Dear Parents and Students
Starting with ‘why’ at NAISAK
As many of you are aware, we spent the last six months reviewing our guiding statements, which involved discussions and feedback with all sectors of the community. Some people may question the rationale for why we spent so long coming up with statements, which may not be wildly different to those of different schools or other organisations. The reason is that I feel it is incredibly important to ensure as a staff, we are not only aware, but passionately committed to our purpose at NAISAK. There is no doubt that we have some unique features as a school, which differentiates us from others. However, what is far more important to me, is that we stand by our beliefs and enable our students to achieve everything we dream for them.
After much discussion and debate, we agreed that our vision statement is ‘Be challenged and inspired today, challenge and inspire tomorrow’. We selected this statement, as we feel it succinctly puts our beliefs into words. The word ‘tomorrow’ is essential, because preparing all of our students for the ever-changing world in the twenty-first century is central to our purpose. To do so requires that we are not only providing students with the knowledge they require, but also equipping them with the skills they need to be successful global citizens.
Inspire is critical because this is what our teachers are aiming to do on a daily basis. Part of our purpose is to ensure students have a lifelong love of learning. They will not do this if they are not inspired by their caring teachers.
Finally, the word challenge is not only part of our values at NAISAK, it is an essential element of the Nord Anglia philosophy, where all staff and students are encouraged to ‘Be Ambitious’. We want our students to realise their dreams. With this in mind, they will need to take on challenges, which may seem unsurmountable at times. We strive to give the students the confidence they need, to rise to the challenge.
Fundamentally, we believe that NAISAK brings the best of the world to Al Khor, which benefits all of us.
In discussing our newly revised guiding statements with our staff, I shared an excerpt from a Simon Sinek TED talk, which argues that the most successful companies start with ‘why’. I would recommend watching it if you can find 18 minutes to spare. Simon Sinek eloquently demonstrates how companies such as Apple are leaders in their industry because they are certain of their ‘why’ and remain passionately committed to their purpose.
Next week, I will spend more time talking about the ‘how’ and ‘what’ at NAISAK. I will conclude with a quote from a Headteacher in the UK, which I read in a magazine about 15 years ago and still re-use on a regular basis, as it sums up my educational philosophy.
“My priorities as a Head are to enable the school to be in control of its teaching and learning environment to raise the self-esteem of pupils and to create learners who will take on the world (or feel they can).” Neil Baker
The aspect which resonates strongest with me is the four words in brackets, ‘or feel they can’. After all, how can a young learner realise their goals if they do not believe in themselves?