Learning for life

How do you quantify courage or independence? How much does perseverance weigh? What’s the true value of responsibility?

Facts and figures may get you through exams but more fundamental qualities will help you rise to the challenges of school and take you on into an uncertain future, so we focus on helping our children to make them part of their lives.

These qualities – ranging from curiosity to resilience – need to be carefully nurtured as part of every child’s education.

Courage, for example, means taking on a challenge that seems too much, whether it’s speaking in front of the class, leading your group during an expedition or simply keeping going when a subject seems too hard to master (with a little help from your friends). Imagination and creativity are an interesting pair – at first sight, it can be difficult to see the difference between them, but writing an account of your weekend and then making up a story make it plain.

And we practise what we preach. With an assembly about the upside of taking risks scheduled, one of our senior teachers volunteered to play her saxophone in public for the first time. She’d never played an instrument in front of an audience before, even as a child and was, she admits, more than a little nervous. But it meant that she could share the experience with the school and show that scary events can have a good outcome.