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.
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 us to gain perspective on how successful, or not, we are in both the operational and educational aspects of the school. A key Good to Great (Jim Collins) principle is that a school that aspires to be great must confront reality. We must confront the brutal facts, parental perspectives being one of them, in order to be great. It is advocated that unless we face our shortcomings we can never be really great.
Whilst we scored better on every metric of the survey compared to last year’s responses, there was one particular data point that needs to be confronted – that was ‘is my child encouraged and taught to reach his or her full potential’?
|Early Childhood||Elementary School||Middle School||High School|
From the above data the usually/consistently response averages to about 70%. Whilst these figures are ‘fine’ I will be watching for improvement in next year’s feedback. The ‘holy grail’ of education is to develop a program of study that recognizes that not only do students have differing talents and potentials, but that the way in which they learn and acquire knowledge, skills and concepts is also different.
In order to improve this aspect of the child’s education we will be developing a Design Center in the soon-to-be vacated wing of the school that now houses the EC2 to Kindergarten children. The Center’s focus will be on product design – technology – engineering – innovation – automation and will allow us to foster this aspect of our curriculum and build a program that will have a huge future potential for our students.
The opportunities and difficulties of the future will not be resolved if our means of solving them belong to the past – we will not mourn the passing of mediocrity.
A culture of change is the order of the day; our students demand it and they will prosper and flourish within it – we know what needs to be done and we must do it.
We need creation and innovation; new things in new ways. As an institution, we do not see a limit to what we can achieve if we have the will to do it. As I have remarked previously, the challenges of tomorrow will be solved through an education that incorporates modern technologies, builds on the power of traditional practices and values, and is sustained and inspired within a motivating environment. Students will investigate, explore, research, experiment, and engage in trial and error. They will further develop their critical thinking skills in an active learning environment.
Creative, critical and computational thinking are skills that each student will acquire. Our goal is for our teachers to facilitate the process that affords each student the opportunity to reach his or her individual educational potential and to become a confident and capable world citizen. The new Center will change the way we teach and learn and when the future comes, it will not catch our students by surprise; rather, the future will be surprised by our students.
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 […]
As the year draws to a close, the successes of the Graduating Class of 2015 mellow, and sights are set on the school holidays, trips away, camps, and lazy summer days, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for the support that you have given Jann and me during our first […]