Notting Hill & Ealing High School and Wimbledon High School went home with prestigious TES awards
“This school is not afraid to give its students a clear, unfettered, independent voice of their own”
Notting Hill & Ealing High School won the TES Creativity Award for its Da Vinci programme, a cross-curricular programme for Year 10 students with creativity at its heart.
Teachers from the maths and art departments come together, for example, to demonstrate how Fibonacci’s sequences and concepts can be applied to famous historical works of art, aiming to question notions such as beauty. Teachers also use the subject of Brexit in history and politics to demonstrate how there is no right answer or quick fix. Meanwhile, principles of biology, history and geography merge in the study of advancements in disease control.
Lead judge Simon Larter-Evans said that the winner “has put together an exciting programme that is compelling, coherent and relevant to students’ lives”. He added: “This school is not afraid to give its students a clear, unfettered, independent voice of their own,” he added.
“This is very brave stuff for a school to be doing… it has insisted that the pupil stays at the centre of the learning”
WHS impressed judges with its inclusion of technology in pedagogy, with a focus on pupil learning and results and its “sheer range of activities”.
Lead judge David James said: “This is very brave stuff for a school to be doing. This school has achieved what is so important – but is frequently overlooked – about using technology effectively: it has insisted that the pupil stays at the centre of the learning.”
Scientists-in-residence in the school’s STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and maths) room ensure technology is part of the cross-curricular learning. There is considerable student enthusiasm for classroom activities, complemented by clubs that range from robotics to app design.
However, the school stresses its belief in the “human in the room”, and that technology use must be “authentic”: appropriate for a specific moment, a specific subject, by specific teachers. It has ensured that technology brings real added value, which, crucially, has been measured.
Judges were also impressed that Rachel Evans, the school’s Director of Digital learning and Innovation has become a founding member of the Women Leading in AI group, an initiative seeking to empower female teachers to challenge the biases in artificial intelligence.
On winning the award, Rachel Evans said: “What an accolade for our teachers and students, and our forward-looking – but always human – approach to technology.”
Eight GDST schools were nominated 12 times in eight different categories. Find out more here.