Nationally, when educationalists talk about school culture, they talk about Dixons. We share everything we can as frequently as we can – through visits; through teaching on Future Leaders and strategically helping to shape the programme; through board membership and training. We try to speak openly and honestly in articles and blogs and also through the wide-reaching work of the Research School. However, we wanted to ensure that our colleagues at Dixons had access to this thinking – to us, it seemed wrong-headed that almost 15% of maintained secondary schools in England had sent visitors to just one of our schools but we have often not had the chance to visit each other.
As such, we want to codify our content into watchable, listenable bites – nothing as onerous as a podcast or as distancing as a blog. Our thinking is about quick, accessible, agile commentary that can be strung together into coherent sequences but also has efficacy alone. Think of it as a playlist or an album… each song (episode) – just a couple of minutes long – stands alone but there is overall coherence.
We have created three playlists; each one begins with an episode capturing the high-level thinking and then begins to drill down into increasingly granular detail. We are not proposing a specific methodology – more a way of thinking about moving from theory to practice and offering everything we have, free of cost, along the way. To amplify this idea of plurality, we have looked at multiple iterations of artefacts across all our schools.
After starting out on this journey, we have been persuaded that the content would have value to colleagues beyond Dixons; as such, we have moved to a completely open source structure to extend reach and to do so in an agnostic format – one that anyone can access.
Please know that we are not a polished production and are simply offering up our work (with no intention of telling others how to do anything); primarily, we want to share our transferable process rather than the inputs. We appreciate all constructive feedback and look forward to your responses.
Dixons OpenSource is available on our YouTube channel, click here and subscribe for updates and regular new content.