Headmaster’s Roundup 5 October 2017
Having returned from the annual IAPS (Independent Association of Prep Schools) Heads Conference last week I was once again reminded how fortunate our children are to be in an IAPS school which, along with the other 660 IAPS schools across the country all achieve this kite mark of excellence within our sector. Some of you may know that I have been heavily involved with the Education and Strategy Committees within the IAPS, for the last 8 years, and I have been proud to be involved with other professionals in influencing the direction of education within the largest independent association in the country. What makes me most proud is the values which are at the heart of the IAPS and also at the heart of Reigate St Mary’s.
In 2014 the IAPS Council agreed the following statement of intent:
IAPS Schools will provide a challenging, purposeful education that makes an enduring difference to a child’s development and at the heart of every IAPS school will be education for social responsibility (ESR); the promotion of well-being, the rights, responsibilities, knowledge, skills and opportunity that will enable young people to be valuable and constructive members of society.
The world is changing incredibly fast and at conference we were reminded that children are expected to have somewhere between 15 and 20 jobs during their working life. Perhaps in excess of 50% of the jobs that our children will be doing don’t even exist today, such is the rate of change in our knowledge based, digital economy. Therefore, to be valuable and constructive, the ability to adapt to changes and to be resilient are vital strengths and this is at the very heart of growth mindset. As Dr Alan Hawkins (Google Futurologist) put it; “the current rate of change in human civilisation represents a tear in the fabric of history”.
So how do we prepare our pupils? One way is the residential trips. This week 6A led our Assembly and they talked about what they had learned about individual well-being, team well-being and environmental well-being whilst on their trip to Snowdonia. They spoke eloquently about resilience and the huge sense of satisfaction when they overcame their fears and reaching their goals. I am proud of the way in which our senior pupils have matured through this trip and are developing those leadership skills, resilience and adaptability, that are so vital in the world today. But across the school, within our lessons, the focus on growth mindset and social responsibility continues to be at the heart of what we deliver.
I have written a short summary of Growth Mindset at RSM. We continue to review everything that we do to consider whether we are helping to develop a growth or fixed mindset and we will not be complacent. I sign off with some words from one of the most respected leaders in the world of education, Sir Ken Robinson who recently said:
“Given the challenges we face education does not need to be reformed – it needs to be transformed. If we change things at grass roots then we can change the world.”
Helping children to be resilient, adaptable, confident, caring and driven by values is at the heart of realising this worthy transformation.
On other matters, another well done to everyone who ran at the Run Reigate event two weeks back – we finally managed to get everyone together for a photograph!
There has been a lot of outdoor learning so far this term, and the children just love being out of the classroom. We intend to use the outdoor learning environment as much as we can, right through the winter – so coats and hats will be needed in due course.
The plethora of early season sports fixtures have been broad and competitive and I want to thank the sports staff for their great commitment.
Finally, we have some exciting but sad news, Mr Hatton is sadly leaving us at the end of the term but we are very excited for him because he is going to work as a rugby professional in New Zealand and this is something of a “once in a lifetime” opportunity for him. Mr Hatton was at pains to say that coming to this decision was incredibly hard because he loves working at Reigate St Mary’s.