This week with our Principal - Mr Taylor
Term 2 Week 5
Dear Parents and Caregivers,
My First Week at Banora Point
I am delighted to begin as Principal of Banora Point PS this week. I have been meeting staff, students and parents all week and trying to understand all things Banora Point. It will take a little while to remember everyone’s names! Schools are about people and the relationships between people. My immediate observation is that our children and staff are happy and welcoming and that a calm and settled climate is evident throughout the school. I feel very fortunate indeed to be here as Principal.
I come to Banora Point following just over three years as Principal at Turramurra North PS on Sydney’s North Shore. At Turramurra North our staff led students to develop ownership of their learning through purposeful work, real world connections and collaborative practice. This all contributes to high engagement. Prior to my time as Principal at Turramurra North I was a Deputy Principal, Assistant Principal and Classroom Teacher working mainly in the New England Region where I grew up. I also spent three and a half years teaching in West Yorkshire in the UK in the late 1990s.
Part of the selection criteria for the role as Principal at Banora Point centred around the notion of ‘future focused learning’. I have developed an increasing focus in this area over the past decade and led substantial projects in a number of schools. It is vital that with any change proposed or initiated that a clear purpose is established. I will be leading a discussion with parents and wider community of Banora Point around what ‘future focus’ means and why we need to embrace this direction in education. This will lead us to the extensive global research available around ‘the future of work’ and the digital disruption of the workplace already underway. It is essential that our children have the skills and knowledge they will require to effectively contribute in this rapidly evolving world/ workplace. Our children will need to learn to be critical thinkers who can work collaboratively to solve big issues / problems and to function in an era of change never seen before. Children entering Kindergarten in 2017 will finish school in 2029. Students finishing school in 2017 began school in 2005. In 2005 the iPhone and iPad and apps had not yet been invented. I wonder what 2029 might look like for our kids?
Increasingly in schools, teachers will lead students to produce their own content, rather than regurgitate content, through purposeful work connected to the real world. In the automated world of tomorrow, it will be those who develop strength of character; empathy, ethics, judgement, creativity who will be most successful. As corporations reach for increased profits, technological advance will replace all that can be automated and this will continue to disrupt the workplace.
For the next 5 weeks I will be living away from my family, who are currently based in Sydney. This will mean that I will return to Sydney on the weekends over this period. We hope to move to the local area as a family during the next school holidays.
I would be delighted to meet parents and to hear your perspectives on our school. Please pop in to say hi if you are in the office. I would love to hear your views.