LAHC Newsletter Nº 20 (March 2009) LATIN AMERICAN HEADS CONFERENCE
In this issue: Page Values in the Development Plan. Nick Thody reflects on an essential aspect of education
Today’s vision, tomorrow’s reality. David Bamford considers the past, present and future of LAHC
An exchange of cultures. The St Hilda’s College orchestra travels to Europe
When teaching and learning connect. The British School, Rio and Lancaster School pay tribute to the effectiveness of networking
Healthy lifestyles. Environmental responsibility at the Mayflower School
Obituary: Michael Freeman. A tribute to the Head of the Preparatory section of the Grange School
Earthquake relief. An update on the Peruvian initiative
Motivating teachers, creative readers. Two Peruvian teachers share the podium
The LAHC poster
LAHC in Network. Gerardo Lázaro, of the Colegio San Jorge, explains the new webbased communications platform
The place of values in the LAHC Development Plan Development planning has been at the forefront of the committee’s work this year and the early fruits of this work were sent out to the membership in December. The re actions so far have been limited, but positive. The Devel opment Plan is cer tainly both visionary and exciting and heralds an era of wide involvement from the members and their schools. The committee has worked towards setting a clear agenda of goals in the three identified areas. As educators we have a responsibility to develop citizens who see it as their duty to bring about change and make the world a better and safer place. Our strategic goals are the promotion of ethical princi ples and standards and a commitment to education as a force for social change. To meet these goals we will work with the membership to: · give social and moral responsibility a central im portance in the educational process · make a positive impact on the wider communities surrounding member schools Whilst researching these areas I wondered what was al ready happening in our schools. Looking through the back
‘20 Newsletter s On’ If there is a common theme uniting the contents of this issue of the LAHC newsletter, it is networking. Although the term is, perhaps, overused in current profesional jargon, the concept and practice strongly underpin what current LAHC development intiatives are aiming at. The triple focus of the Development Plan on Growth, Impact and Values aims at strengt hening the unifying structure of the association, in creasing cooperation within regions and across fron tiers, and embracing initiatives which enhance the educational experience provided both by individual schools and by LAHC as a whole. It must be remem bered that nothing in education remains static, and that it is our responsibility, as an educational associa tion of weight, to continue to seek, champion, initiate and maintain progress. The more we share, the stron ger we grow
copies of the LAHC Newsletters, I found them to be over flowing with excellent examples. To name but a few, the education of Kalei Sanft at St Nicholas, St Georges Quilmes and Bradford School, The Children’s University and the Cape Farewell project at Lancaster School, Care, Give and Believe at Colegio Gran Bretaña; Helping the local commu nity of Chaitén at Saint Gabriel’s School, The Green Grange Warriors, the environmental initiatives at San Silvestre and the Mayflower Schools, the collaboration of the LAHC and BSP schools in Peru after the earth quake in Pisco, Chincha and Ica. The number of LAHC schools with active environmental programmes is impres sive and recording these merited a supplement to the last newsletter. The conclu sions I draw from this is that our schools are already invest ing a huge amount of time and energy in social and envi ronmental pro jects and that with coordina tion we can make it a cornerstone and unique feature of LAHC schools.
NickThody, St Nicholas School Chair of LAHC
LAHC Newsletter March 2009 Today’s Vision, Tomor r ow’s Reality A study of some of the documents which have recorded the progress of LAHC’s journey over the past years provides an interesting indication of the distance travelled. For exam ple, those who remember the milestone EGM held in the Grange School, Santiago on Sunday 7 th May 2000, will be aware that that meeting set a course which was the largely determinant factor in the path that the association has trod den since. Even those whose memories do go back that far some 35% of the current membership may be pardoned for not remembering a list of possible future developments that was drawn up by the Executive Committee at about that time. This was a list of 14 possible areas of activity, which proba bly looked so ambitious as to be beyond the reach of LAHC as it was then. Although some of these activities have not yet taken place, there are 9 of them (64.3%) that were not only mile stones in the history of LAHC’s development, but have be come part of our regular stockintrade. To enumerate: work shops for subject specialists (also for different levels of man ager) have taken in Bogotá, Buenos Aires, Cali, Caracas and Rio de Janeiro, among other places. The ‘LAHC magazine’
An Exchange of Cultur es Dur ing the 2009 summer holiday, the 44str ong or chestra of St Hilda’s College, Hur lingham, tr avelled to Eur ope and per for med concer ts in Spain, England and Scotland, shar ing their own musical cultur e and being instr ucted and inspir ed by those that they witnessed.
