And so another term and another semester ends at St Columba.
We will celebrate Columba Day with joye de vivre (despite forecasts of cold wet weather).
Then a break, after all the academic, cultural and sporting events that give a lie to the 9.00am→ 3.00pm school myth, will come for our students and they will have a chance to rest.
Has your child had a “good” semester?
Well, there will be the semester report to provide you with one answer. These will contain words that will reassure or worry or commend or counsel. They will point to progress, future goals and ideas for improvement.
While these reports will give parents a picture of their child’s progress, we know that beyond simple things like marks and grades there are other ways we can assess our students’ potential for future success.
The World Economic Forum has created a list of the skills that from 2020 will be the ones that they believe offer the greatest potential for career and life success.
These skills are:
- Complex problem solving
- Critical thinking
- People management
- Coordinating with others
- Emotional intelligence
- Judgement and decision-making
- Service orientation
- Cognitive flexibility
It may seem strange to some that getting top marks in your examination is not on that list.
We are aware that the world that our graduates enter will be very different to the one their parents entered on leaving school, and while “good marks” remain a valuable asset, success in the future will be granted to those who work hard and have developed the skills that relate to a fast moving and ever-changing work environment.
St Columba has made a deliberate and considered decision to create a learning community where the opportunity to develop these skills not only exists but actually engages the students in a manner that creates enthusiasm, passion and a sense of achievement.
In a world where the answers will no longer be “at the back of the book”, “pass marks” mean something completely different to twenty or even ten years ago.
Watch your child over the break and if you are seeing the emergence of these skills mentioned above, you will know they are travelling into a successful future.
When you read your child’s report, I hope you find comfort that we really are offering our students a “world of opportunities” – opportunities that will allow them to meet the challenges they will face – personally and in terms of career – in the future.
“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare today.”
Mr Terry Muldoon
Principal, St Columba Anglican School