WHAT MAKES A GOOD SCHOOL?

Expatriate Lifestyle - Essentials Education - - Advertorial - By Mark Ford, Prin­ci­pal

As a Prin­ci­pal, I am of­ten asked the ques­tion, ‘What makes a good school?’ Ev­ery school has its own per­son­al­ity, but suc­cess­ful and ef­fec­tive schools have cer­tain key qual­i­ties in com­mon:

First of all, the stu­dents want to be there: ffec­tive schools have a warm cli­mate. Stu­dents feel wel­come and know that the teach­ers care about them. Al­though there is pres­sure to per­form, it comes in a way that pro­motes learn­ing, with an ex­pec­ta­tion that stu­dents will ex­cel and the sup­port is pro­vided to make it hap­pen.

Good schools have high ex­pec­ta­tions: Only the best is good enough for the school, teach­ers and stu­dents. A good school has an in­volved staff wor ing to­gether, push­ing them­selves and their stu­dents to be the best. Fail­ure is not an op­tion for the teacher or the stu­dents.

Good schools have ded­i­cated teach­ers: The best teach­ers read and ex­plore the tech­niques used by oth­ers in a never-end­ing ef­fort to bet­ter them­selves as pro­fes­sion­als. ffec­tive teach­ing de­mands that the teacher have a de­tailed un­der­stand­ing of, and

pas­sion for, what they are teach­ing.

Good schools have teach­ers that are in­no­va­tive and use a va­ri­ety of strate­gies and re­sources to sup­port learn­ing: No two classes or two stu­dents are iden­ti­cal. In good schools, teach­ing ap­proaches are e ible and care­fully matched to the needs of all learn­ers. Teach­ers take ac­count of in­di­vid­ual in­ter­ests and needs when plan­ning their lessons and ac­tiv­i­ties, which are al­ways well-or­gan­ised and set in mean­ing­ful con­texts with chal­leng­ing out­comes. Re­sources are used imag­i­na­tively to sup­port learn­ing.

Good schools pre­pare stu­dents for an un­known fu­ture: The cliche of “how can we pre­pare young peo­ple for jobs that have not been in­vented yet?” is, in many re­spects, a cop out. We may not know every­thing our stu­dents will en­counter, but we do know many of the skills and com­pe­ten­cies young peo­ple need per­sis­tence, e ibil­ity, em­pa­thy, crit­i­cal think­ing, adapt­abil­ity, in­tegrity, op­ti­mism, proac­tiv­ity, re­silience – the list goes on. Good schools en­sure that their cur­ricu­lums de­velop and sup­port th­ese trans­fer­able skills. Good schools have strong lead­er­ship at all lev­els: All school lead­ers must have the re­spect of stu­dents, par­ents, and staff with a vi­sion, high ex­pec­ta­tions, and the abil­ity to help oth­ers suc­ceed. Lead­ers must be able to un­der­stand peo­ple and mo­ti­vate them, cre­at­ing a pos­i­tive at­ti­tude through­out the school. Suc­cess­ful schools have a sense of trust built on the back of hon­est and car­ing lead­er­ship.

Cel­e­brated ac­tress, so­cial ac­tivist and hu­man­i­tar­ian Au­drey Hep­burn once said that “a qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion has the power to pro­vide chil­dren with the nowl­edge, s ills and con­fi­dence to reach their full po­ten­tial”.

There­fore, it is es­sen­tial to in­vest in your chil­dren’s fu­ture by pro­vid­ing them with the best pos­si­ble ed­u­ca­tion that only a good school can pro­vide.

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