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Your week at IAG is one of discovery and passion, rigour and authenticity. You are working hard towards a public exhibition of your work, which is happening at the end of the week. You have a feeling of trepidation but also excitement, and know that you have the support of both your Team and Advisor to help you to succeed.

Your exhibition is a culmination of a project you have spent the Term working on in collaboration with your peers, adults and members of the community. All of your learning at IAG is meaningful and authentic. You value your work and this exhibition of it as you know you are contributing to a solution to a real world issue. You feel proud because the project you are working on is contributing to improving the community in Blackheath. What you have been doing is ‘real’.

This week you have had a range of learning opportunities, further developing your cognitive and interpersonal skills set; you know you needed to particularly focus on Balance this week. Part of the week, in the afternoon, you have had your Extended subject. This week you decided that you would like to improve your Dance, working on perfecting the skills required for the performance that is being exhibited in a few weeks time at the school’s festival of learning. You feel that you wanted to try something new after last month when you applied your coding skills to tinker and build a robot in the IAG Maker Space.

In your Core sessions this week, your schedule had you specialising in the humanities and in integrated math-science. You have had Masterclasses where a specialist teacher in History has really helped you to understand how historical sources can be analysed and interpreted.  You feel like you are developing the skills of thinking and being a historian, especially, because you are applying your source analysis skills to historical problems. Your exhibition this week will make full use of your History experiences. Your study of the History of Blackheath, through working with community members and folk educators to find out stories and first hand experiences of life, has enabled you to evaluate how political, social and economic factors have shaped and could further shape the community of Blackheath. You appreciate the importance of History as a discipline as you can now see how it is ‘real’. You are also learning the importance of working with different people in the Blackheath community.

Most of your formal learning is within your advisory and is undertaken alongside your Team. You have developed strong relationships and are learning how to work as a team to effectively tackle, collaboratively, problems, both academic and social. Your Advisor knows you and your Learning Team extremely well and knows when to support you and your team through any issues. You see your Advisor as the seventh member of your Team; there when you need them but you feel confident that you are not dependent upon them.  You are glad to know that your Advisor will be with you throughout your time at IAG. You feel the relationships you are developing with your peers, Advisor and wider community are incredibly valuable for your future. You have a clear awareness that to be a liberated lifelong-lifewide learner interpersonal skills and supportive networks of people are hugely important.

Part of your week has been spent reflecting on the progress you are making. You use your laptop to update your digital portfolio, highlighting your experiences and evaluating your strengths and weaknesses. You are pleased that you have been able to evidence, against the challenging criteria, that you have made progress in-line with your personal trajectory in both the attribute of being more Balanced and in your ability to plan a scientific inquiry to test a hypothesis. Your Advisor ensures that you know how to reflect effectively and has spent time with you this week reviewing your portfolio and helping you to update your personal learning plan for the coming term.

The IAG curriculum is designed on the opinions and voice of its students and wider community.  You attend an hour board meeting with other students a group of parents, a CEO of a local company, a university lecturer and the advisors at your school.  You are given the opportunity to talk about your learning and what the school needs to do to improve further.  You feel that your participation at IAG makes a real difference for others.

The week is drawing to a close and you are making the final touches to your public exhibition; ‘Showcase’. You want to make sure everything is just right for you, your group and for the community you have been working with. Your work over the last half a term will contribute to the opening of an exhibition about the history and future of Blackheath. Displaying this work, and talking about your contribution to the realisation of this project with local councilors, residents and your parents is exciting.

That’s why you know another week at IAG is like no other school in the country.