An exciting trip took place in January when LEAF Academy teachers, Matúš Kurian and Peter Reťkovský, visited Winchester College, a 600 -year-old boarding school in the heart of England.
The purpose was to observe how one of the most competitive and successful schools in Europe delivers on its aim to: “have an international reputation for academic excellence in one of the best boarding schools in the world.” Our hope at LEAF Academy is to seek out and learn from global best practices in education as we build an innovative new boarding school in Slovakia.
The atmosphere at the school could be perhaps best likened to Harry Potter´s Hogwarts School of Wizardry. There was a certain kind of magic about the centuries-old thick walls, to the point we were almost expecting to see a pet dragon fly over the chapel tower at any moment.
Given its rich tradition, Winchester College is surprisingly diverse, hosting students from no less than three continents. To promote and learn from this diversity, students spend an hour each day exploring different non-academic topics such as arts, philosophy, or debate. This time of the day, called Div, is structured to facilitate interaction between students, idea exchange, critical thinking, and strengthening of presentation skills in a non-traditional manner.
Another impressive way the school promotes student creativity and entrepreneurial spirit, is through its Design and Technology workshop. Equipped with 3D printers, digitizers, laser-cutters, lathes, drills, vices, kilns, CNC machines, and a myriad of hand tools, it provides students with the opportunity to develop a feel for materials, create tangible prototypes, participate in competitions, or just find their artistic expression through working with metal, wood, paper or plastic.
Interested to find out which ideas will inspire parts of LEAF Academy? Join us in September and you´ll see 🙂
Author: Peter Reťkovský
Head of Residential Life and Entrepreneurial Leadership Department