A day at St. James School, Christchurch New Zealand – One of the most creative schools in the world
I spent most of the day with one of the most creative schools I have ever seen in the world. St. James’s School in Christchurch New Zealand is based in a part of Christchurch with high levels of unemployment and career opportunity. For this reason, the school has been classified with a low rating status. Despite this the school has an amazing track record for results and creativity within the curriculum, driven forward by an incredibly creative staffing team who enhance the use of technology in their teaching and learning.
St James pupils excel in information technology use, with most pupils on wireless internet connections using Apple computers to use the internet to research and collaborate together. The school has a homebound programme ensuring members of the surrounding community can use the equipment and resources themselves. The school has won many creative use of technology awards though its work, mainly in the form of winning national creativity challenges.
Two weeks before I arrived at the school, at the recommendation of Chris Chua (my new friend from Ultralab South) the school had been broken into and all the equipment and technology had been stolen. Two days later the school was broken into a second time and all the equipment had been returned. The surrounding community was so outraged that their community school had been compromised that the equipment was quickly returned. Lesson learned: If you involve the community in your objectives, you’ll do better.
I’ve never seen a school anywhere in the world where child centred personalised learning is so well delivered and effective. I walked away buzzing. Well done St. James, I’ve learned from you.
Some images from the event: