Virtual Open Events
The Abbey is a School full of joy where independence, freedom of thought, and awareness of the world around us flourishes. We believe in innovation, an international outlook, encouraging all our students to use their voice - and as a School, we listen. So welcome to our Virtual Open Events - providing you an opportunity to get a sense of who we are, and meet students and staff in the Junior, Senior School or in Sixth Form along the way.
Book onto one of our live webinars too, and ask questions to our Head of School, staff and students.
(Booking forms can be found at the end of the Virtual Tours)
This is the first piece in a new series: Heads Connected. Each week Nisha Kaura as Head of The Abbey Junior School and I will take turns to share thoughts, observations and reflections on girls’ education in general and The Abbey School in particular. Families within the School may come to these pieces via The Gateway, our weekly bulletin, and they are published to all on our website.
To open the series, some notes on connections - academic, social, human. Lockdown taught all of us in schools a great deal, and there have been developments in the technology of education that will benefit everyone - but the most important lesson has been the primacy of personal connection. Digital learning holds so much promise as long as we use it in support of a life that is, in its fundamentals, analogue - nuanced, graduated, shaded, infinitely responsive and complex. Learning stuff matters: but learning it together, and while learning from each other about how to apply and use our knowledge, is transformational.
Making connections is at the heart of our academic journey. As a School we delight in the adventure of education: in curiosity, liveliness of mind, freshness of perspective. That moment where students make the leap and see the connection between natural patterns and chaos theory; human psychology and crowd behaviour; artistic movements and their social underpinnings - that encapsulates the thrill of discovery. For example: what connects electric light with the history of acting and playwriting? Bright stage lights in the 19th century meant that actors could no longer see their audience, and in a stroke, the culture of performance from the Greeks to Shakespeare - where actors could look their audiences in the eye - had changed. Watching the effects of that, and of the invention of cinema, ripple through stage writing ever since is fascinating.
We strive too for all our students to connect with the world around them in new ways. Innovation and internationalism must be the hallmarks of our approach, from offering the IB Diploma as an option at Sixth Form to ensuring each individual is asking how they themselves learn best from Reception onwards. An innovative spirit does not mean change for its own sake: it means encouraging every single one of our students, whatever their age and passions, to be always looking up and looking outwards and asking questions of what they see with confidence and optimism.
In the end I come back, though, to personal connections. Everything we teach and all elements of our curriculum have been discovered, discussed and shaped by those who came before us. It is not so much that we stand on the shoulders of giants: rather that we take our place in a great moving and shifting fabric that we re-make, re-think and extend all the time. Building links with each other, cherishing difference and celebrating our common humanity with empathy and kindness is what illuminates our understanding of that fabric of knowledge and illuminates our lives. The shared commitment to doing just that is what makes this School feel so full of light.
Will le Fleming