Our children's future

Take a look at this maths problem – what’s the answer?*

Students love this sort of challenge and I’ve had fun sharing it with many primary students this week! It’s a lovely example of how we can encourage our children to ‘think outside the box’ and have fun with number puzzles all at the same time!

Thinking Outside the Box

It also got me thinking about a great quote that Brenda Murray, our Secondary School Principal, used at a recent ICS Open Morning:

We are currently preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist… using technologies that haven’t yet been invented… in order to solve problems we don’t even know are problems yet.

Source: Richard Riley, Secretary of Education under President Clinton.

It is a great leap from my starting math puzzle to the critical message in the above quote, but as an IB World School our faculty are, every day, encouraging our children to ‘think outside the box’. Teaching and learning at ICS empowers our children to wonder, to inquire, to explore and to become forward-thinking leaders.

The IB PYP, MYP and DP curricula are broad-based, conceptual curricula that are intellectually rigorous and challenging. Rather than narrowing academic options, the IB programmes provide options and build a bedrock of skills, competencies, knowledge and traits that make our young people so marketable, learning agile, and so attractive to universities and future employers.

Liz McLaughlin, our Primary School Principal, shared a quote from one of our Year 6 students that demonstrates our approach to teaching and learning and our commitment to developing independent thinkers:

In my past school I had to stick with the thoughts of another person rather than my own. So when someone asked me a question, I answered it ‘inside the box’. Now, at ICS, I get to express my ideas ‘outside of the box’.

I remember the first time I came to ICS, I asked my teacher Jill, ‘What do I use-–a pen or a pencil?’ ‘

She just said, ‘Use anything, just give me your best work.’ That’s when I realised, I just have to do my best at ICS, no matter how I do it.

With this year’s 2016 PYP and IB Diploma results being outstanding again, our graduates are leaving ICS for some of the best universities in the world. Oxford University welcomed our top scoring student this year, a student who scored 44 out of 45 IB Diploma points. You can watch a video of Omar talk about his education at ICS here.

Really Good

Finally, let me take one final leap of thought.

If you get an opportunity, take a walk around Trafalgar Square with your family this holiday season. A number of commemorative statues and sculptures occupy the square but the Fourth Plinth has been left empty since 1840.

Since 1999, the Fourth Plinth has been host to contemporary art pieces all of which have been the subject of great popular debate.

The most recent sculpture to adorn the Fourth Plinth is a piece called Really Good by David Shrigley. It is a giant sculpture of a hand giving a thumbs up sign, which the artist hopes will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. He said that the sculpture was “...about making the world a better place... which obviously is a ridiculous proposition, but I think it's a good proposition”.  

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said Really Good "truly encapsulated the spirit of London. What it represents is so important – optimism, positivity, the best of us”.

ICS is proud to be an IB World School that inspires our children to think outside the box, aim high academically and to develop an optimistic, open minded world view. This is beautifully summed up by the IB organisation:

The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.

My best wishes to you all for a healthy, peaceful and enjoyable winter holiday and ‘a thumbs up’ to 2017!

Rose Threlfall
Head of School