Earlier in the week Mr. Garbett read to me a comment that a Year 9 student new to our school had written in response to her reports. To give a little background, the idea is that, in order to encourage students to really engage with their reports and have a greater sense of ownership over their learning, they each identify and record “3 stars and a wish” in response to the reports’ contents. The “stars” are actually supposed to be about each child celebrating what they perceive to be their greatest successes during the reporting period and the “wish” their personal target for improvement. However, this particular girl had chosen to make one of her “stars” actually about KISU. I don’t have a copy of what she wrote on her report so I paraphrase, but it essentially ran:
“It is so good to be in a school where the teachers really care about you- unlike my last school”
Music to my ears, of course, and the more so because her last school was one of our competitors in Kampala; it would be crass of me to name names but let me just say that it is one of the newer members of the family of international schools in the city!
But I don’t want to dwell on the wonderful marketing value in her statement (much as I am tempted!), because actually there is something far more profound and important here. The young lady concerned has actually struck upon something that is of fundamental importance to good education, which is that children need to (and should!) feel safe, valued and cared for in their classrooms and schools, if they are going to flourish and develop to achieve their full potential personally and academically. And there are oceans of research to support this:-