Elmwood School: Design Thinking for Learning

Ottawa, Canada, 2017-18

NoTosh Team

Ewan McIntosh, Kynan Robinson, Ian Stuart, Lauren Johns, Malie Watson

Educating Women of the Future

Elmwood School

Elmwood School, based in Ottawa, Canada, is determined to create an exceptional learning experience for each student. But how do you to deliver an innovative and engaging education while working within the constraints of a rigid curriculum?

Elmwood wanted to achieve a long-term and deeply-rooted change across the school, from Primary to Diploma level. With support from NoTosh, they developed a proactive, focused and ambitious program to create an even more engaging experience for students. This bespoke strategic program, co-designed with the school, has energised how the leadership, teachers and students lead and learn.

Focusing initially on the Middle Years, the school embraced the NoTosh Design Thinking process, using its principles to tackle large, complex and challenging questions, issues and ideas. Teachers reached out beyond their teams, interviewing parents, students and local members of the community, testing their early stage prototypes and giving and receiving feedback. They showcased these to leadership in a pitch to show just how their prototype would change the teaching and learning at Elmwood for the better with almost every prototype given approval to be put into practice.

The transparency of thinking and development shown by NoTosh has been absorbed by the Middle Years staff, as they work effectively together in small groups, with their thoughts, ideas and concerns now shared. Ongoing support from the NoTosh team ensures that Elmwood School is fully engaged with the future challenge of driving change through the rest of the school, in phases of work involving Primary staff and finally the Diploma Programme team.

“The process was very clear, support was available at the drop of a hat, and all the NoTosh staff were dedicated and committed to making the online coaching work and deliver the best outcomes possible.”

Cheryl Boughton, Head of School, Elmwood School
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