As I write this, I’m reflecting on Tuesday morning which I spent with students new to Preshil. They are joining our Middle Years Programme in 2022, and they come from a range of schools – State, Catholic and Independent. This is always a joyful time.
But I wondered; what are they looking for? And what is the promise of Preshil to these new enrolees? Freedom, self-expression, creativity and community were the elements they felt were lacking in the schools from which they came, and that they felt are central to Preshil. It is incredible that these students are seeking to be seen, and in the process they see us for who we are.
I had an opportunity to share with them my views on Preshil, which is always a crystallising experience. What I found myself talking about was community, because if Preshil is anything it is a community; teachers and students learning together, co-creating and co-authoring the learning, and setting and adhering to the values that help us live, learn and play together.
This last six months I have had the honour of broadening my view of the Preshil community by sitting in the Principal’s chair, and basing myself at Blackhall Kalimna. I’ve come to see that the strength and purpose of Arlington is not diminished at the Secondary School, but is confidently drawn forward.
Freedom is there with its corresponding responsibility, self-expression is often demonstrated on the person as the personal becomes the political, creativity is embedded in the learning with choice a natural partner to the MYP statements of inquiry, and the community of learners, teachers and students together is a formidable partnership, particularly as this partnership matures through to the Diploma Programme. I have learned so much.
Next year I’ll return to Arlington, to my ‘natural habitat’. In 2022, I’ll return to my role as Head of Arlington Campus. And I’ll bring back with me a deeper understanding of our School. I’ve peeked over the fence, as it were, and the view is excellent.
Wishing you all a wonderful summer
I want to wish all of our Preshil community a wonderful summer break. I hope that it is restful, and rejuvenating, and that it is an opportunity to reconnect with people you might have been missing. I look forward to us embarking on 2022 together, with Josh Brody “steady at the tiller”. There are exciting days ahead.
Head of Arlington Campus in waiting