Innovation school model adopted in Scotland set to be rolled out across UK

A team of Boston-based education experts who pioneered their US approach in Scotland is set to take its next step towards transforming education around the world, as it rolls-out its innovative teaching model UK-wide. 

Since 2014, NuVu’s founders, a trio of MIT graduates, have been helping schools across the world swap traditional classrooms and passive learning for open-ended, hands-on studios through their NuVuX initiative. At NuVuX schools, pupils design everything from social robots, to interactive murals focused on community issues, to urban design projects tackling environmental issues.

Now, they want schools in the UK to adopt their progressive learning model which combines studio-based learning with traditional coursework. They believe this has the potential to transform education in the country, with Kelvinside Academy and now Dollar Academy among the early adopters.

Architect and urban designer Saba Ghole co-founded NuVu, an innovation school for high school students, in 2010 alongside Saeed Arida, a Presidential Fellow at MIT, and robotics expert David Wang. She believes NuVu’s studio education model is the key to nurturing pupils’ creative and innovative skills in a way which can’t be achieved using traditional methods of teaching and learning.

Saba, NuVu’s Chief Creative Officer, said: “Education has changed very little in a century, while the world and jobs market have transformed radically.

“The changemakers, entrepreneurs, and innovators of the future need something different. Work and life are very rarely are about sitting and nodding. It’s about open-ended questions, diverse perspectives, multi-disciplinary approaches, and constant collaboration. If we’re preparing pupils for the real world, why is learning in the classroom so drastically different?

“Our model has been adopted by schools around the world, and now we’re excited to work with schools throughout the UK to provide a different model approach – one that helps pupils unleash their creativity and connects their learning to the challenges they face in the world around them.”

In 2017, NuVu launched a pilot project with Kelvinside Academy, which now has a full-time Innovation School housed in a state-of-the-art new building, the first of its kind in the UK. There, NuVu’s teaching has become a vital part of education for pupils from  Primary one to sixth year in secondary school. This project’s huge success has triggered NuVu’s expansion plans into the UK and Europe.

To accelerate its adoption by more UK schools, NuVu has appointed Andrew Wilson as Head of NuVuX-UK Partnerships. He will join the NuVuX team led by Emily Glass, Director of NuVuX, who is based at NuVu’s headquarters in Cambridge, MA, USA.

Over the last few months, Scottish independent school Dollar Academy has worked in partnership with NuVu to develop an innovative online learning platform, Dollar Discovers, which provides SQA courses and shorter ‘Discovery’ courses, free of charge to pupils from across the UK.

Dollar Discovers brings together leading figures from industry, NGOs and academia with educators to create exciting challenges that tackle real-world problems. In facing these challenges, pupils develop their curiosity and critical thinking to better understand the world around them, while developing skills that will stick with them as they leave school and enter the workplace.

Dollar Academy’s Rector, Ian Munro, said: “A central part of my role as an educator is to prepare pupils for a complex and everchanging world. NuVu have supported this superbly, and it has been a joy to collaborate with them over a number of years to look at new ways to inject curiosity and creativity into the Scottish curriculum.

“Just like every pupil is different, every school is different. The agile and creative team at NuVu have the skills and flexibility to work with any school to fast-track innovation.”

NuVuX integrated studio programs, innovative curricula, teacher training, and on-the-ground pedagogical and technical support within your school are available to both independent schools and local authorities. To find out more, visit https://nuvux.nuvustudio.com/across-the-uk.