Nine Education Master’s students together with Paul Miller (EGWest Centre) and the director of the North Leadership Centre, René Koglbauer, visited as part of the Innovation Fund project “Comparative Education Project to enhance student (cross-culture) engagement” West Newcastle Academy.
One of the aims of this Innovation Fund project is to familiarise international and home MA Education students with the changing landscape of education in the 21st century. West Newcastle Academy, a free school for primary-aged children that opened in September this year is definitely a prime example of this changing landscape. Headteacher Suzan Percy welcomed the Newcastle University delegation and informed them not only about the philosophy of the new school but also about the achievements so far and challenges ahead. As some of our students are following the Leadership and Management pathway, they were particularly inquisitive about Suzan’s leadership style and how her style has changed through experience.
Following this one-hour questions and answers session, the students were able to observe, learn and play with the first cohort of this new free school. One of the MA Education students from China summarised the visit as follows,
“Wow, we clearly have missed some of our childhood. At primary school we were not even allowed to get out of our chairs, let alone play and dress-up during the day.”
This quote summarises the learner-centred atmosphere and approach undertaken in this school perfectly well. The visit clearly was an eye-opener for some of the MA Education students.
Many thanks to West Newcastle Academy, their staff and pupils for welcoming us so warm-heartedly!