I have always believed that education is a process that is strengthened through partnership. Clearly the student-teacher-parent partnership is critical but there are many others that can support us in building confidence, broadening horizons, challenging assumptions and empowering action. These are elements of what I would describe as a ‘compelling’ education.
Last Friday I was delighted to see some of the organisations who provide just the sort of partnership I describe. We welcomed Lytham Community Choir to come and sing with our own senior choir to raise money to support a hospital on the border of Syria. Mr Ba’ath, a local paediatric surgeon, spoke of the work he has been doing there with displaced people, a continuation of a presentation he gave to our sixth form students earlier in the day. It was a pleasure to meet other members of our local Syrian community, some of whom had already been to school to talk to our students about the challenges of moving country and culture.
Joining us on Friday were members of the County Council, the Salvation Army, Anmesty International, the Soroptomists and health centres. It was a pleasure to have another opportunity to connect like minded people. These groups are among our educational partners, I have seen our young people shine under their influence. These organisations talk about AKS pupils with such admiration, it is no surprise that our students continue to get local, national and international recognition for their commitment to engaging and supporting communities in need.
We know that our children achieve best when motivation is highest and that different children are motivated in different ways. Pleasing teachers and parents is important but may be less likely to drive high achievement than an inner desire to reach one’s own potential. To this end, I believe a recognition of how lucky we are, along with empowerment to make a positive impact on the world around us, can be very compelling indeed.
M H P Walton