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Sir John Jones

10 September 2015

In practically every culture, education has involved to a greater or lesser extent, the act of story telling – passing on the wisdom of the elders to subsequent generations.  

  • Sir John Jones passing down his wisdom at BIS Group of Schools

As part of preparations for this year, both of the BIS group of schools combined to hear Sir John Jones do just that in a powerful and poignant way.

Sir John is no stranger to BVIS.  As a former headmaster of three large inner city schools in the UK and having received from the Queen of England a knighthood for his services to education, Sir John is ideally suited to address educational issues with staff within our group.  He is an elder for us from whom we have much to learn.

The Senior Leaders of the group back in June 2014 (see the Newsletter Issue 32 2014) had the privilege in of attending a three day course in HCMC entitled ‘Leading in a Culture of Change’.  This time all teachers – Vietnamese and expat – were able to benefit from his wisdom and expertise.  And it was a pleasure to have a senior representative from DOET there to witness the quality of in-service training we are able to access within our group of schools.

For over 6 hours – with breaks, of course – he wove together a tapestry of the art and passion of teaching, the role of the teacher in the lives of young people and the extraordinary abilities that children have for intellectual and personal growth when channelled correctly.  It was a moving and wonderfully powerful and empowering day, inspiring to all who heard him speak.  The very next day we started to see the fruits of his labours transferred into the planning and approach of our teachers as they were reinvigorated after the long holiday.  The extremely positive start we have had to the school year is due in no small measure to the inspiration of that day and Sir John Jones.   And the impact of his teaching us can still be felt through the school today.

And the remarkable thing was he did it largely through the telling of many carefully chosen stories as a master craftsman weaves a carpet.  We are deeply indebted.

One story from this week involves a teacher who being rather unsatisfied with the output of the children said: “If you don’t get your work finished by the end of this lesson, then I am going to get you all back in during your lunch break to finish it off!”  He was not happy.  In reply, the children cheered ‘Hurray!’, not quite perhaps what the teacher had expected but what a statement about their love of learning and desire to be in the presence of a teacher who inspired, encouraged and motivated.