14 November 2012
When I sat down to review this edition of the latest news, I intended simply to write a summary of the articles. I now see that this is impossible! We have twenty six pieces covering a range from debating to shopping and from Nursery to Year 13 – what a busy two weeks we have had. This edition is certainly a display of just how much goes on in all parts of our school – in fact, new events have to fight for space, so crammed is our calendar.
The activities and events described are also a demonstration of the fact that learning comes in many forms. At St Christopher’s we describe the general aims of learning in five “Pillars of Learning”. These are displayed at many points around each site and they stare down at me from my office wall, reminding me of the wider purposes of education.
Pillars 1 and 2 are the standard fare of schools: they are “Learning to Know” and “Learning to Do”. Success in the types of curricula that all of us know from our school days, has traditionally been achieved through these two kinds of learning.
Pillars 3 and 4 are worth quoting in their entirety:
Learning to Be a Person
Developing attitudes, skills and moral, ethical and spiritual values, needed to understand oneself and one’s world; to communicate effectively with others and to achieve happiness and success.
Developing appropriate self-autonomy, healthy self-esteem, self-efficacy leading to sound judgement and a sense of personal responsibility
Learning to Live in a Diverse World
Learning to be an effective global and local citizen
Developing understanding, empathy and respect for other people, their cultures and values and a positive appreciation of differences and similarities between people. Developing an appreciation of the interdependence of humans.
Developing the propensity to participate in improving the human condition by building positive relationships, reducing conflict and violence and by aiding those whose lives are significantly impoverished, disadvantaged or challenging relative to one’s own.
Developing an understanding of the symbiotic relationship between humankind and planet earth leading to an action-orientated stance to the need to protect and heal the physical and biological environment.
The range of activities and events that occur in our school exist for a reason: each of them, in some way or another, to a smaller or greater extent, aids the development of the vital attributes described in Pillars 3 and 4. The more people in our world who possess these attributes, the better our world will be. At St Christopher’s we aim to educate in such a way that our pupils are pre-disposed to becoming happy, productive, successful, knowledgeable and influential global citizens … this is why the Pillars are important and why we have so many varied activities in our school.
Pillar 5? Learning to Learn … let’s leave that to a later edition.
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