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Principal's Message

20 January 2019

  • 1

Dear Parents and Students

Last week I wrote about the upcoming marathon that I was going to take part in Muscat. I’m pleased to report that I completed the marathon with my friend Iain. There were definitely a few lessons learned, which have similarities to the article below on value-added analysis.

Instead of focusing on our individual progress, Iain and I decided to try to complete the run together. As we run at different paces, this was possibly a mistake on our part, as we adopted a pace that was probably too fast for one and too slow for the other. At about the halfway point, we decided to split and finish the race on our own. This possibly hindered both of our overall times.

For students, setting goals should be individual to their ‘developed ability’, which is not the same as IQ. Rather, it’s a measure of their ability to learn at this moment in time. Choosing academic goals, like setting a pace for a runner should be individual to the student and where they are currently performing, not some sort of average.

In terms of how we performed in the race, it is fair to say that Iain made more progress than I throughout the last four months of training. This doesn’t mean his time was better than mine. I completed the race before him. However, in value-added terminology, our baseline was quite different. Iain had not run much before four months ago, where I have completed a couple of marathons in the past. When visiting Iain in October, we did a 13 km run together and he struggled to complete it without walking. After training hard, adhering to his training schedule, he progressed to the point where he was able to complete the entire marathon in his targeted time, which represents brilliant progress. On the other hand, I was supposed to run at least four times a week and frequently missed training sessions. I completed the marathon forty-nine minutes slower than what I completed the Doha last year. Like Iain, students that set ambitious yet attainable goals and work hard regularly to achieve these goals are likely to make progress.

Iain also set another goal, which was to raise 1000 GBP for the Scottish Mental Health Society. He also met this goal by raising 1200 GBP.

Dave Pontich

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