I recently attended the final show of our school production of Oklahoma! with my wife. It was truly outstanding. I had enjoyed watching the show on Wednesday, but as the week had progressed the cast simply shone, delivering an excellent performance. We received many positive comments and they all gave testament to the dedication and hard work of pupils and staff who, with the support of parents, delivered one of our very best performances ever. The standard should be high, as we are a Performing Arts School, but this production was simply exceptional.
I believe our Performing Arts provision is one aspect which we must continue to develop by enriching our curriculum to ensure that learning is placed in context and made exciting and engaging, while also being relevant to the world in which we live and thus preparing our young people for the future. Professor Roger Marsh from The University of York, who is also a member of our Governing Body, earlier in the week sent me a link to a presentation about the need for schools to enrich their curriculum and to celebrate creativity.
The presentation explores the value of creativity within the curriculum and the need to recognise that a child starting secondary school today will not retire until the year 2074. The point, though, is can we, in this ever-changing world, predict what our society and communities will look like by that year; can we predict the knowledge and skills our children will need to succeed?
For me, as I walked around school this week, I believe we can. The very best schools are committed to ensuring young people not only have the grounding you would expect in English, Mathematics, Science, the Humanities and Languages, but can also broaden their knowledge and skills by opting for subjects that further understanding and, through an enriched education, with additional opportunity, our students can develop skills, confidence and grow in character.
When I was 10, I remember receiving my latest computer for Christmas. Having progressed from the ZX81 to the Spectrum 48K and then 128K, the technology has continued to advance quickly. My mobile phone now has 60 gigabytes of memory; rather impressive, but simply another world. To be honest, I may have predicted how important computers would become, but I could never have guessed just how integral they would be to our everyday lives.
I believe, as headteacher at Woldgate School, that the future will bring many challenges and opportunities for our children.
A broad and balanced education, which is enhanced by sports, the arts, and the development of the soft skills sought after by universities and employers, will enrich our emotional world and culture.
Learning an instrument, acting in a play, dancing, singing or just being involved in a production as part of a company, provide a unique experience that, for me, is integral to a good education and wonderful preparation for future life.
Our vision for the distinct education we provide will ensure our children have a unique platform upon which they can develop new skills, grow in confidence and, as people, develop qualities, in an environment where their talents are nurtured and then celebrated.
In my view, the future is an exciting one and I look forward to the opportunities next year will bring for our young people and for our school.
Do have a wonderful Christmas.