School 21 opened as an all-through Free School in 2012 with a mission to better prepare young people from a diverse range of backgrounds for their future and for the world of work.
School 21 integrates project based learning into their teaching, with a particular focus on interdisciplinary projects that bring together two different subjects – for instance the history and performing arts department worked together to teach C20 social history by supporting students to meet, interview and make a film about the lives of older local people who had lived through the events they were studying.
Their Real World Learning programme offers all Year 10s and Year 12s the opportunity to spend half a day each week working on a live project with a local employer – from redesigning menus at the local hotel to helping develop Edge’s communications plan. They call this their ‘ninth GCSE’ and put the curriculum time and financial resources of a full subject into making it work.
School 21 has also developed and rolled out a unique approach to teaching oracy through Voice 21.
School 21 has been rated outstanding by Ofsted. They feature in this case study report by NFER and Edge and are one of our Edge Future Learning Leaders.