Real-Life Learning

We enable our pupils to thrive in an increasingly complex, constantly changing and unpredictable world.

To achieve optimum conditions, we incorporate real life into our curriculum. Our pupils benefit from experiences in which they can engage with real people, issues, relationships, contexts and audiences, and explore relevant problems that call for real explanations, solutions or innovations. 


Shaping Future Skills

We are unafraid to make bold decisions: introducing a collapsed timetable for Years 7 and 8 ‘Electives’ on Fridays is just one example of this approach. Pupils choose and experience a range of non-curriculum based topics, including Robotics, AI, Community Outreach, Graphic Design and Forensic Science, to name a few.

As educators, we have a powerful role to play in building the foundations for pupils to gain the skills needed for the future. A solid set of academic exam results is no longer enough; soft skills play an enormous part in moulding a pupil’s future. At Hazelwood, we take an innovative approach to all areas of teaching and learning to ensure these skills are well developed and formed when our pupils leave us at the end of Year 8.


A Relevant and Creative Lens 

Our recent Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) project is an example of our innovative approach to teaching and learning, during which our pupils put their academic knowledge to use through a contemporary and creative lens. For some, this involved using maths to compile a budget or business plan, others used science to create prototypes, English to communicate effectively and art to design marketing materials.


Global Citizenship

Our entire School, from Reception to Year 8, studied the 17 SDGs over the entire academic year and were asked to create collaborative solutions to global, real-world challenges. Pupils researched their topics to understand the various viewpoints, assigned roles, proposed, tested, and designed potential solutions, and developed a prototype or action plan for change. They blew us away with their ingenuity and creativity.


Digital Literacy and Complex Creativity 

The SDG project would not have been possible had our pupils not had the opportunity to learn in our innovation hub, ‘The BOX’. This flexible, agile learning space inspires and aids dynamic teaching and learning, and embraces the digital literacy of the future alongside vital complex creativity. 

With no rules regarding how to teach or learn, it promotes creativity and collaboration. The furniture has been designed to enable pupils to configure the space easily for any purpose; every surface can be utilised or written on. With no teacher’s desk and no fixed furniture, it heralds a way of learning that is full of investigative possibilities.


Empowering Exploration and Innovation

To enhance their digital literacy skills and prepare them for the future, pupils are equipped with a diverse range of learning tools, such as VR goggles, a Lego wall, graphic design tools, interactive projection, green screen technology, and robotics equipment.

The BOX speaks the pupils’ language, giving them boldness to go in a different direction, allowing scope to explore beyond the teacher’s initial brief. It unlocks potential and complex creativity beyond traditional learning methods.


Creative Thinking

Last summer, we ran a whole-school “Perspectives” initiative – designed to encourage pupils to delve into various topics and subjects from diverse points of view. Pupils looked at thought-provoking world questions such as, “Can one person change the world?” and “Are my thoughts my own?” A key objective was to nurture empathy towards individuals with differing perspectives, promoting open-mindedness and mutual respect. Big thinking projects help teach pupils curiosity and exploration to enable them to take ownership of their learning by exploring subjects that interest them. These essential skills ensure our pupils are world-ready and can succeed in tomorrow’s changing landscape.

The Power of Me

This term, we celebrated “The Power of Me” – to help pupils identify and embrace the uniqueness and individuality of each of them in our school community. Throughout the term, pupils had the chance to explore and showcase their strengths, passions, hobbies, and dreams. Our focus on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion principles ensured that all pupils feel valued and included. We engaged in activities that promoted understanding, empathy, and appreciation for each other's differences, fostering a sense of belonging and connection within our school community. 


Flexible Classrooms

A new way of teaching at Hazelwood is the flexible classroom structure. Allowing for personalised learning through flexible spaces and adaptable learning approaches, so pupils learn in ways that cater to their individual needs, preferences, and learning styles. This involves choosing different workspaces, collaborating in groups, or learning independently.

The dynamic nature of adaptable learning can boost pupil engagement by making lessons more interactive, hands-on, and visually appealing. This can be especially helpful for learners who struggle to stay focused in traditional settings. Flexible classrooms often encourage collaboration by fostering communication and teamwork.

Pupils can learn from each other and develop important social skills through group activities and projects.


Embracing AI in Education

A widely debated hot topic in education today is how the AI revolution is going to impact our pupils’ lives tomorrow. This is not a new way of thinking for Hazelwood. We have been preparing our staff, pupils and parents for this change in teaching for some time and have been working with external consultants to build knowledge and provide guidance and training to enable our community to embrace and harmonise with this new normal.

Our innovative teaching approach at Hazelwood is paving the way for our pupils to thrive in a changing landscape, which will generate surprising and exciting outcomes, not only while at Hazelwood but also in the future as tomorrow’s leaders and innovators.


Reimagining education has never been so necessary and so exciting.

Lindie Louw
Head of Hazelwood