CHALLENGES AND CHALLENGE
Mick Smith, Secondary Principal
ince returning from a hugely successful recruitment trip to London where all Secondary and Primary vacancies were filled, it’s been right back into the swing of things at school. First, I was delighted to see that we had broken ground on the extension to Senior Studies. If you’ve been on campus in the past couple of weeks you may have seen and almost certainly will have heard the regular thud that signifies piling is underway. The construction noise is the first challenge that I’ll mention this week and falls into the ‘challenge that we’d rather do without category.’ However, I have to say that I don’t really have a problem with it at all. Firstly, because I have been closely involved with the planning of the redesign and extension to Senior Studies. It is going to be UNBELIEVABLY good and will revolutionise the school experience of our Senior students. Secondly, I know that if we suffer the noise now then we won’t have any issues during the final examinations period. Finally, the students themselves hardly seem to even notice! In Seniors they still sit, quite happily chatting, right next to the window that backs onto the construction! Maybe they really can function perfectly well in a world full of distractions... Plans for the extension to Seniors are currently on display in the Secondary Lounge so please stop by and take a look. We’ll move them to the front of school too in the near future. In the meantime, there are a couple of teasers below. The second challenge that we’d definitely rather have been without has, of course, been the extended period of poor air quality shrouding the city. This culminated in the enforced two-day closure last week. Like you, I hope that the improvement in air quality this week is here to stay.
While not wishing to downplay the air quality situation at all, I also have to speak up for the Big Mango and say that this is the first pollution related school closure I’ve experienced in nearly seventeen years here. I also hope that you feel reassured by the messages sent by Matt Mills regarding steps taken already and plans for the weeks and months ahead to do all that we can to keep Patana the wonderful, healthy learning environment that we are all so proud of.
“(THE REDESIGN AND EXTENSION TO SENIOR STUDIES) IS GOING TO BE UNBELIEVABLY GOOD AND WILL REVOLUTIONISE THE SCHOOL EXPERIENCE OF OUR SENIOR STUDENTS.” Usually, at Bangkok Patana the word challenge is seen in a much more positive light and refers to how we can ensure that our students are working to their full potential. In Secondary we have had a focus on challenge, particularly in Key Stage 3, for around a year now. Last week at a whole staff meeting we reflected collectively on where we are with this, what our successes have been, how consistent we are across all areas, and what we can focus on to improve still further over the remainder of the year. Our Learning and Teaching Advisor, Lindsay Tyrrell led much of the session. Lindsay shared her experiences of spending time in sixty-six different learning spaces during Term 1b, working alongside individual teachers, subject and faculty teams, focusing on the level and consistency of challenge provided to students. Lindsay was able to categorise her findings into key areas and gave examples
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