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'Strategic education initiative of the year' award shortlist!

We are absolutely delighted to announce that Oakham School has been shortlisted for the ‘Strategic education initiative of the year’ category in the 2020 Tes Independent School Awards.

Oakham has been shortlisted for this well-regarded award because of its commitment to learning through inquiry, specifically in the setting up of The FOSIL Group (www.fosil.org.uk) -  an open and free online platform where educators can share, reflect and develop effective inquiry learning, for the collective benefit of all students.

The announcement was made today in the TES, with editor Ann Mroz saying: “We received an unparalleled number of entries this year, all of which were first rate. The schools that have been shortlisted should be proud - it's a remarkable achievement." 

“The ability for children to learn by finding out for themselves – to make inquires for themselves - is extremely pertinent in today’s world,” says Oakham’s Head of Library, Darryl Toerien, who developed FOSIL and The FOSIL Group. “This is twofold because, firstly, information is superabundant, which is a problem in itself, but unfortunately not always trustworthy. Secondly the rate of change, particularly in the job market, is unprecedented - meaning that today’s students will need to truly embrace the notion of ‘lifelong learning’.”

The FOSIL Group, which was only launched this April, already has 137 members from a range of different schools (state, independent, primary and secondary) both across the UK and, indeed, the world.  It has been endorsed by the Information Literacy Group and School Libraries Group of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, and the School Library Association. It houses a continually growing number of FOSIL-based resources which can be immediately used, as well as a Forum which is growing in popularity too (with 200+ posts across 60+ different topics of discussion).

“Sharing knowledge, sharing ideas and sharing resources has always been at the heart of education,” says Henry Price, Headmaster. “So I am delighted to not only witness the collaborative power of The FOSIL Group in working towards providing all pupils with the opportunities and resources to learn how to find things out for themselves, but also to see this excellent educational initiative receive recognition in this TES award shortlisting.”

Oakham and The FOSIL Group are now looking ahead to February when the winners of the ‘Strategic education initiative of the year’ award will be announced at a gala event in London.  

“The FOSIL Group is a wonderful opportunity for everyone to come together and share resources, knowledge and expertise,” concludes Darryl. “I hope that the shortlisting for this award will generate even more awareness of this community and will, in turn, support our continued journey further to develop the inquiry learning conversation.” To find out more about The FOSIL Group, visit the website, or follow them on Twitter @TheFosilGroup. 

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