This is why our curriculum has an emphasis on mental and physical resilience and promotes flexible thinking skills and creativity that can be adapted to any situation.
Traditional education is based on a Victorian idea of taking young students, putting them through school and preparing them for a predetermined work and social life. Now our students are taught the growth mind-set that with practice, dedication, reflection and assistance there is now, more than ever, a greater chance for young people to succeed. Success can be entry into a wider range of university courses and beyond that, those existing or new industries for our students to head into.
For this reason our curriculum also evolves. The computing courses in the school have changed drastically to reflect the need to be able to build and understand hardware as well as how to code and build software. Our scientists are planning projects that are now environmentally aware and using materials that explore the limits of modern materials, not just the periodic table of the past. Our PE department now embraces sports as diverse as Snowboarding and dance. Our art students embrace creative processes that display knowledge of where they have come from to show an awareness of the world around them and how it affects them and allows for challenging and emotional pieces of work.
Our school is embracing technology to mix with the classical education that proves mastery of a craft is a timeless skill, with examples such as Shakespeare in English and Algebra in Maths. These traditional foundations can be more appealing to more students through the use of engaging technology and communication systems. Our aim with introducing tablets is to embrace the phenomena of the modern world. Technology is unavoidable and to many students its use is second nature, as adults we need to recognise that we need to embrace it in all areas of students’ lives. Technology is here to improve human experience and make life and learning easier. There is an increasing interest in the modern technologically driven curriculum offerings. Film and media is now a popular course embedded in school life and from next year our Music department is integrating a music technology course into their lessons so that students can imaginatively embrace new technology to produce and edit music digitally.
Forbes magazine recently listed 10 jobs and services that did not exist 10 years ago and they ranged from app developer, social media manager and freelance bloggers to sustainability experts and cloud computing services and finally one you may well have come across as you moved to Shanghai, Educational and Admissions consultants. A school that reflects the needs of society and creates the thinkers, creative pioneers and the managers and leaders of the future is one that recognises that the future is unknown and one that also equips its students for success in an ever challenging world.
We are challenging and inspiring our students to make the world a better, fairer place to live and through our service programmes in Cambodia and Tanzania we are linking students to places we would not have thought possible or of interest to young people even a few years ago. While it is difficult to predict the future it is something that we can try and manage our students’ expectations of.
The wisdom of parents, teachers and inspirational individuals is invaluable to help prepare our students with the knowledge of the past and give them the basic skills to build on for their future. For many there is still the world of finance, commerce, the arts, the service sector and academia that beckons. However, the exciting experiences and the academic success they achieve at school are preparing them for a future that some will have identified for themselves already but many of us yet cannot even know, but can face with confidence.
- Chris Share, Head of Secondary