How do we prepare our children for a future we cannot even imagine?

Welcome to my blog.

My first post comes at an exciting juncture in our school’s history. We are about to celebrate 100 years of Swanbourne House at a time when reshaping the future of our children’s education has never been more requisite.

In a globalised world of working, where we believe 70% of 21st Century jobs are yet to be imagined, the question has to be, ‘how do we prepare our children for a future we cannot even imagine?’

I believe that all teaching still needs to include introducing and embedding a broad knowledge base, but prioritising the development of core skills such as creativity, leadership, communication, collaboration and reflection is absolutely crucial right now. Technology has advanced so much in the last 25 years that developing skills that are uniquely human is at least as important as increasing knowledge. In order to remain sought after in the workplace, people have got to bring significant skills to the table that cannot be replicated by technology.

I am determined to move away from an outdated education model where ‘success’ is almost entirely measured on the outcome of narrow, high stakes, written memory tests. Success comes in many, many forms and we need to recognise and celebrate the whole child and their wide-ranging strengths and capabilities. I strongly believe that progressive academics, like Swanbourne’s PSB assessment model, unlock passions, nurture skills and characters, and promote courage, self-confidence and self-esteem in children who might otherwise wrongly feel they have somehow ‘failed’ or underperformed at school. This is a time for educationalists to be bold and put aside outdated forms of narrow assessment that in far too many cases are sadly responsible for diminishing our children’s aspirations and self-worth. We have got to arm our children with a strong and transferable skill set and the confidence, energy, determination and empathy to inspire their own creative vision.

Jane Thorpe

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