One of the key focuses in our strategic thinking is the modernisation of our campuses to meet the ever-growing needs of our expanding school community. Space in our schools is a precious commodity which calls for innovative thinking, clear heads and the best utilisation of our assets.
Across our campuses, the call for improved facilities has grown ever louder. To this end we made the decision to re-develop the Central Campus for the benefit of the over 1000 pupils in Highlands Primary, Middle and High Schools.
Construction is currently well underway for our new multi-purpose indoor facility which will be used for a wide range of sporting, cultural and educational activities. Highlands Primary will have access to this new hall and other existing facilities via the planned underground concourse that will link the two campuses.
The High school grounds have been greatly enhanced with the installation of AstroTurf on the south side of the school. The area has been landscaped, picnic tables purchased and the pupils enjoy it at break.
Renovations for the new foundation and marketing offices as well as the new uniform shop were recently completed.
Every aspect of the new world requires a certain degree of technological know-how and our pupils will need these skills when they leave school and are forced to navigate their chosen career paths. Additionally, we know that the face of education has been irrevocably changed by the advent of modern technology and we would be failing in our duty if we did not up-skill both our teachers and pupils.
As a result, the key focus for 2012 was the introduction and implementation of technology in the classroom. At the start of last year, every classroom across the system was fitted with computer technology that enables our teachers to incorporate and integrate the use of them into their teaching with the express aim of improving teaching and learning.
It is our responsibility to ensure that our teachers are at the coalface of integrating ICT (information and communication technology) into their teaching. We need to ensure that they are adequately trained to meet this challenge and have thus implemented internationally recognised and developed training programmes. The aim of this initiative is not about throwing technology at the teachers, but rather using the technology as a pedagogic tool in the preparation of their everyday lessons.
We have to continually ask ourselves if we are doing enough to prepare our children for the 21st century. Success in tomorrow’s knowledge-based world will depend on innovative thinking and finding creative solutions to new problems. We need to question whether the things we teach our children today are relevant and adequate preparation for a world that we can’t even begin to imagine.
Successful schools are places that adopt a fresh and original approach, where innovation, resourcefulness and risk taking are acknowledged and embraced. A place where educating children for tomorrow is the highest consideration, and knowing that teaching those skills will benefit them in a new globalised society. A successful school will teach creativity and imagination.
We have a duty to ensure that our children grow up with a set of skills that will serve them well in a new world, 10, 15 and 20 years down the line. We are extremely proud that we are preparing our children for the 21st century without ever losing focus on the importance of basic numeracy and literacy.