Learners for Life

I am enjoying observing lots of lessons currently. Mr Anderson and I focussed at the beginning of the month on core PE, and we were very pleased to witness pupils’ very positive attitudes towards the curriculum, as well as the impressive progress they were making. I am now seeing all the new teaching staff, and always look forward to the professional dialogue that ensues. Then next week I am off on inspection for three days, observing another school at work, and no doubt returning with some good ideas. I cannot tell you where I am going, because, like me three weeks ago, the head will not receive the call until Monday morning!

Teaching and learning, of course, lie at the heart of a school, and it is right that we are self-reflective as teachers, keen to share best practice and to hone our trade. In some countries, such as South Africa, pupils are referred to as ‘learners’, and the emphasis nowadays is very much on the progress, achievement and development that are engendered by the teaching.

During their time with us, pupils should become increasingly independent and naturally curious; we want them to be self-starters, supported and guided by their teachers. So, we have begun to look at a new Teaching and Learning framework for the school, considering the qualities of an excellent learner, and then discussing the role the pupils themselves, their teachers and indeed their parents can play in the acquisition of these qualities. It is vital that we make time for such dialogue: pupils thrive on a variety of approaches, but also benefit from ‘joined-up’ thinking.

In a rapidly changing world, our pupils should emerge from school having been well-taught by highly qualified, inspiring and expert teachers, and well-equipped to be enthusiastic learners for life.

Best wishes

John Watson
Headmaster and Principal