Oh, I really do enjoy being Principal of this school!!
There are certain things that make me see going to work as a real pleasure and not really work at all. Let me tell you why.
This year, as I meet students around the school, the warmth and openness of the conversations is a delight. The faces of children light up when discussing their learning, when they are greeted at the front gate and in corridors, when one takes an active participation in what excites and interests them. Seeing their increased self-confidence and self-expression is a wonder; previously more timid children now confidently asserting themselves with their own personalities shining through. This could not have been more true than for a couple of Year 5 girls talking to me about their charity event.
Equally, we see how ways of thinking are challenged and channeled in students. The brilliantly simple and well-executed Enrichment Day on Valentine’s Day is another example of how learning can come in many forms, with knowledge in one area being integrally linked across many disciplines. Minds make connections. They form associations, and enquiry-based learning supports so well the development of critical thinking, collaboration, creativity and fun that I wrote about last week. Nick Lee superbly tells you more.
Lest we think this is for Secondary students only, Year 3 enjoyed their IPC exit point this week, and Early Years students carry out this enquiry every day. Since the dawn of mankind, we have learnt by experimentation, learning from mistakes made, working together, communicating meaningfully. All of these elements run as golden threads through every aspect of our curriculum. This morning, on a visit to Secondary, I was stopped in the corridor for an impromptu interview behind a camera and microphone to talk about bilingualism by 2 very confident, respectful enquirers. It was really my pleasure to take time out of whatever else I had planned to engage with them.
Also this week, we have also had present within school three members of the Juilliard teaching faculty, Paul Murphy (our Juilliard school liaison), Richard Mannoia (Head of Curriculum Development and Professional Development) and Kathryn Armstrong (visiting performance artist in violin). They have shared so many examples from Secondary and Primary of where the Juilliard curriculum programme is being used to underpin sensitivity in language and musical appreciation, not exclusively for performance but as part of the wider development of character and empathy.
I could go on…but mercifully for you, I won’t! Every day brings new delights to us as educators and adults, and we know from talking to students how much they enjoy the opportunities they are presented with.
On my final note, may I thank most warmly the near 50% of parents who have responded to the Parent Survey for 2017. This is a great result and we will be analysing the findings, devising action plans and communicating those points in due course.
Thank you and I trust you will all have an excellent weekend.