As you read the pages of this edition of The Village you will see all sorts of information, articles and photos of our students engaging in learning activities outside of the classroom. This is of course something that we value very highly at EIS. I recall many years ago, speaking with a senior teacher at a school who, when he talked about a school’s curriculum, referred to the written and the unwritten curriculum, the planned and the unplanned, the obvious and the complex. His position was that it was very often the activities that took place because of school, but outside of the classroom that often had the most lasting impact on a child’s character and personal growth. Many years later and I see more and more what he meant by this.
Of course, our written curriculum is vital. We are fortunate to deliver one of the world’s most progressive and effective academic programmes, based on the latest educational research, and I can say without hesitation and after many years in schools, that the IB’s programmes offer our students a learning platform that will truly help them to achieve their potential. But schools are about so much more than just the academic programmes.
As I look through this edition of our school’s magazine, I am reminded of the plethora of important learning that takes place outside of the formal classroom. For example, the Model United Nations activity, which is growing seemingly week by week at EIS, allows our students to test their research skills and teamwork; lead, challenge and persuade all while learning about global issues. When you hear the level of depth and articulation of some of our senior students you would think they should run the UN! Practical, reflective, political and principled. Our recent primary school camps challenge our young people to work in unusual settings, overcome discomfort and fears, take risks and solve problems. I have heard so much from the students about new activities they had engaged in, but more importantly what they learnt about themselves and others as friends and colleagues. There are many more examples that you can read about in these pages and I encourage you to do so.
As a parent myself, I know it can sometimes seem that I am constantly filling out forms for school trips and activities (and sometimes I lose them too), but I know that every opportunity is a learning experience and an important part of my children’s education. I hope that you too see it the same way.
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Head of School