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.
One of the many advantages we hope to see from our membership of Round Square is the development of an exchange programme. This group of 180 schools, across over 40 countries, shares a belief in the educational value of students learning outside their comfort zones, spending a short time (usually 2 weeks to 2 months) studying at a school in a different country/culture to their own. As an exchange, this usually has no cost except for the flight.
As a taster over Easter, a group of our Year 10 girls (pictured) visited my former school in Thailand, attending Year 10 classes there. A great chance to see how others learn in a very different setting. I am grateful to Regents International School Pattaya for giving them this opportunity.
I hope that as our relationships grow with the Round Square family, students at AKS will look to take up these very individual opportunities. They may be inspired by adventurous, cultural, academic, creative, linguistic, sporting or other passions. Europe, North America, South America, Africa, Asia or Australasia – let’s learn with schools around the world.
M H P Walton