9 November 2023

What have you learnt today?

Heads of SchoolMiddle School
What have you learnt today?
What have you learnt today?
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This is a question I have asked of many students this term in my capacity as Deputy Head for Student Learning in the Middle School. While in some cases the rather disheartening reflex response has been, ‘Nothing’, I have found the vast majority of students to be thoughtful in their replies. One student noted they had learnt with horror about the reality of teenagers going to war in World War I, another about their newfound fascination with insect-based foods and a third reflected thoughtfully on the relevance of their dystopian English novel to current world events.

Teachers often call themselves lifelong learners and the label is no exaggeration. Many teachers will tell you that the moments when they find themselves learning during a class at the same time their students do, or even sometimes learning from students, are very meaningful moments indeed. We hope to instil this appreciation of learning in our students every day.

You might find yourself asking your child at the end of the typical school day, ‘How was school today?’ Perhaps, as an alternative, challenging them with the question of what they have learnt instead will encourage them to move beyond the rather standard response of ‘Good’ and to reflect on their intellectual endeavours in class.

Of course, learning happens everywhere and is not limited to school hours. No doubt we want the children in our care to be learning when they at home, during their various extracurricular activities and when they spend time with friends and family. Perhaps even when they are online, although that may be too ambitious a goal.

There is certainly no limit to the learning opportunities available to all of us as we make our way in the world. Hopefully, with an occasional reminder, we can all remember to take those opportunities.

David Martin
Acting Deputy Head of Middle School – Student Learning

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