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’?
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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.