I never cease to be amazed at the depth of thought, consideration and reflection that the students offer in response to my questions. An excellent example of this occurred just this morning when I asked one Year 8 student, who had done some work with fellow students at a local migrant school, what she thought could be the top priority for future work with that school. ‘Think big’ I urged. Without hesitation she immediately corrected me. ‘Actually, Dr Hopkin,” she replied, “I would say the opposite is the case, we should think small, starting with basic details, such as food and hygiene. That is what they needed to work on.” I was astonished at the speed, clarity and confidence of this Year 8 student’s response to an unexpected question. She offered an alternative perspective with charm and great manners, whilst still communicating her own opinion. It was delightful evidence of both her intelligence and poise, helped in no small part by the opportunities she has experienced at BISS Puxi to develop public speaking and higher order thinking. She was a remarkable ambassador for our school and a wonderful credit to her family.
Perhaps, like me, you have been following current electoral TV debates, or maybe previous ones, with a growing sense of dismay at the level of thinking or even humanity that is sometimes on display by our ruling classes. There is no doubt that those involved in the debates have great skills, whether academic, business or political. However, intelligence is evidenced by more than just the possession of a range of skills. Intelligence, I believe, is demonstrated when a person shows high levels of self awareness, an ability to think critically and reflectively, and a sense of conviction that is not fuelled by single mindedness but is instead informed by a balanced and reasoned judgement of the facts of a given situation. I am lucky enough to work in a school where these qualities are on display every day. It fills me with hope that schools such as BISS Puxi are able to nurture future generations of leaders and thinkers who already possess more humanity and intelligence than many of the figures that fill our TVs and newspapers today. I am reminded that there is much for us all to learn and be grateful for, as we share our learning journey together as a school community.
Dr Neil Hopkin, Principal