World Class Schools Transformation
A team of World Class students achieved the extraordinary feat of transforming the gardens of the local Islington primary school from a scene of dereliction to one of beauty.
The students, who attend the first schools ever to be awarded the prestigious World Class Schools Quality Mark, worked against the clock to make over the school’s two significantly overgrown gardens and planters, in only one day.
Working with pupils from the primary school, Winton, the secondary students achieved an absolutely miraculous transformation, worthy of any ‘ground force’ makeover. Reviewing their hard work, one Winton Year 5 student said, ‘Working so hard and doing all of this; making our school lovely. It’s all I want.’
This was not, however, a one day wonder. The World Class students completed a comprehensive sustainability report, inspired by the headteacher of Winton andrew Rigby, whose key to success is ensuring all improvement, even improvements in the school’s garden, are sustained and meaningful, never tokenistic. ‘I was very impressed by the passion and enthusiasm demonstrated by the secondary students and our primary pupils,’ commented Mr Rigby. ‘We are now interested in making sure the impact of their hard work is lasting.’
The good news is, as a direct result of the makeover, Winton has set up a gardening ‘nurture’ group, innovative in its purpose, to develop pupils’ social interaction, confidence and leadership. The pupils will be able to take pride in a beautiful garden and have experience of genuine responsibility. They will be in charge of the garden’s maintenance and consequently responsible for its success.
World Class Schools Quality Mark is a brand new quality mark that recognises state secondary schools which have gone beyond ‘outstanding’ and are exceptional, compared to international standards. The philosophy behind the Mark is that it is the calibre of the student which proves the calibre of the school. If the school is truly World Class then its students will be able to own and demonstrate World Class qualities regardless of context.
The makeover was part of the World Class Schools Quality Mark’s unique assessment process. The World Class students were assessed on the capabilities and skills they demonstrated on taking sole responsibility for setting up the makeover, consulting with the primary school, establishing relationships with the primary pupils and meeting the target of a complete, marvellous transformation.