To our St Mary’s community,
Success should be a broad concept
I don’t need to tell you that we live in a time of extraordinary change. Change that is reshaping the way we work and the way we live. Change that gives us wonderful opportunities, but also creates a strain on families. Whether we like it or not, the pace of this change will only accelerate.
It is clear to see how this is having an impact on schools.
Schools have never been under more pressure than they are today. Yes, we are well resourced, and yes, we have access to more information and research than ever before, but we have never been under more scrutiny than we are today.
Today, we face a constant pressure for school-improvement. We are heavily focused on collecting student data – be it NAPLAN data, Literacy and Numeracy, OP scores, QCE percentages, and student attendance data. And they all MUST improve! And we need to fit this improvement drive into the same amount of time that we have always had.
Here’s the thing, it is becoming very easy for schools, amid this pressure of improving student data, to become streamlined schools where exam results side-line the human side of education.
This is the distraction that concerns me. We are so focused on the data and the exam results that we get distracted from what’s important.
Academic excellence is always going to be a priority for us, and we continue to enjoy strong results at St Mary’s. However, our children need to know that their education goes beyond a grade or an exam result; their education is equally about the importance of self-respect, creativity, compassion and concern for others.
It is important that parents and teachers work together to ensure we, at home and at school, do not get distracted from what is truly important for our kids. We need to let our young people know that success is broad concept, where character, ethics and social responsibility are pretty big things.
So, as we celebrate World Teachers’ Day this week, we are reminded of the importance of the wonderful work our teachers are called to do. Thank you to all our teachers and support staff.