Alfonso ‘MacBron’ Three members of the orchestra, Sasi
in the shape of this newsletter, has been published regularly, three times a year, since 2003. Advertising in the conference programme has become sought after and high profile. There have been performing arts workshops for both staff and pu pils, culminating in demonstrations of skills and techniques mastered. There have been exchanges for both staff and pu pils, sports exchanges, in the shape of the twiceheld Chile Peru Friendship Games. Interschool development projects have taken place, in the form of INTERCAS and the BSP inspired earthquake relief campaign. Several LAHC Student Conferences have taken the form of interschool adventure trips, fostering survival skills, selfreliance and teamwork. These have also built solid and lasting friendships between and among young people of different nationalities in differ ent countries. LAHC today is the fruit of yesterday’s vision. As we move into a new era of expansion and enhanced communica tion, with a revised committee structure, an internet commu nications platform (see page 6) and the online Google calen dar, we confidently predict that the vision of today will be come tomorrow’s reality.
Ayer be Rant, Car olina McLean and Paula Dos Santos Clar o, record that highlights of the tour included visits to the Valle de los Caídos, El Escorial and Toledo, being received by a traditional Scottish bagpiper at Gordonstoun School, sleeping in a dormitory(!), com bining with the Gordonstoun orchestra to perform a charity concert and visiting the Beatles’ Museum in Liverpool. In Madrid, the orchestra entertained a large audience not only with Argen tine music, but also with an exhibition of tango dancing. As it were, in return, they were introduced to Scottish danc ing at a traditional ceilidh, during which one of their members, Alfonso Bron, dared to don the kilt. In the Lake District, an exhibition of song and dance in a residential home was exchanged for anecdotes about the residents’ experiences in wartime Brit ain. Further historical interest was pro vided by the viewing of manuscripts of Handels’s Gloria in Chester Cathedral and a walk along that city’s Roman wall. Despite the cancellation of some of the final commitments occasioned by the severe weather that set in towards
David Bamford Executive Officer the end of the stay, the visitors were able to attend a performance of The Marriage of Figaro by the Welsh Na tional Opera in the spectacular new Mil lennium Centre in Cardiff Bay. The tour also included attendances at La Ba yadère performed by the Royal Ballet in the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and The Lion King, and concluded with a performance at Hampton School.
The final concert, in Hampton School After a truly memorable tour, the members of the St Hilda’s College or chestra hope that the memory of its visit will be as durable in the minds of those with whom they came into contact as it will be in their own.
LAHC Newsletter March 2009
When Teaching and Lear ning Connect The above, given as a title for the contribution that follows, is being used as an umbrella title for both articles on this page. Both have to do with the question of how educators must share experiences in order for the teachinglearning process to be come stronger and more relevant. The ICT conference, held in Rio in November last year, is yet another manifestation of the British School’s desire both to expose its teachers to the best of current educational theory and practice and also to share the expertise of its own and other schools’ staff with a wider audience. The second article is evidence of how Lancaster School, Mexico City, has always shown creativity in making the most of the opportunities which LAHC membership makes possible.
Cr eativity in Teaching and Lear ning The use of ICT in schools has changed dramatically over the past decade and more has become known about what it takes for its successful implemen tation: flexible and brave teachers who allow for change. The ICT for Teaching and Lear ning ‘Creatively’ Confer ence held at The British School, Rio de Janeiro last November brought together class teachers, subject teachers, ICT teachers and coordinators from 17 international schools in 7 countries across Latin America to share expertise, discuss and reflect upon the effective use of Information and Communication Technology. These examples demonstrate the quality of work that can be achieved through the use of technology and makes learn ing go past the school gates. Thanks to technology, many students are keen to use their home computers to contribute to lessons and therefore enhance both teaching and learning. This is one undeniable conquest in the current education sce
nario, to which Keith Turvey (UK) contributed with his VLE project “to showcase children’s creative work and exploring wikis and discussion forums to support PSHE and collabora tive writing tasks online.” The conference was a celebration of a number of brilliant teachers whose experiences encourage students to develop independent learning strategies regardless their age. Technol ogy has opened up a wider world of teaching and learning opportunities that extend the range of possibilities in exciting, but often unforeseeable, ways. In the digital era, only practi tioners truly involved with such a challenging reality will use the most sophisticated tools and skills to bring life to the beauty that lies in education: excellent teaching is about rest less learning. And more good news is that the discussions and sharing of ideas will still go on, via the establishment of The LATIN (The Latin American Teachers’ ICT Network). So, if you are interested in the effective use of ICT for teaching and learn ing, then join us and signup at www.thelatin.ning.com.
An Innovative Appr oach to IB Tr aining Since the first IB diploma candi dates at Lancaster School are soon to face the examination ordeal, the school made use of the LAHC network to ob tain first hand assistance with prepara tion.. Mar celo Rabanal, of St. John’s School Concepción, Chile, visited the school in January to share his experience on the English A2 Higher Level pro gramme. Schools, departments, teachers and students who have been through the IB Diploma course in any subject know how challenging it is, particularly on the first occasion. In addition to facing the rigours of a new programme, there is also the need constantly to keep abreast of innovations in curricular thinking and content. It was with this in mind that Marcelo was invited to Mexico to audit the department and help with issues such
Marcelo and John in Frida Kahlo’s house as moderation, departmental procedures and teaching practices. This style of inhouse training was extremely beneficial to all members of the department. In addition to the financial saving in not having to send individual teachers to distant workshops, there was the advantage of having assis tance for the whole department deliv ered on site by an experienced practitio
Tatiana Augusta Teixeira Sobral Primary class teacher The British School, Rio de Janeiro
ner. This allowed for questions to be answered directly and for feedback to be tailored specifically to the needs of the department. Marcelo had the opportunity�� to observe and comment on our teaching styles, participate in and advise on as sessment of externally moderated oral material, and offer expert advice on these complex areas. Having such guid ance from a highly experienced work shop leader, former IB coordinator, former IB area manager and current Head of the English department in an other IB school was a great source of support and inspiration. It was also reas suring to find that we were on the right track. This experience validated much of the effort put in during the course by the Lancaster teachers, and the whole de partment felt greatly encouraged.
John Kelly English Lead Teacher Lancaster School, Mexico City
LAHC Newsletter March 2009
Healthy Lifestyles The ‘green supplement’ to last November’s newsletter (http://www.lahc.net/Site_2008/9_The_newsletter/ NewsLetter/N_19_Green_supplement.pdf), contained articles on ways in which a number of LAHC schools are given en vironmental education and responsibility an increasingly prominent place in both the specific curriculum and in para curricular areas, a number of them recounting what the impact of such initiatives has been at home. Marcela Flor es, a teacher of Physical Education at the Mayflower School in Santiago, and a champion within the school of environmental responsibility, tells of effects of environmental policies in her school. Rapid advances in the world of technology, population growth, global warming, etc. have all created serious developmental consequences for eve ryone. Current lifestyle (decrease in physical activity, stress, inappropriate diet, lack of awareness of and educa tion concerning necessary human be haviour and concern for the planet) has created the necessity of formulating specific plans and strategies to pro mote habits that contribute to improve ment in quality of life.
