Head's View

24 October 2019

One of the many joys of being an IB World School is the regular opportunities it provides for meeting and talking with colleagues teaching across the globe. It was inspiring to spend part of this week sharing ideas and experiences with heads from all manner of schools across Europe.

From a recently-founded international school in Latvia to a large German state school, from a well-established Italian educational institution to a wonderful independent enterprise in Poland, the schools represented at the conference differed in so many ways. We had some joyful conversations about the nuances of approaches to teaching and learning in our various languages. (I learned the German word for mindfulness is Achtsamkeit: I look forward to finding an opportunity to use it in conversation!) And explaining the esoteric acronyms of our various systems prompted interesting discussions about our countries’ educational priorities.

Yet whilst we celebrated our differences, inevitably our conversations led us to conclude that ‘we have far more in common with each other than things that divide us’. Thinking and talking about the best education we can offer all our children will always be uplifting. How much more so, we agreed, to work daily with young people, always an exercise in optimism and hopefulness. I returned to school cheered by this reflection and determined to find new ways of bolstering our students’ sense of what they bring.

Today’s HMAD was the energetic climax to weeks of preparation. Congratulations to everyone involved! Time now to recharge the batteries.

Wishing you a happy half term.

Jan Cresswell