Common features of innovative schools in California


This blog is a summary of some of the features I have observed over the last few weeks in California.  The aim is to help me reflect and think about how to write my final report to the Winston Churchill Trust.  Hopefully it is interesting to others too. I’ve added a couple of questions to each […]

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Back in San Diego


Thrive Publics Schools were the latest visit on my journey visiting innovative institutions in California.  Thrive is a relatively new school with a well crafted vision.  I met CEO, Dr Nicole Assissi and School Director Shelli Kurth on my visit as well as observed a couple of lessons to help me understand their approach.  A […]

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Visit to schools in Los Angeles


On Monday and Tuesday I was in LA to visit Da Vinci Science and Aveson Charter Schools.  Both schools have different models to curriculum design to what I have seen earlier at HTH, Big Picture and Bulldog Tech.  They both use project based approaches.  Da Vinci more so within a disciplinary model, Aveson Global Leadership […]

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Visit to schools in Sacramento and San Jose

Friday, another city in California.  This time state capital Sacramento! I was visiting the Big Picture Met school there.  This is a school with about 60% free school meals its also a relatively small school.  Director Vince Wolfe and his team are an incredibly caring group of educators.  As i’m sat in his office, a […]

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Visit to HTHMA

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Chris Wakefield‘s classroom at High Tech High Media Arts was a hive of activity on my visit on Tuesday.  Chris’s passion for his subject and bringing in other interests such as Art was clear to see.  The students were preparing for their exhibition night later in the week and I got to see the wonderful […]

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30 minute interview with Rob Riordan


Rob Riordan is co-founder of High Tech High, San Diego and President Emeritus of HTH Graduate School of Education.  Rob kindly gave me some of his time and I asked him a few questions on my recent visit to San Diego as a Fellow of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust. Me: As a teacher who […]

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Visit to HTHCV and HTM – Charrette and Exhibition


My morning started in Chula Vista sitting in on a charrette.  This is essentially a short intense period of design planning.  Britt Shirk 9th grade (year 10) Humanities teacher and her teaching partner Regina Kruglyak  used the charrette with two other teachers to gain new insights to how they could make their ‘Tiny Homes Project‘ […]

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Visit to HTHCV – day 2


HTHCV is a school deeply connected with its local community.  I start the day attending a 7.30am planning meeting with two aims; to prepare for end of term tPOLs or transitionary presentations of learning and to debrief teachers on the networking power lunch for educators and the community that was happening in the afternoon.  tPOLs are […]

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Visit to HTHCV – day 1


There is no doubt this is a cool place to go to school.  Still feeling jet-lagged, I spent the morning at HTHCV familiarising myself and skimming the surface of the school.  I had a tour and spoke to a few teachers and students.  As an advocate of PBL and having an already established understanding of […]

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Visit to San Diego Met High School

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San Diego Met is part of the Big Picture Learning global network of schools, is a district Charter School and is in its 11th year.  The school is located on the campus of San Diego Mesa College.  The school’s curriculum is highly personalised and student centred allowing students to pursue their interests supported by their […]

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