nity to certain key areas: eating habits, physical activity and the environment. The aim is to communicate a constant and enduring message, so that the chil dren in our care grow up with a sense of responsibility concerning their own health and that of their surroundings. The government organisation CONAMA (Comisión Nacional del Medio Ambiente) has created a proc ess of certification for schools, and provides support material, training, suggestions for activities which all tend to the education of children in environmental responsibility. The school attained this certification in July 2008, having complied with cer tain rubrics at the highest level of ex cellence. This achievement encouraged us to pursue the matter of environmental awareness beyond the curriculum, and, in October last year, we adopted recy cling as a whole school policy, gener ating awareness by educational talks, placing colourcoded bins in the The CONAMA award school playgrounds for metal, plastic, The Mayflower School has un organic waste, batteries, white paper dertaken a project to give specific and and toner and ink cartridges. This is regular expression within the commu only a start, for considerable time,
Obituar y: Michael (Mike) Fr eeman On Friday 9 th January, Mike Freeman, Head of the Pre paratory section of the Grange School, Santiago, died, in stantly from a head injury after fainting, on the summit of Aconcagua. He was 42 years old. Mike assumed his post at the Grange in 2007. He will be remembered for his exceptional communication skills, his ability to interact with people in all sectors of the school community, his “open door” approach and his infec tious enthusiasm and drive for continu ally aiming to create the most effective learning environment. For Mike, no problem was too difficult to solve. One highlight of Mike’s Headmastership was his belief in environmental issues at all levels. He felt that education
patience and determination are neces sary for the establishment of full con sciousness and responsible behaviour in environmental matters. We hope to achieve, during 2009, a higher level of commitment on the part of the commu nity. We shall continue to provide information on responsible use of wa ter and energy, and we intend to in clude education in the economical use of paper and recyclable materials, also encouragement in the use of cloth bags, instead of plastic, since the time taken by plastic to degrade contributes nothing to the care of the environment.
in environmental responsibility would provide children with the drive, tools and desire to change the future of their world. Through the initiation of the The Green Grange War riors (the subject of an article in the July 2008 issue of this newsletter), Mike empowered his staff and pupils to start tackling the essential matters of recy cling and sustainability. Mike’s energy transfer has encouraged pupils to influ ence their families to begin to examine their lifestyles and to make adjustments for a better future. Mike was an educator to the core and a lovable human being. All who knew him are richer for having had the privilege. To Nancy, his widow, and to Will and Gus, the LAHC community extends its heartfelt sympathy.
LAHC Newsletter March 2009
day, March 16 th . Critical items include finishing the cistern tank and the elevated tank to provide the bathrooms with Reader s of this newsletter will have followed the pr ogr ess water; glazing and doors; covering for the patio and a thor of the joint BSP (British Schools in Per u) and LAHC ini ough cleanup of the site and classrooms. tiative to pr ovide relief to towns in the south of Per u fol lowing the ear thquake that devastated the towns of Pisco, Ica and Chincha in August 2007. Following the pr ogr ess r epor t given in last November ’s newsletter (http:// www.lahc.net/Site_2008/9_The_newsletter /NewsLetter / Files_NewsLetter _2008.htm), Don J ones gives a r ecent pr ogr ess repor t.
J oint BSP LAHC Ear thquake Relief Pr oject
The start of the 2009 school year in the whole of Peru was Monday, March 2 nd and for school No. 22267 in Su nampe there was no exception. However, despite the mis leading sign outside the reconstruction site, classes did not start there that day but in the temporary classrooms which the school had occupied the previous year. During the course of January advance had been rapid. The perimeter wall had been finished on time and the shell of new office buildings and bathrooms had been roofed. How Director José Luis Torres outside school No. 22267 under ever, in February the pace slackened and by the end of the reconstruction just before the start of the new school year month, even though the buildings had been plastered and tiled, there was still a long way to go before the site would be It is still too early to plan an inauguration ceremony, that ready to receive students. can come later, but there are plans afoot to organize students A programme for the first two weeks of March has been from the Lima schools to paint a mural on the perimeter wall. agreed with the builder and if this is fulfilled then it may be Thank you once more for your support of this project possible to think of starting classes on the new site on Mon and we hope to report its completion in the next Newsletter.
