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New building to 'transform learning' at Wells Blue School

By Wells Journal  |  Posted: October 25, 2012

Sir Tim Brighouse joins Wells Blue School’s head teacher Steve Jackson and Wells Mayor Maureen Brandon at the opening of the new building at the Blue School

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Wells Blue School is 25 years ahead of its time, according to the former London Schools Tsar.

When opening the new purpose-built building for their Learning to Lead programme, Sir Tim Brighouse told Blue head teacher, Steve Jackson: "I can't thank you enough for this programme.

"You are doing something that over the next 25 years will make a huge difference to young people and to our society."

Since 2001, Wells Blue School, has pioneered the programme that is now being taken-up by schools throughout the country.

Teachers and education experts have claimed that Learning to Lead will transform traditional, school-based learning.

Learning to Lead aims to help children of all abilities to become more self-confident and to develop the types of inter-personal and leadership skills essential in the adult world.

"The way we run education now gives no opportunity for schools to link school life with a child's natural enthusiasm for life," said Sir Tim.

Briony Waite, Strategic Planning Officer, Children's Services, at Bath and North East Somerset, said: "The key difference between this model and other educational models is that the pupils choose what needs to be done and how they need to do it.

"This is not a teacher or adult-led program. The pupils 'self-elect' for the activities they feel their community needs."

Now a not-for-profit company, Learning to Lead was developed by Somerset teacher, Susan Piers-Mantell, in 2001.

The programme is now used in more than one hundred schools throughout the country.

"Too often, young people become passive recipients without an active role to play in decisions that affect them. Learning to Lead is about not being done to, but doing", said Mimi Ray, a 17-year-old, Blue School pupil, and student-director of the programme.

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