The purpose of education is to equip young people with the skills, competences and attributes to succeed in a fast changing world. Education and learning will be a requirement for the whole of someone’s life. We are preparing students now to use technologies that haven’t been invented in jobs that currently don’t exist.
In my opinion, effective learning can be facilitated by teaching, which has at its core the best interests for all the students in the classroom. Learning is most effective when it is fun, they are stimulated by the subject matter and the learner is able to engage emotionally with their learning. It must be about raising aspirations,
Since entering education as a teacher and now a senior leader, I have been convinced of the need to use applied and vocational courses to bring out the strengths of some our young people and allow them to succeed. My belief comes from my own journey into education which was not marked by any predisposition for Academic subjects. Yes, eventually I managed to push myself onto an Economics degree, but I have always been most successful when the course was vocational in its outlook (PGCE & NPQH).
This is not contradictory of my belief in pushing academically gifted pupils towards the ‘best’ universities in the country. It underpins my belief in personalising the curriculum. This of course lies central to my ethos of ‘no child left behind’, but also those who can, are pushed and accelerated through key stages. These pathways have expanded future possibilities for the students. It has always been my vision that every child matters. I want everyone to leave school capable not only of following their chosen career path but also confident, articulate, and able to lead happy, successful, and fulfilling lives. For every student heading to the greatest Universities of the land there are 9 others that need education to push them onto the next stage.
Education must be forward facing and not hung up on ‘what I did’. We were not faced with the world that our children are entering. We cannot keep harking backwards to a bygone age. It has gone, because the world has moved forward. We must have the courage to embrace new challenges and exciting ways of learning. In the main students are ambitious, but not only for their futures. They also wish to be part of something where shared values and a sense of common purpose allow them to enjoy outstanding success with their peers, the staff, Governors, parents and the local community.