One thing that has struck me about this school in my first three weeks here has been the way that secondary teachers really care about their students. I don’t mean caring in a nursing or maternal sort of way, but rather in terms of helping their students aspire to be the best that they can be.
I have been fortunate enough to have worked with many good teachers in international schools around the world, but the difference between a good teacher and an outstanding teacher is that the outstanding teacher addresses what they do in the classroom to the individual students, helps to meet the students’ individual needs and responds to the feedback from the students. We expect secondary school teachers to be subject specialists, to have knowledge and expertise in their particular academic field, but being an expert in a particular academic field is not the same as being an outstanding teacher. I am impressed that the teachers here are more than just academic experts. They think about the individual students in front of them to ensure that they make good progress, that they are challenged and enthused and misunderstandings are addressed. It would be very tricky to do any statistical analysis to prove it, but I do feel that this type of caring about the students is a big factor in the high levels of academic success achieved.
A second aspect that I have noticed is how involved parents are in their children’s education. Chatting to parents recently at a Y13 forum and at a Y7 ‘meet the teacher’ evening, it was obvious that, although many parents have very busy lives, they do still make sure that they are there for their children and are truly involved. There is plenty of research evidence to show that parental involvement is a key component in a student’s success in school.
I look forward to meeting many more of you at future events and I look forward to working together with you and the teachers in helping the students make progress and achieve this year beyond what they thought possible.
Deputy Head of Secondary