Congratulations to the graduating class of 2021.
For students to have reached this point in their learning journey is always worthy of celebration – in case you haven’t noticed, you have left school! Yes, that’s it, you’re no longer school children; one phase of life is over – and another phase begins.… Read more
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the power of habit in our lives, and the difficulty we face in trying to change habits once they have become firmly embedded in thought and action. Picking up good habits and dropping bad ones should be one of our principal aims in life, because, by definition, habits are the default behaviours that we rely on automatically and without reflection.… Read more
Last week I was chatting with a friend about a job interview he had recently been through after applying for a senior position at an international school in eastern Europe. For some employers, job interviews are subject to a kind of arms race, as they think up novel ways to unsettle candidates in order to “put them on the spot” and unearth their “deepest selves”.… Read more
I have found myself in several conversations recently with teachers, parents and students, reflecting on what exactly is missing from children’s lives during this period of disruption, including its repercussions for on-campus learning.
Several themes reliably come up: structure, routine, engagement, attention … but, at a more fundamental level, underlying all of them is what, increasingly, I take to be the essential component of any truly successful learning experience: energy.… Read more
A very good morning to you all – and welcome to this final assembly of Term 1, on the last school day of 2020.
What a year it has been.
How could I possibly bring the term to a close and speak to you about anything other than the virus-shaped elephant in the room: our unbidden houseguest, COVID19, always a gatecrasher, which has long, long since outstayed its welcome.… Read more
As a child, I did what I imagine many children do at Christmas or during similar festivals that come to represent an opportunity for magic in their lives. I invented traditions.
Tradition is a marvelous technology for intensifying experience and, as I loved Christmas and the many well-established traditions that already associated with Christmas, I believed that the best thing to do was add still more.
We all have some bad habits – and one of mine is using a turn of phrase which I don’t much like, but which, despite that, I sometimes find tripping off my tongue. That’s the problem with cliches – they take on a life of their own.… Read more
Relationships are the cornerstone of performance at school. They will look different in every instance, because, as we well know from daily experience, the ‘chemistry’ between individuals is always subject to many diverse factors, which can play out differently at any given moment and across time.… Read more
The ‘good enough’ school is a primary school and not a secondary school; while the good enough student is a secondary student and not a primary student.
Embedded in this only apparently gnomic statement is a vital lesson in how to promote the conditions under which children can hope to enjoy a successful apprenticeship in the art and craft of being human.… Read more
Ability, capacity and capability – the difference between them and why, in respect of all three, (most) schools ask and answer the wrong questions.
Gathered in the school yard at the heart of the school campus are a class of students readying themselves to participate in a PE session.… Read more