“The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions." Ralph Waldo Emerson
Happy new year! As the new Head of Secondary, I am delighted to be contributing to our first newsletter of 2022. I have already received a very warm TBS Warsaw welcome and am looking forward to getting to know more members of the School’s community in the weeks to come.
Being curious and sparking curiosity in others is at the heart of learning. I have always been curious; I can’t imagine how many times as I child I must have asked my parents ‘why?’. You will see from my ‘Pleased to meet you’ interview, published in this newsletter, that I have lived in many different countries. The driving force behind these decisions has primarily been my desire to learn about novel places, people, and cultures to satisfy my curiosity about the wonderfully diverse world we live in.
The importance of curiosity in successful learning cannot be underestimated. As a parent of primary school children, I always found IPC entry points wonderful examples of how my children were curious, which was then followed by the pride they displayed in showing their learning at the exit point at the end of a topic. Secondary students are (usually!) not as forthcoming with their parents about the learning they are interested in. Adolescent and young adult curiosity is very much in existence (think of their daily consumption of information via the internet) and it therefore remains important to provide a wide range of stimuli to spark this curiosity. I am extremely excited about the opportunities my family now have to learn about Warsaw and Polish culture and welcome recommendations for places we should visit or activities we should try.
For parents of Year 11 and Year 13, curiosity may seem low down on the list of priorities for your children as they prepare for their IGCSE and IB mock examinations. Surely examination preparation is about revision, rather than learning something new? This is not the case! All learning is about acquiring new knowledge, understanding or skills and for this new learning to be retained it needs to be connected to current knowledge, understanding and skills. In the same way that Anita Włodarczyk and Wojciech Nowicki would have prepared for the Olympics by constantly questioning, analysing and being curious about how best to improve their hammer throws, the most efficient way for your children to prepare for their examinations is to be insatiably curious about what they already know, understand, and can do, which will help spark curiosity about what they need to learn next in order to achieve their best.
I wish our whole community a prosperous year that is filled with much curiosity!