Be curious, ask questions, and keep life and learning exciting

We have made a good start to Term 3, having completed our first week of term in the online learning mode once again. Feedback from parents is that staff and students are more relaxed this time as everything isn’t new and good routines are being implemented. The onsite learning program is going smoothly for students of essential workers and students with learning needs.

In our first assembly last week we launched our focus on the Carey Positive Learner Attribute of ‘Curiosity’ for the term. I spoke about how curiosity keeps my brain active and alive, open and ready for new ideas, and it helps keep life and learning exciting.

It was fascinating reflecting with the onsite students about what curiosity is and why it is important, especially after the weekend. I asked the students: what did you wonder about over the weekend? What did you want to find out more about? Or did you ask what if? They had to really stop and think and only one student had something to share straight away. This was a little worrying for me and has definitely reinforced the need for us to help sharpen our lens on how to exercise the curiosity muscle in our students through some explicit questioning and challenges. As I pointed out in the assembly, nothing becomes interesting until you take notice and pay attention to it. A good example is rocks, which on the surface may seem uninteresting until you start collecting them or ask questions like, what rock is the most valuable? What if you could turn rock into fuel? How many rocks have been identified? Suddenly rocks become a whole lot more interesting.

To quote writer Samuel Johnson, ‘Curiosity is one of the most permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous intellect.’ It is an attribute that we can cultivate in all our children and we must not leave this to chance. As we navigate our way through this COVID–19 pandemic, create a ray of hope through nurturing your child with opportunities to wonder, to ask questions and enjoy the thrill of discovering new passions. Keep an eye on the challenges presented in Assembly over the term.

Take care and stay well!

Libby Russell
Head of Junior School Kew