26 June 2017

Head of Junior School

I would like to welcome the Scotch community to the 2017 academic year. I want to thank the parents who were able to attend the Meeting the Teacher Evening on Thursday 2 February. As part of my presentation I shared what drives and guides me as an educator and school leader.

My Philosophy of Education

  • All children have the equal right to excellent education
  • Developing strong and effective partnerships with colleagues and parents
  • Developing strong basic skills in our students in an engaging, challenging and differentiated learning environment
  • Consistency in our approach across the Junior School

My philosophy has been developed through my experience in both the UK and Australia. In the UK, I worked in very challenging schools in challenging areas. I saw a great deal of inequality in terms of the quality of education. I also saw the need for children to be given the best opportunities possible. I learned then, and firmly believe now, that the provision of the best possible education by excellent teachers is the right of all children. I have worked throughout my career to provide that for the students in my schools.

My moral purpose is what drives me each day and is what I aim to achieve as a Head Teacher. I am fortunate to have a staff of outstanding educators to assist me in achieving my goals. My Moral Purpose reads as follows:

To develop an institution that provides outstanding inclusive education for the whole child. To develop strong basic skills, the arts, sport and most importantly developing good, kind engaged and able young people. To prepare students for their future by developing the skills they will need to compete in a global economy. To develop and empower colleagues to be able to deliver the best educational outcomes for every student.

We have set our goals for this year. They are focused around improving the quality of teaching and learning in the Junior School. They include:

  • IB self-study

A year-long self-review. We will review everything we do in terms of teaching and learning and compare these against the IB Standards and Practices.

  • Monitor and track

We want to make even better use of that data we gather on the boys to assist in our programming, grouping and differentiation.

  • Approaches to learning (ATLs)

The ATLs are a detail list of skills. We will aim to better incorporate these into all areas of the curriculum.

  • Wellness: mindfulness, gratitude, resilience

Research suggests that mindfulness training can; reduce stress, improve self- confidence, relationships with others, attention levels, optimism and self-esteem. (fisher 2006; Schonert-Reichl & Lawlor 2010) We will be training the boys in mindfulness meditation through formal siting, walking and breathing practice. These short daily activities will assist in resetting the boys' mind to be ready for the important task of learning.

I am greatly looking forward to the challenges and successes of 2017. I look forward to engaging and learning with you and I wish you all the best for year ahead.

Mr John Stewart
Head of Junior School