I introduced myself yesterday to the staff and students at Newbury Hall. My role as Principal is an exciting one and I am looking forward to November when I really get started. When I spoke to the students yesterday, I mentioned that I wanted to focus on 3 key areas with them – success, development and happiness.
Of course, everybody will look at academic success as the benchmark (passing exams) and that is one measurement system. However, it should not be the only one. Students at Newbury Hall are individuals with different motivational forces, a wide range of interests and highly personalised life goals.
We are not here to just spoon feed facts and data. We are here to ignite a spark that means our students see a reason to learn. It might not be the reason we expected, but it fills them with a desire to ‘find out more’. That doesn’t just have to be in the classroom, but also in the extra-curricular activities that enable genuine personal development – confidence, social skills and cultural awareness to name just three elements. Our students enjoy singing, dancing, debating, magic, kick boxing, voluntary work and many more engaging activities to fuel their passion, curiosity and energy.
So that leaves happiness. Academically engaged, with clear goals and the confidence to believe they can be successful is a great start. Then add to that a positive, safe environment where people are treated as individuals and encouraged to follow their interests and take on new challenges. When people are doing what they love and feel they are progressing, then I think the likelihood of happiness increases sharply.
Please click on the image below to listen to Sir Ken Robinson talking about the education system and what needs to be done.