Eudaimonia

In troubling times, felt even when living on the incredible Fylde coast, it is inevitable that people find themselves thinking about where and when we may find respite, and what we are going to do about it all. Certainly, in education, there has never been more of a sense of mission in this area: how do we prepare our young people not only with the knowledge and skills they need, but also with the capacity to thrive in the face of uncertainty and challenge? None of this is new, of course. Aristotle wrote of phronesis, or practical wisdom; how it

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‘20s

I find myself sitting down to write a few days after the General Election. This isn’t a political essay – I feel that our role as educators is to equip people to make independent, informed decisions rather than to tell them what those decisions ought to be. Yet, the occasion, coinciding unusually with the end of the year, does make it an unprecedented time for reflection and projection. Back in the 1920s, Fritz Lang released his seminal dystopian science fiction film Metropolis. A reflection on the political situation in Weimar Germany, and a speculation on the world of the future,

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Leadership: oracy or empathy?

Earlier this month, I attended the annual HMC conference. This group, of which AKS is a member, comprises the UK’s leading 250 or so independent schools, plus a number of British schools across the world. Inevitably, the political and economic issues impacting the independent sector – from the threat of outright abolition, or the imposition of VAT on school fees, as well as Brexit and broader volatility across the world – formed a major theme. Alongside that, the nature of leadership and how we prepare our young people to engage with the uncertainties facing us all were key areas of

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A New Year

Wikipedia lists well over forty different ‘new year’ celebrations as they occur in different cultures across the world, from the Gregorian calendar incarnation on 1st January, through the Iranian new year that starts with the vernal equinox, the Coptic new year Neyrouz, which coincides with the ancient Egyptian date of 1 Thoth (sometime in late August), to the Pawl Kut straw harvest festival on 1st December. Some dates are fixed and some vary; in any event, they are scattered liberally across 2019. For those in the world of education, however, the start of September is immutably when the calendar rolls

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A rose by any other name

My last big community event was Lytham Club Day. Whilst our Swing Band, on the float, created wonderful sounds throughout the morning, I was grateful for the fantastic support from students, staff and parents of our Preparatory School and Nursery. Full of smiles and good humour, proud of their school and their community. We enjoyed carrying our banner bearing the name of our school through the streets (pictured) and engaging with onlookers. When I arrived 5 years ago, our full name was ArnoldKEQMS, closely reflecting the legacy schools that had come together to give birth to AKS. Historically informative but,

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End of the Year

In school it is report writing time, when a summary of a student’s efforts and achievement are sent to parents. Comments on examination results and wider school participation, an opportunity for us to be accountable for how our teaching has led to their learning. We hope these reports are informative and useful, giving insight into how students can achieve even more. And so to the traditional end of year prize-giving events. Some prizes are academic in nature, some performing in other fields, sporting, creative, leadership, teamwork, social responsibility and overcoming individual challenges. There are so many ways that students need

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