School 21 – a state school that does things differently

School 21 is a pioneering state-funded school in East London for children aged 4-18 from all backgrounds. It was established ten years ago in the belief that education must be done differently if we are to prepare young people properly for success in the 21stcentury.  Its guiding principle is to rebalance head(academic success), heart (character and well-being) and hand (generating ideas, problem solving, making a difference).

Dr Nicola Mason (Headteacher), Henry Ward (Head of Science), and Dara, a year 9 student, led a discussion about their journey and experiences whilst working and learning in this innovative school.  

  • With its curriculum that explicitly values the “head, heart and hand”, a commitment to restorative justice, and a passion for beautiful work and project-based-learning, School 21 sets out to ‘empower young people to take on the world’.  
  • Set up in 2012, School 21 was widely heralded as an inspirational story of success – proof that it was possible to both provide a deep, rounded and holistic education as well as secure the qualifications necessary for success in the current system. 

The Society intends that this energising event will be part of a longer conversation about designing an education system that better reflects the whole – both the whole person and the whole of society. We hope you will take part in our growing community as we learn together.  Contact us here.