins, Ms.Fomperine, Ms.Johnson, Ms.Kelleher, Mr.Marsland, Ms.Razaq, Mr.Sewell, Ms.Stoddart and Mr.TrotmanInitial Ideas: James Yarker
Creative Agent: Andrew Fox
Produced in school by Ms. Stoddart
Management for Stan’s Cafe Charlotte Martin