School 21 and XP: Real-world learning
07 June 2019
The National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) was commissioned by the Edge Foundation to undertake an independent study of the provision of real-world learning (RWL) in School 21 in East London and XP School in Doncaster. These schools are known to be innovative in taking a whole-school approach to planning and delivery and to value authentic experience of the world of work linked to the real world. Key aims of the study were to: l
- Gather information about RWL models and the theoretical thinking underpinning them.
- Identify the common elements of whole-school RWL models across the two schools.
- Assess how well the model elements are working in the schools.
The methodology comprised qualitative case-study visits to XP School and School 21 to examine their real-world learning provision.
Both schools have taken the core RWL characteristics and embedded them within the schools so that for example:
- Young people reported feeling supported, valued and listened to
- There was an emphasis on developing and building character and confidence
- Young people felt part of the real world; they understand it and expect to find their role in it. They know how to communicate in the workplace.
- Teachers felt they have ownership of the curriculum.
- The schools have small and supportive classes enabling teachers and young people known to each other well
- There is a strong emphasis on, and extra days allocated to, a CPD programme where sessions are linked.