Motivating Teacher s, Cr eative Reader s: two teacher s fr om dif fer ent schools shar e the podium at a liter ar y festival In January, the 4th version of the biennial festival of literature took place in Trujillo, with the motto De esta fiesta no me libro (a play on words which does not translate into English). Milagr os Alegr ía of Fleming Col lege, Trujillo, and Claudia Cabieses of Cambridge College, Lima, contributed to the event with a presentation entitled
Profesores Motivadores, Lectores Crea tivos before a numerous audience com posed largely of teachers from different parts of the country. Milagros spoke of a project carried out by 6th Grade pupils inspired by a reading of the work El Guardián del Hielo by the Peruvian poet José Wata nabe The project consisted not only of a study of the text, but also of walking in
Lima of Los Cachorros. At the same time as photographing the main scenes and selecting appropriate quotations from the work, they discovery a city previously unknown to many of them. Thus, they come to understand that lit erature is not something alien to them, that it exists in the very streets along which they walk, often with nothing to do. Both teachers emphasised the im portance of encouraging pupils to read, that there is no specific age for children to ‘get hooked.’ Above all, they proved, Miagros Alegría (l) and Claudia once more, that there is much to be Cabieses gained by sharing these experiences, especially those concerned with read the footsteps of the poet, visiting his ing, for a nation that reads is a nation house, feeling his presence, creating that progresses. their own texts and living the poetic experience. Claudia Cabieses Claudia, who works in Secondary, Head of Secondary Spanish spoke of a Project in which her final Cambridge College year pupils follow in the footsteps of Mario Vargas Llosa, discovering the
LAHC Newsletter March 2009
The LAHC Poster
Following the principle of lea ving the best to last, with due res pect for the other immensely wort hy contributions to this newsletter, we are dedicating the back page to two exciting new initiatives: the creation of the LAHC poster and the establishment of an internet based social network which is set to have a dynamic effect in the opening up of communication wit hin the association in a way that has not hitherto been considered. Please read on!
In order to increase the ‘visibility’ of LAHC, no only in member schools, but also in other educational institutions with which we are associated, this poster has been designed, with the intention that it should be prominently dis played along with the other tokens that bear witness to schools’ alle giances and affiliations. As members have been in formed, one copy will be given, as a matter of course, to ever member and affiliated school. Schools may order further copies as they wish. The response to this initiative has been encouragingly enthusiastic, with orders for multiple copies com ing from a number of schools. To ensure compliance, please place your order with the Executive Officer as soon as possible.
LAHC is committed to promoting and establishing bridges of effective communication between teachers and students, Social Networks are websites where people with similar from all its member countries. This is the time of global com interests gather to discuss, share munication, and the educational information, work together, benefits that accrue from expos prompt communication and ing pupils to realities, situations follow similar objectives. Many and features from other countries social networks have been cre are enormous, since these permit ated in the last years, MySpace, a degree of communication that Hi5, Facebook, etc, although is almost limitless, leading to few of them were really applica rich collaboration, analysis, and ble and useful for educational the production, sharing and purposes. growth of new knowledge. However the applications It is our hope and expectation change and more suitable plat that all members of the LAHC forms are now available. Such family will view this new ven is the case of Ning, which is one ture as an opportunity to of the most popular social net strengthen communications, work hosts directed to educa relationships and participation in tion. You can prepare, organize the educational community of and launch a website in a very BritishLatin American schools. The ICT team, Colegio San Jorge short time. The official launch of the In order that LAHC may be LAHC ICT Network in Ning part of the global communication that is now an essential ele will be carried out during our conference in Bogotá., Colom ment of the educational world, we have created the LAHC ICT bia. We shall be sending invitations to participate in this net Network, http://lahcict.ning.com, a social network created for work in the course of the next two weeks. For those members all members of the LAHC and also members of the school not familiar with the use of Ning and its features, you can find communities to participate in open discussions about peda tutorials at: http://bit.ly/L5Rt7 gogy, resources, methods, technological tools, to promote col laborative projects between LAHC schools through webpages Gerardo Lázaro and videoconference, and the implementation of internet re ICT Team Coordinator sources to enhance the learning experience of all our pupils. Colegio San Jorge de Miraflores, Lima LAHC in Networ k