Last week academics from the School of Teacher Development and the School of Social Sciences at Bishop Grosseteste University (BGU) visited the Michaela Community School in London to experience their unique pedagogical approach first-hand.

The Michaela Community School is a free school dedicated to turning their students into engaged and informed citizens through a focus on traditional academic subjects along with social and etiquette skills. This singular approach has made it well-known in education circles and in the media as well as an excellent case study opportunity for the BGU academics involved in our BA Education Studies and MA in Education courses.

Dr Abigail Parrish, Dr Yvonne Hill and Jean Wood from the School of Teacher Development along with Dr Helen Hendry and Dr Adam Hounslow-Eyre from the School of Social Sciences enjoyed a guided tour of the school, before joining in with lessons to see its teaching methods in action. They also took the opportunity to join the staff and students for their ‘family lunch’ which aims to teach the pupils the art of fine dining along with conversation skills.

For Dr Parrish, it was a fascinating experience:

“As teachers of future educators it’s really important to us that we gain as much experience of different teaching methods as possible. We saw a lot of unique practice that isn’t happening in any other schools and it offered us a new starting point for critical analysis and debate about current pedagogical approaches as part of Undergraduate and Postgraduate teaching.”

Dr Hill added:

“Visiting Michaela community school was in many ways an eye-opening lesson about the development of free schools and the contribution that education may make to social mobility in England.”

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15th May 2018