Nevertheless, our community – teachers, children and families – responded magnificently to this latest challenge, opening the term online on January 11th.,while our wonderful Maintenance Team literally dug the school out, allowing us to return to work in conditions of safety on January 20th. At time of writing, I remain optimistic that this will be our only whole-school confinement this year. Time will tell.
Of course, our key piece of news this month is the incorporation of Kensington into the Inspired education group, a network of schools spanning the globe from New Zealand to Peru. It is, as I said in the online meeting last Friday, a new chapter in the story of our school.
Kensington has always followed a holistic approach to education, understanding that children learn much from their participation in sport, music, theatre and art: the ability to work in teams, to share ideas and listen equally to the ideas of others, the discipline to work to deadlines, to go out and raise their performance when Game Day comes around or the curtain goes up, knowing how to win and lose with good grace, elements which go into the formation of the leaders of the next generation.
It’s the education I received, and one I would want to pass on to every child, so I am particularly pleased that Inspired share this vision. It’s early days yet, but it’s not impossible that elements of Public Speaking and Drama may well be enhanced in our curriculum going forward, and I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of incorporating Dance at some levels of the school.
At the same time, I believe that our children and teachers will benefit from forming part of a genuinely global community. For teachers, we will have the possibility of sharing ideas and best practice with teachers in more than 60 schools with certain ideas in common; our children will equally have access to opportunities for sharing with pupils in other Inspired schools, for exchanges and summer camps.
As an international educator, I’ve always seen Kensington children as very special, with strong roots in their home community, culture and language, growing up in confidence to embrace the opportunities their three languages afford them on a global and local stage. The new possibilities which Inspired bring, which must increase as our technology brings us ever closer together, can only enhance their education and their lives.
A key aspect of the Inspired approach is to respect the nature and traditions of schools which join their group while helping them to move forward, in the pursuit of excellence and the best possible experiences for children. The challenge that lies ahead for Paloma López and myself, together with Elena Benito, Directora General de Inspired España, and Nick Wergan, Inspired’s Director of Education, is to maintain the many strengths of the school that you have chosen for your children, while renewing, improving, making better. I look forward to sharing this journey together.