A Compelling Education

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

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A hundred years ago

I hope all those in the AKS community have seen the ‘News From The Front’, a monthly publication researched and produced by Kevin Adamson, one of our highly valued volunteer archivists. In August 2014 his first edition began: ‘The centenary of the start of the Great War is now upon us. The idea of the bulletin is to give a brief insight to the events of the war as it unfolds, the local people involved and where possible provide information on those Old Boys who were serving in the armed forces. This first ‘News from the Front’ will concentrate on

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Global Outlook

We seem to live in turbulent times, where traditional assumptions about our place in the world are being questioned and challenged. To my mind, it becomes more important than ever that our children are able to consider the perspectives of others, to put themselves (for a moment) in the shoes of those who come from different national, cultural and political backgrounds. It has given me great pleasure to see how our 7 Year 12 students have engaged with over 300 others at the Round Square global conference in Ottawa. They have made friends with schools around the world. On the

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The Pareto Principle

Before half-term we all trooped outside onto the field to have our AKS photo (pictured). It was great to get together as a whole school, from nursery to sixth form. For me, it symbolised our unity of purpose. Whilst some junior and senior schools can have quite separate identities, I am delighted that at AKS these two parts of the school continue to grow together. Apart from the obvious progression of curriculum and assessment, we are seeking to develop greater sharing of staff and resources, developing elements of a common timetable to facilitate that. Music, sport, drama, art, science, design

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Exchange

I have found that as a teacher, some of the best professional development comes from visiting other schools. I am fortunate to have done this often over my career, in the UK and overseas. Many I have inspected, which can give quite a formal view, but most have been as a visitor where impressions can be made in the most random of ways. There is always something to learn, broadening our horizons and often challenging our assumptions on how things can be done. I am in no doubt that students can gain just as much by entering unfamiliar learning environments.

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Toilet Twinning

In an enrichment lesson last week I talked to Year 12 students about being a young teacher in Northern Sudan. It was there, on my 24th birthday, that I was looking for somewhere to live in a small town beside the River Nile, where I had been posted to a boys’ secondary school. The small one-roomed house I found was very basic but did have a great toilet. All toilets in those parts were ‘long-drops’, which one squatted over, with a pit beneath, simple but efficient. Mine was one of the best because it had solid walls and a door,

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