Student Agency In Action

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Published: Friday, 13 September, 2019

students mcI was delighted to be in Robert B. Gaw Theatre earlier this week, surrounded by the exuberance of 437 Middle School students and their equally enthusiastic teachers at the student-led assembly. It was both a joy and an inspiration to watch our students share their meaningful and fun performances with such an engaged and supportive audience. The safe and nurturing environment the Middle School audience created enabled these young performers to experiment and take risks in front of their peers.

The assembly was a great example of “student agency” in action.  Student agency describes how our students learn through self-directed activities that are meaningful, and driven by their passions and interests. Agency helps students develop the drive and the capacity to take action, and enables them to have more voice and choice in how they learn. This, in turn, supports the development of important  “future-ready” life skills, such as initiative, calculated risk-taking, and belief in oneself.

We believe that developing student agency is a continuous long term process and not a single event. Students need to be given opportunities to experiment, receive feedback, reflect and try again. All in an environment – like that of the Middle School assembly – which builds on trust, authentic engagement and calculated risk-taking. Our Middle School Student Council (StuCo) is another inspiring example of agency in action at ISKL, with students using their voice to encourage contributions, share ideas, and work collaboratively towards common goals. I am so impressed and inspired by the inclusive forum that StuCo has created this year to encourage their peers to contribute to the wider Middle school community and, most importantly, to have their voice heard.

Yours in collaboration and learning,

Rami Madani
Head of School

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