Author: Jean Glover
Lower School Assistant Principal
Having a positive classroom environment and feeling valued as a member of the school community is key to keeping students motivated in class.
In Lower School we run regular activities to encourage team building, especially at the beginning of the year; Lego City is a great team building event and always popular with students working together to build entire cities out of building blocks. As students get to know their classmates, trust builds and confidence levels increase.
Developing trust amongst peers is important for all students, not just those that join us for the new school year. It is well known that if students feel comfortable amongst their peers and teachers, they will be more inclined to take risks, try something new and learn from their mistakes.
We also build trust by encouraging our students to mix with different year groups. For example, we recently had a group of students from Lower School and High School work together on a special presentation for the Apple Leadership Summit in London. They shared images from an iPad to a wall of 48 iPads in real time. The younger students enjoyed working as a team with the older students and finding out how the technology worked, whilst the High School students developed their communication and mentoring skills.
Student ambassadors can play a vital role in supporting students and families through the transition period, whether welcoming new families to the school community or helping families who are moving away.
At ACS Hillingdon our student ambassador programme is now entering its second year with 25 pupils from grades five to 12 volunteering to take up specific roles designed to support students experiencing transition such as tour guides, welcoming email buddies, lunch buddies and farewell leaders.
Third Culture Kids (or TCKs for short) are children who have moved from one country to another (or several) during their developmental years. Children that are integrated into new cultures and societies intheir early years have experiences that will have an enduring impact on them for the rest of their lives. Adaptable, flexible, open-minded and resilient are a few of the words that I often use to describe our students at ACS Hillingdon, many of which are TCKs.
Students need to be equipped with skills to help them navigate the rapidly changing digital world. Technology provides education with the opportunity to enhance, extend and deepen learning across the curriculum and embedding mobile technology in the curriculum is an important aspect.