Rhubarb 2019

16 ST EDWARD’S r h u b a r b

Towards 2020 By the Warden, Stephen Jones

Adjacent to the new Library and Study Centre, a stunning, oval-shaped Hall large enough to accommodate our growing community in one sitting will play host to performances, assemblies and events. On Field Side, progress is being made on the construction of our first co-educational boarding house, Cooper Lodge. To fund the lion’s share of these vital developments on Quad and Field Side, the School took advantage of historically low interest rates and issued a 30-year bond. These are exciting times at St Edward’s. As well as major projects in Oxford, the School has signed an agreement with Guanghua Education Group to develop a number of partner schools in China. It is expected that the first school will open in 2020. The primary purpose of this international partnership will be to kick-start an important, long-term campaign to fund more bursaries for young people whose families might not otherwise be able to afford the kind of education we offer. At the same time, there will be educational benefits to both parties – we can learn a great deal from each other. OSE will be invited to visit the new facilities once they are complete – keep an eye on publications and social media for updates. ‘Teddies is a place of strong and growing academic ambition. We are about to cast that ambition in stone, brick and glass.’ Chris Jones (C, 1968-1972), Chair of Governors

OSE who left Teddies more than a decade ago might be surprised by some of the changes to activities in the classroom. Hardly any lessons follow the traditional pattern of pupils sitting in rows in front of a teacher, making notes on what they are being told. At Teddies and elsewhere, education is changing. The emphasis now is on encouraging a much more active approach to learning. Rather than sitting back and listening, pupils are expected to be on the front foot – engaged, asking questions, discussing ideas, looking things up and thinking for themselves. To support this style of learning, classrooms now look a little different. In many of our Maths classrooms, for instance, there are wall-to-wall whiteboards so that pupils work through their calculations in full view of each other and the teacher, often in pairs, helping each other out where necessary. This approach can also be seen in other subjects too; in English, pupils are frequently asked to share their thinking about a character or plot on the boards; in Geography, pupils might, for instance, research topics in groups, and then present to each other, sharing and discussing their points of view.

Alongside these classroom-based practices, pupils are encouraged to explore different individual learning styles and techniques, and to pinpoint which work best for them. The new academic facilities being built in the Quad are designed explicitly to support this new approach to teaching and learning. The Study Centre will feature café-style learning spaces; a busy library where collaborative working will be encouraged; informal break-out spaces for discussions and planning; modern, flexible classrooms; a new Higher Education and Careers Department; and an elegant reading room for quiet study. At Teddies, these enhancements to educational practice are occurring at a time when the School is attracting record numbers of applicants and is therefore growing. To address these dual advances, the most significant period of development since the School moved from central Oxford over 100 years ago is well underway – and the new academic facilities are just one element.


A bird’s eye view of the Quad Development

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