Head of School's Desk

Dear All,

I would like to acknowledge that the photograph that is embedded below is not one of mine1 but it does help to highlight my message in a very helpful manner; and yes it does comply with copyright law.

These two young people are engaged in a challenge. They are absorbed by the task that faces them, yet they are not overwhelmed by the project or indeed by the possibility of failure. One of them is currently higher up the tree and is clearly confident, while the other child is, at this time, lagging behind. Perhaps the boy in the blue trousers is offering advice or encouragement, or is merely pausing for a moment to enjoy the activity. Whatever the real explanation, I would argue that there is a sense of collaboration evident in their interaction and most definitely they are acting without the apparent direct intervention of an adult. They are autonomous learners, striving for their own success and using previous knowledge to inform new learning and fresh challenges.

This photograph epitomises in so many ways what I believe about education: that children should be courageous, bold, determined and unafraid of the possibility of a temporary setback or indeed of failure itself. Learners should be creative, resilient and determined, accustomed to challenge and capable of contemplating success. Further, that while each child is an individual, they learn to have respect for others, to be able to work independently as well as collaboratively and to have faith that support will be afforded each and every one of them whenever they need it.

For some people, it may well be that the challenge that their child/children is engaged in is too difficult or even risky and I acknowledge their right to such a belief, yet I would like to state that denying children and young people the opportunity to strive for success is to prevent them from being able to discover themselves, to develop their drive and to enjoy the satisfaction that comes from successfully completing a task or project that appeared too daunting at first. Such opportunities enhance confidence and with such confidence new beliefs are “born”; beliefs that may well result in personal excellence.

So to every student currently enrolled in Prem Tinsulanonda International School I offer the personal challenge to strive and to be courageous, one step at a time. We will be there to support you when that is necessary, as indeed we will celebrate your triumphs with you whenever you succeed. Looking forward to those moments.

Yours sincerely,

Alun Cooper
Head of School

1 Can education ever be future proofed?”, Derek Pinchbeck, 09/07/2014

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