Reflections on Professional Induction

At XP, all staff are expected to go through a professional induction process to
deeply understand what our school is about, how our children learn and how we

Core to this process is a notion that we “practise what we preach” – that what is
good enough for our students is good enough for us.

For instance, on the first day of school, our students set out on an Outward
Bound experience, then they learn through cross-subject “expeditions”, and
eventually hold Student-Led Conferences where they explain their learning to
their parents. As best we can, all staff follow a similar process during induction, swapping hats between experiencing things as students do, and unpacking the experience as

Our staff go on an Outward Bound experience before they start working at XP,
then they experience a learning expedition “slice” (a small expedition lasting
around 2-3 weeks), and the culminating event to our induction is an Educator-
Led Conference, where staff prepare speeches, critiqued by their peers.

During the Educator Led Conferences in 2014 and 2015 staff answered the following guiding question:

“What kind of person, and what kind of educator do I want to be at XP?”

In 2016, the guiding question changed slightly to the below:

 “What have you learnt from the experience of the slice and how has it changed you as a person?”

Below is a collection of these reflections.

Download (PDF, 530KB)

  1. I was fortunate enough to visit this wonderful school when attending the 2016 Whole Education Conference. In my work I have visited many schools from the traditional to the seriously innovative and contemporary.

    Often in the past I have often indulged my imagination by thinking what an Evolve Free School might look like. Needless to say I hope it would look and feel a lot like the XP school.

    Wonderfully open and committed staff, cheerful interesting pupils and forward thinking leadership. Visiting this school left me in a quandary…I could not decide if I would rather be a eleven years of age again so that I could attend as a pupil…or be twenty two years of age and starting my teaching career at the school.

    Congratulations to all the leaders/teachers, pupils and parents who are making this magic work and thank you for giving my professional and personal spirits such a lift.

    Graham Morgan
    Evolve:A Social Impact Company

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