Keeping abreast of global best practices and research is critical to our success and foundational to every aspect of our school from teaching and learning through to governance. This week’s Head of School News comes to you from Vietnam where, along with several of ISKL’s board members, I am attending the Governance As Leadership Training Institute’s annual conference hosted by the United Nations International School Hanoi. More than 100 delegates from 19 schools and education organizations from around the world are attending the conference where we will be examining all aspects of governance from the impact of global trends on international schools and their boards to strategies and process models that enable boards and heads to make impactful solutions.
We are hugely grateful for the time, expertise, and experience our board members bring to our school. They play a vital role in our strategic and financial oversight and in helping us fulfill our Vision and Mission. With the forthcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM) on September 19, the conference presents a timely opportunity for us to reflect, learn, and connect with other boards and heads of schools. I look forward to sharing key learning and insights with you in my Head of School report at the AGM.
Our Vision and Mission underpin all that we do here at ISKL, and framed our Head of School & Parents In Partnership session earlier this week (September 6). Our Principals shared how the year ahead is informed and guided by our strategic objectives and looked at how we support the cognitive and social and emotional growth and development of our students as they progress through each division.
We also explored how the growth in thinking complexity evolves over time from birth through to adulthood (based on the research of Professor Kurt Fischer from Harvard University) and how higher levels of complexity in thinking correlate with higher growth trajectories. The research tells us that the most significant growth occurs in elementary school-aged children and then tapers as they move through adolescence into adulthood. Conversely, as children progress through school the depth of content learning grows exponentially. Accordingly, getting the right balance of cognitive skill development and content learning while being mindful of social and emotional learning as students progress through school is such an important focus for us. It informs our programs and the strategies we use to teach and assess what matters (traditional learning and testing are not the best ways to develop and assess thinking complexity). Our thanks to all the parents who came along, if you missed it and would like to learn more, we will include a recap at our next Head of School & Parents in Conversation over Coffee on October 10.
Head of School