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Heads share ideas - featured in TES

Published on isbi School News dated Monday 10th of August 2015

The headteacher of one of the oldest comprehensive schools in the country has visited Bedales as part of a work shadowing exchange. Geoff Barton, headteacher of King Edward VI School, which was founded in Bury St Edmunds in 1550 as a boys’ grammar school, spent the day with Bedales headmaster Keith Budge. The idea was the brainchild of Times Educational Supplement editor, Ann Mroz, who having visited both schools, believed the two headteachers had similar approaches to education, albeit in different contexts. Geoff Barton visited Bedales Pre-prep and Prep Schools in addition to Bedales Senior School for discussions with teachers and students. He witnessed some of the more distinctive elements of Bedales’ approach including the mixed-age boarding houses, and the teaching of art, music and outdoor work, which form part of the innovative Bedales Assessed Course programme as an alternative to GCSE. Two weeks ago Keith Budge shadowed Geoff Barton at King Edward VI School in Suffolk. Keith Budge commented: “It was a delight to welcome Geoff Barton back to Bedales following my extremely informative and enjoyable day shadowing him in Suffolk. At King Edward VI School, I was impressed by many things such as the school’s impressive tradition with debating and tied up with that, really strong student leadership. Continuing our discussions here at Bedales, we have discovered plenty of common ground in our approaches and we are keen to continue to share ideas.” Geoff Barton added: “This was an extraordinary day. I learnt a great deal about the importance of a school that remains true to its founding principles, combining academic success with a strong commitment to creativity and hands-on practical work. The students and staff exuded pride, and I have picked up many ideas that I am now sharing back in Bury St Edmunds. Our schools may be very different, but we clearly have so much to learn from one other. I am delighted that the links between Bedales and King Edward VI School will now continue through a series of long-term projects.” Read more from each Head in an article in the TES: https://www.tes.co.uk/news/school-news/breaking-news/a-state-and-independent-headteacher-reach-across-sector-divide The visits also featured in the Telegraph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/11681396/Boarders-are-not-worldly-enough-says-headmaster.html and in the Standard: http://www.pressreader.com/uk/london-evening-standard-west-end-final-b/20150619/282063390604345/TextView
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