What you learn and who you become are equally important – especially in the life of a child. This dual reality must be valued and carefully nurtured in schools if they are serious about preparing children to live happy and meaningful lives. This process begins in the cradle and continues throughout life, so the schools our children attend are not inconsequential decisions. It’s one thing to know what a curriculum may say about learning outcomes and goals, but it’s another thing to see that learning activated in a child. When it’s working, the “learning” directly influences the “becoming”.
Over the past month or so, I have been inviting your participation as we begin the process of renewal of our school’s guiding principles and beliefs, which all schools must undertake from time to time. It’s a process of taking stock, while looking back and forward at the same time (…a bit like going to the optometrist to update your prescription!). Does this lens make it better or worse, crisper or blurrier, clearer or more obscure? By examining what and how our students learn, we begin to appreciate that children develop a love of learning and an ability to think through active participation in personally meaningful work rooted in a particular “way of thinking and doing”.
If the goal of our School’s whole program is to offer students an experience grounded in the world around them, from global issues to challenges in our cities and neighbourhoods, we must begin with an understanding that differences lift us! Our community is woven together with children and families from a range of backgrounds, cultures, experiences, and beliefs. To chart the course for the school of the future, we must plan intentionally and strategically. Everyone’s perspective will be important.
During the fall of 2022, Matthews Hall will be engaging in the important work of envisioning and planning for the school of the next 10 to 20 years. This will be a significant exercise that will drive decision-making at every level of our 104 year-old school. And we need your help!
In June, we will be scheduling a “Mission Day” that will be the first step in this process. A diverse group of school stakeholders (parents, alumni, teachers, governors, friends) will be invited to come together for very focused discussions about our aspirations for our school’s place in the educational landscape of London. The result will be a new and invigorated mission statement with the guiding principles that will inspire our vision for why and how our school exists.
It may seem fluffy and irrelevant, but it is anything but – is vital to the work of our Board of Governors, our teachers, and our students.
If you agree to participate, clear your schedule, and join us for our upcoming “Mission Day”, you will be adding your voice and perspective to the process that will shape what our students learn and who they will become into the future.
The next generation of Matthews Hall children and their families will thank us, if we get it right!
Ric Anderson, Head of School