X11 is a VMBO (prevocational preparatory school) specialising in Media, Design and ICT for ages 12-16 years old. They introduced a small amount of HAVO provision (secondary general) to allow students to mix courses and try and move to HAVO provision in the future. There was no hierarchal structure in the school, no “rules of the school”. Students and teachers would develop the rules together. There were no subject specific leads among staff. Teachers took on specialist responsibilities across the school and were equal but expert in a particular area.
Project-based learning was witnessed across different courses. Within subject areas students would generally work on projects and are given a high degree of freedom to create and innovate inspiring pieces of work. For example, In the digital technology class observed at the school, the teacher was trialling a new approach. The students had been set a problem by external stakeholders and were working in teams to provide solutions to these. The design and technology local companies would pose questions for students to work on pitches and projects to design and develop.