Courage to question has long underpinned the Preshil philosophy and remains a cornerstone of our learning.
On a school tour I was recently asked what ‘courage to question’ really meant? In answering, I found myself describing the IB learner profile ‘risk taker’.
What does it mean to be a risk taker you ask?
Well, the IB describes risk taking as, “approaching unfamiliar situations and uncertainty with courage and forethought, and having the independence of spirit to explore new roles, ideas and strategies. Students are brave and articulate in defending their beliefs.” (IBO, 2021) In addition, IB students “transition well to challenging settings and show resilience and determination in their work. In academics, they have the confidence to approach new or unfamiliar subjects or material.” (IBO, 2021)
In developing the courage to question, students build their capacity to take risks, to make mistakes and learn from them in order to grow as individuals and global citizens. It is through this process that they foster a deeper sense of themselves, begin to interrogate the world around them and become confident and resilient members of society. Traditional models of learning penalise making mistakes. Just like when learning to ride a bike, experimenting and being brave and supported to make mistakes enables mastery.
We have all witnessed our Year 12 cohort tackle the stress and challenge of final exams with tenacity and determination, and as they enter society as graduated high school students, they once again look within for the courage to take the risk to delve into new areas in order to pursue new paths.
As the Year 11 cohort faces the challenge of ‘mock’ exams, they too draw on courage in order to take the risk to study hard, give their all to the exams and face the consequences of their results. While they are still on their Diploma journey, the ability to bravely articulate their knowledge, skills and opinions allows them to hone their skills and further develop their ability to courageously question. The Year 11 students continue their exam cycle, engage in feedback sessions and make a start on their EEs before they conclude the academic year on Friday 26 November.
With the conclusion of the MYP programme on Friday 12 November, our Year 10 cohort embarked on the DP Early Commencement Program this week. Ready to take on this new challenge, our Year 10 students demonstrate independence of spirit as they eagerly explore their newly chosen subjects. Students are afforded the opportunity to trial classes to see if their subject choices suit them and are encouraged to build a program that will help them to lead to their further study pathways and to deepen understanding in areas of interest. Critically evaluating knowledge and developing time management and study skills form an important element of this early commencement program. Students are given the chance to engage in activities that help them to build understanding of the assessment and course requirements, and begin delving into foundational work that will support their journey both as risk takers and as courageously questioning learners.
Being a risk taker is fundamental to performance and this attribute is abundantly evident in our Production cast. While practice improves performance, the courage to take risks and develop skills builds self confidence and self belief. The courage to take on feedback and question one’s approach to learning is not for the faint hearted but the rewards of engaging with this process are manifold. Experiencing learning through genuine risk-taking in a creative arts setting allows for iterative improvement which can lead to mastery. Make sure to book your tickets for the early December shows – it will be wonderful to see our hard-working, committed students in action and experience some much-missed community spirit and joy.
Head of Campus