One of the last things I did at Wellington Academy was to commission Shadric Toop of Sphere Design to produce large scale graphics with embedded QR codes for walls in the new academy building. The impact was stunning.
Walls to Inspire – a short film about this project.
The idea was to give each department in the school its own visual identity. Some of the graphics act as beacons, to draw people across the large central atrium to specific departments that were previously hard to find. Others line the corridors and are rich in subject specific information upon closer inspection. All the walls contain QR codes which link to pages on the school website that give more background information on the content of each wall. The links for the QR codes can be up-dated with different content or tasks as often as you like.
The project was commissioned in 2013, and was designed and illustrated by Shadric Toop, director of Sphere Design Associates in Brighton.
State boarding on the increase. Wellington Academy’s boarding opened in September 2011, for up to 100 students.
One big topic this week is why independent schools are involved (or not) with academies. The TES cover and main feature explores this question, but it’s all a bit sceptical. There are extensive quotes from Robin Dyer, no.2 at Wellington College and myself on the tie up between the two Wellingtons.
Our academy is memorably described by reporter Richard Vaughan – who hasn’t been here – as looking more like a small provincial airport than a school. I’m actually quite happy with that, although I’m not sure he meant it as a compliment. We’ve also got some very cute bus stops – and you won’t see anything like that if you’re flying from Bournemouth, as far as I remember.
It was a great pleasure to welcome Michael Phillips, Principal of Ringwood Secondary in Melbourne, and his teacher wife Karen to the academy last week. He was on a study tour of Europe before visiting Harvard in the US. Michael is one of Australia’s leading Principals. I’ve visited his school twice to look at school design, applied learning and classroom practice in general. As usual he was a great source of inspiration and ideas – leaving behind a raft of presentations and documents. His eyes lit up when he saw our Business and Enterprise hub. The challenge for us is to engage students through excellent teaching and learning, adapted to our new environment. “How about letting your students drive the innovation agenda, (linking learning and technology)”, was Michael’s final challenge, as he left for Copenhagen, following an afternoon seminar with student ambassadors.
Footnote: Good year for us both on the sporting front – Collingwood won the Aussie Rules Premier League and City the FA Cup. About time too.
I took these shots last Thursday. There’s still one or two finishing touches to be done for the big day on Tuesday, but it’s looking very good.
http://flickr.com/photos/agschofield/sets/ (then click on ‘academy April 2011’ for a slideshow)