Your news: Unique learning experience as students take over college

Cassie Girling in reception at Thomas Bennett Community College
Cassie Girling in reception at Thomas Bennett Community College
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‘Those who can’t do, teach.’

A tongue-in-cheek quip maybe, but on December 14, students at Thomas Bennett Community College were given the chance to find out just how much truth there is behind the myth.

Jacob Farmer and Courtney Palmer Jones taking over as Head of School

Jacob Farmer and Courtney Palmer Jones taking over as Head of School

For the first time, students were allowed to have a go at running the school - Thomas Bennett held a ‘Takeover Day’, organised by senior leader Hannah Fox, in which students from Years 7 to 11 were interviewed by their teachers, for the chance to replace them for the day.

No fewer than 17 different positions were given up to students for the event, across a variety of roles, including that of Head of School.

A huge number of students applied for these positions, the vast majority of whom had a face-to-face interview with the member of staff they were planning to temporarily oust.

Successful applicants dressed to impress, with some even going so far as to imitate the fashion sense of the staff they replaced.

During their day running the school, students wrote the school newsletter, sat in on meetings, had discussions about school policy amongst themselves, took on lunch duties before and after school, and some students actually planned and taught lessons.

They were even given (temporary) control over the school radios.

As one might expect, Thomas Bennett’s students found the whole experience thrilling.

Daniel Lambert, a Year 7 student given the chance to act as deputy head teacher for the day, described the experience by saying “...it’s just great fun to be a teacher. It’s also a new perspective to experience which is very interesting.”

Given the apparent success of the school’s ‘Takeover Day’, perhaps the next step could be for staff to have a go at being students.

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