Page 9 - Independent Schools Magazine
P. 9

‘Everything you do now is for your future. Think about that’
  Richard Brown
Richard Brown, Headmaster Handcross Park School (part of
the Brighton College Family of Schools) discusses the skills that pupils need if they are to be prepared effectively for the future...
I was watching Channel 4 news the other day and Mike Bloomberg, the American businessman, was being interviewed. He was asked, ‘what are the three most important things that are going to affect our future?’ He suggested climate change; potential nuclear war and the relationship between the increase in technology and loss of jobs.
It made me think about what type of education children will require to succeed and cope with the 21st Century? In 2032 – what jobs will our children be doing? What do we know today about how to prepare that child for the future? Basically, what are the future needs of our children?
I read an article by a leading futurist, John B. Mahaf e, and he offered some thoughts as to what the future may hold for all of us:
• Our lives and work lives will be swept by regular waves of change
• More work will involve international connections and citizenship will gain a more global focus
• More work will be multidisciplinary, involving new kinds of collaboration
• Far more jobs will mean working intimately with digital machines and intelligent systems
• More elements of work and life will use visual communications
• The world will be battling sustainability issues in ways that will affect most workers
At Handcross Park, Richard Clark, our Director of Studies, introduced a PLTS (Personal Learning and Thinking Skills) programme as part of the curriculum from Year 3-8 – the key areas this focussed upon was:
Staff leadership training
• Leadership
• Communication and Collaboration
• Creativity and Innovation
• Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
Each year group would have a term to investigate one area and gather a portfolio of evidence at school and at home to achieve their tasks. If achieved this will lead to the pupil gaining a citizenship award for each year. The skills would be developed and built upon each year - in a series of projects, lessons and activities.
Over the past year, we have now extended the ‘leadership’ element of this programme to include numerous ‘tasks’ that the pupils can work on in groups. I contacted a teambuilding company called
No Limits (www.nolimitsadventure. and asked them to provide
me with the necessary equipment and training to enable us to take this idea forward.
An example activity or task – SPIDER’S WEB
To get the entire team from one side of the web to the other without using the same gap twice and without touching any of the web.
• No part of any participant, their clothing or any equipment may touch the web or its supporting structure.
• The apparatus may not be moved, untied, dismantled, damaged or lowered.
• Each hole in the web may only be used once, it will then be considered closed (though no change will take place in the shape or form of the web).
• No one may move to the other side of the web in either direction without passing through it.
• 1 x Frame with guy ropes • 1 x Web
• 4 x Tent pegs
• 1 x helmet
The most important part of the task was the feedback and re ection proffered by the member of staff and pupils that were involved.
It has been very apparent that the children have begun to understand how to work collaboratively to achieve a goal and also that
they have learnt one of the most important skills and that is to ‘listen’. I believe that these key skills will become embedded and will ensure that they are ready for what the future may hold in this ever changing world.
Independent Schools Magazine 9

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