The week started with me receiving some of the best student emails I have ever received in my 5 years of being at TBS Warsaw. All of them, and I mean all of them were in complete disagreement to what we had proposed. This must, to some, seem odd. Mahatma Ghandi states that “honest disagreement is often a good sign of progress” and never has this been truer.
The emails I received were well-crafted, articulate, reasoned yet passionate responses to the idea of Year 13 internal examinations. It was hard not to be impressed by the manner by which these students had expressed their point. I could not have been prouder of this group, and of course we had to listen. When your student body writes en masse in disagreement, and all it does is reaffirm the quality of teaching and learning that has gone before, as a school, you know you are doing some things, many things right.
In our school, we pride ourselves at putting the students at the centre of all of our decisions. We are a community, a large family where everybody is respected and listened to. Students in IB know they have a voice, they use it wisely and succinctly and appreciate that they will be listened to.
In raising their objections to internal school exams in unprecedented and difficult times, they also told us what they want. They don’t want to stop learning – far from it. They want preparing for university, they want to study MOOCs and develop their skills. They also told us that they miss their school and their teachers and want nothing more than to come back, and rinse the very last drop out of what little time they have left before they head off to university.
After Easter in Term 3 we will be launching our pre-university studies course for our Year 13s. I am excited to share this with them in next Monday’s virtual assembly, but more on that next week.
Stay safe and well, and keep washing your hands and please see a video message from me below.
Head of IBDP