This is the time of year when leadership groups within the College grapple with planning and preparation for our new year. It is a time when we hope to address many issues in relation to scheduling, adjusting programmes, calendaring events, and finding as best we can, the balance between what educational authority mandates for us and what we know is best practice in effective teaching and learning for our students. Through all of the questions and elements to ponder such as the growing digital learning revolution, the best ways to measure real achievement, effectively managing the curriculum programme in the limited time available and caring for our young people with the attention they deserve, we sort our way forward into a new academic year and weekly calendar.
Throughout this increasing complexity, maintaining a clear focus on what is important for preparing our students for the rapidly changing future is vital. I believe we need to be clear and focused on keeping things as simple as possible. The opportunity to explore and immerse ourselves into the seemingly endless and readily available resources that exist these days, still does not substitute for the human interaction in direct quality teaching and through it the development of true skills in comprehension. Our students (of all ages) need to recognise the importance of effective listening, speaking, reading and writing in expressive forms though their learning.
As we plan more broadly for our priorities, we also cannot ignore the skills needed for young people as they enter a world of increasingly articulated automation, artificial intelligence and a rapidly transforming workplace. 21st Century learners need to be far more adaptable and agile in their approach to work. They will need to be increasingly more creative, entrepreneurial and be able to demonstrate how they can tackle and solve problems and work successfully in team-oriented situations.
Chisholm is an impressive professional learning community. I continue to see much in the way of sensible, considered opinions from experienced and passionate educators but also openness to innovation and the challenges that lay ahead in order for us to continue to maintain what many acknowledge is a strong, learning environment that adds real value. We are definitely immersed like others, in the growing challenges but I’m confident that we will continue to refine and evolve, as we need to, to keep forging ahead as a strong Catholic secondary school community.
Mr John Bormolini