Welcome to my Blog
Much happens at AISB that goes unnoticed, or is very visible and is never commented upon. We send out regular newsletters, but often the day-to-day minor improvements get lost. Thus, in the months to come, this blog will give me an opportunity to communicate more detailed updates on the running of this school. I will regularly be posting updates and, whenever needed, in emergencies. All posts will allow comments, and I encourage you to participate in the discussions at hand. To do so, click on the title of the blog post and scroll down to the end.
All posts are monitored and only signed posts will be approved.
Schools are traditionally quite static institutions with any changes happening slowly and over time; we are changing!
In August, the new Early Learning Center opened its doors and marked a step forward in terms of a building that follows the demands of our curriculum and the educational ethos that we want to create; education in a different setting and molded along early childhood pedagogy. We recognize that children today have different needs and must be educated in new ways adapted to the visions that we can deduce about tomorrow. As any open-minded institution, the questions we are asking ourselves are, ‘how do we propel our students and prepare them for what is happening in the wider world? What does the individual need, what does society need? How do you survive and thrive in both areas? Traditional education did a great service to us in the past and brought us where we are today; however, it is no longer suitable for our children. It is time to break the mold, to take some educated risks and redesign our existing buildings to meet these new aspirations.
The AISB Early Learning Center was built as a “one-school classroom” where children find opportunities for learning and learning provocations in every corner; where teachers are guides and mentors to our young learners in their earliest stages of educational life. We have outgrown the era of the teacher being the creator of content in the classroom; a great teacher today is a compassionate guide, a mentor with deep knowledge, someone who listens to learn, and above all engages and inspires their students. Access to content is instantaneous, just at the press of a finger; students still need to know facts and figures, but content is no longer king.
I am firmly of the belief that I do not have to worry about what the students’ careers might be. All we need to do is give them the skills and conceptual understanding that they need to adapt to the every-changing world around them. This means that we must give them the capacity to be creative, innovative, hardworking, self-motivated and engaged in the learning process by doing things.
We will continue to ‘break the mold’ by building a Design and Engineering Center, a special place, a school within a school, which will afford our students of ages 8 to 99 (yes, we are not limited by age) the opportunity to become organized, structured, outcome-driven coupled with an understanding of what it takes to actually create something. Robotics, automation, materials, film, media, communications, food science will be some of the activities that provide the practical skills we feel our students will need to allow them to succeed in the world of tomorrow. Some of the more important skills will be to understand how to create, how to innovate; to appreciate the inevitability of making mistakes, to start-over, redesign, recreate until the best solutions are found. Mistakes are simply missed takes (from Old Norse, mistaka, take in error) – learning opportunities from which to improve.
Fear of failure is our calling. We must be prepared to step into unchartered, but well-researched territory. Part of the next step for this school is to build a place that would allow students to experiment, allow them to sit and think – in order to give them the opportunity to discover unfulfilled potential. I need everyone’s help in this endeavor. Not just the help of the teachers and parents of this school, but the support of the wider community. We need industries, companies, and organizations to engage with our students and give them real life experiences; to challenge them will specific projects that have defined outcomes and deadlines –the real world into which, in not so many years, they will venture.
Last week we reported to the community the feedback from the Parent Survey that was undertaken at the end of the last academic year. As with last year’s survey, the participation rate was marvelous and I would like to thank all of you who contributed your thoughts and comments. Such feedback is very important for […]
The more I read and witness the rapid changes that are evolving around us, I am convinced that ‘average’ will not get anyone very far in life. In a recent article, the Financial Times reporting on the boom in robotics investment in 2015 (http://on.ft.com/26NvonM) made it clear that manufacturing is increasingly, indeed almost exponentially, becoming […]
The world around us is changing rapidly, almost too quickly for my liking, but those who stand still will be left behind as we track towards the future. The current campus has not really changed in the past sixteen years, whilst the world has. For our students to thrive and succeed, we will embrace change, […]
About a year ago I wrote something on free speech, that was published, if I remember correctly, in ‘The Underground’, but it seems to have gone largely unheeded. So without succumbing to the temptation of repeating myself, I will state my thoughts in a wider context and perhaps be rather more explicit in my expectations. […]
As we plan to improve and change our educational offerings the key to any vision of the future lies in our ability to predict what knowledge, skills and concepts will be needed by coming generations of students. I am firmly of the belief, from what I read and understand of our world changing, at a […]
We often talk about the AISB community and how important it is in the life of past, present and even future students. Whilst we need feedback and help from alumni and parents, there is an onus on the school to provide information that invites discussion and presents data that has the potential to maximize the […]
Every great school is replete with great teachers; teachers are the face of the school and they put the Mission and Vision into action in the classroom. Everyone understands the importance and effect of teachers on producing a successful learning environment. But how we resource our teachers, the quality of the educational materials, the depth […]
Dear Parents, The start of the school year is always a busy time as changes to the campus come to completion and orientation sessions for new and returning faculty turn towards welcoming students for the first day of school. You will have received a number of emails from the Admissions Office detailing such changes, but […]