The biggest questions any school can ask itself are what is its purpose and why does it exist? Some schools will say they exist to ensure students get into university and focus on grades and exams, others look a little further along the timeline and view their role as preparing students for university and work.
The answer for us at ISKL is much broader and longer-term than this – our purpose centers around equipping students with what they need for the journey of life itself. This means that yes, learning at ISKL focuses on preparation for university, college, service, internships, and the workplace, and equally importantly, it encompasses equipping students to be successful, fulfilled, and happy in their lives. Learning at ISKL is for life.
Driven by this vision, our Strategic Plan is our guide for success at university, work AND life. It takes into account that all three aspects require different skill sets, knowledge, and dispositions and this important topic was one of the areas explored in our recent HoS and Parents In Partnership session when we looked at the role our Strategic Plan plays in preparing students for life beyond ISKL.
So, how do we know what we need to prepare our students for when accelerated global technological, economic, and social change make it almost impossible to anticipate the job market that our Prep Reception students will encounter in 2035? Research and Studies worldwide anticipate the disappearance of roles and creation of new ones at an astonishing speed and highlight the rapid rate of change associated with skills sets required for jobs – what is essential now for a role is likely to look completely different (and more complex) in a few years time.
While clearly, the world beyond ISKL is likely to change significantly year on year, what we do know is that those who will be successful will be self-directed, agile, innovative, tech-conversant, critical thinkers. Those who can adapt, learn, unlearn and relearn new skills and keep learning throughout their lives will have a competitive advantage. Those who approach life with an inclusive and international mindset will thrive because they are able to work across generations, cultures, and enhance a multinational work climate. Going beyond university and the workplace, we know that it will be important for students to understand their purpose in life, know how to nurture their own and others’ well-being, are passionate about what they do, and who are able to sustain deep social connections and relationships.
This is our purpose, and these are the skills, competencies and mindsets that we are nurturing everyday school-wide at ISKL. Much like cultivating a garden, some skills need constant ongoing attention, some take longer to acquire than others, some students will learn skills quickly while others need more support. Our role is to nurture every student by bringing together an optimal learning environment, expert educators, a culture of care, empathy and high expectations, and academic, co-curricular, and well-being learning programs that embrace a holistic and lifelong approach. This is what our students experience each day – learning that is authentic, learner driven, real world and tech relational. Learning that equips them with skills that will take them beyond ISKL – through university, work, and throughout life – enabling them to transform conditions for self, others, and our world.
Head of School