“As a Head Teacher it strikes me more and more, year by year, that we tend to value the things that we are asked to measure rather than measuring the things we truly value” – Marcus Culverwell, HM at Reigate St. Mary’s School.
Measuring in education has become a ‘thing’ in recent years. In the independent sector we measure most things, it’s fair to say that in the maintained sector they have even more of a measuring and target setting culture through no fault of the teachers but through having to satisfy inspection criteria. Measuring a child’s progress in any school is what we do in order to help and support them progress in the areas where they need to, but how we measure should not be confined just to a set of academic data collected year on year.
Marcus Culverhouse in conjunction with PlanBee (https://www.planbee.com/blog/what-are-we-doing-to-prepare-children-for-the-world-they-will-inherit/) have developed a curriculum for Education for Social Justice (ESR) which help make children aware of their responsibility for the planet. “They (children) need to understand that sustainability, ethical trade, equality and all the aspects of global goals for sustainable development are really, deeply important as they guide our trajectory in the 21st Century”. The true value of this work lies not in any measuring or target setting, but in the intrinsic value of being made aware of their world and their responsibility for it. If the girls at Knighton can begin to understand more about their planet and the problems it faces, they will also be able to develop clear ideas of what they might be able to do about it.
Moving away as we have at Knighton from Common Entrance allows us considerably more curriculum freedom to explore and look outwards as opposed to being exam driven and constrained by a set of subject curricula. The KED Curriculum at Knighton presents us with significant opportunities to support children’s learning outside the classroom and to ignite a passion which will stay with them for the rest of their lives.
This term at Knighton, to give the girls a glimpse into different worlds which we hope will excite and inspire them, and to build on the existing KED Talks at Knighton, we’ve invited a range of speakers this term to help show the girls what they could achieve and that no occupation should be closed to them. A richly diverse set of external and internal speakers will present on different, interesting subjects in a bid to cater for all tastes and preferences. Many are also open to parents to enjoy.
I was struck by what Andreas Schleicher, Director for Education and Skills at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, said: “Giving young people the chance to interact with the world of work from primary school onwards helps underline the relevance of education. They begin engaging with the important choices they will have to make and ultimately helping to build bridges into employment. The OECD’s international work consistently shows that young children are full of enthusiasm for learning, but as they get older, too often they struggle to see the point of what they are learning and how it relates to life opportunities.”
I hope this term’s series of talks and workshops will provide plenty of opportunities for the children to ‘plant some seeds’ for the future as well as giving them a window through which they can gaze and contemplate the wonderful world we share with each-other.