In an enrichment lesson last week I talked to Year 12 students about being a young teacher in Northern Sudan. It was there, on my 24th birthday, that I was looking for somewhere to live in a small town beside the River Nile, where I had been posted to a boys’ secondary school. The small one-roomed house I found was very basic but did have a great toilet. All toilets in those parts were ‘long-drops’, which one squatted over, with a pit beneath, simple but efficient. Mine was one of the best because it had solid walls and a door,
Now that the dust has settled from our senior school production, High School Musical, we can look back and reflect on an amazing achievement by our students. I have been delighted with the unanimously positive feedback from the audiences, including ‘the best school musical I’ve ever seen‘ and ‘as good as a West End show’. Compared to recent productions, this was a very young cast, with so many Year 7s and Year 8s having their first experience on stage. Lead roles were taken as young as Year 9. Such was the feeling of new stars in the making that the
Every cohort in a school is different. A year group of children, like any family, has its own character, built around the uniqueness of the individuals that come together to make it. Each and every child contributes to that character, allowing it to mould and change as the group develops. This is why the formation of a new cohort in school is such an important and exciting time. On Saturday we welcomed over 50 Year 6 students from local junior schools to sit our entrance exam. Added to the 40 coming from our own junior school, we can see the
I have always felt that learning is an emotional business. It requires a willingness to take risks, accept failure and have the tenacity to try again. It is important to understand not only the ‘what’ of learning, in our case the curriculum, but the ‘how’ and the ‘why’ as well. This week I observed a lesson called ‘Learning to Learn’, a new course in Year 7, which all pupils receive for one lesson per week. The overall objective of the course is to create more independent, active and reflective learners, who approach their work with the right mindset and motivation.
Last year came the shocking news of the murder of MP Jo Cox, who is remembered, amongst other things, for her belief that people have more in common than that which divides them. I would concur with her view. I think this is particularly true of people of faith, whatever their religion or other belief. I was therefore delighted when councillor Karen Henshaw suggested that we work together to create a multi-faith event at AKS, involving our students with local religious leaders and practitioners. Working with Andrew Pratt, multi-faith adviser to the Bishop of Blackburn, we invited representatives from Christian,
One of the great opportunities we have as educators is to help in expanding the horizons of our students. This is certainly true for our Year 12s who are travelling back from the Round Square International Conference in Cape Town. 180 schools from all over the world came together to meet, debate, explore and try to make a difference. These students now have friends from so many countries, more importantly they have listened to each other and gained greater understanding of different ideas and perspectives. They heard passionate South African speakers in the conference hall, debated major local and global