This week I have spent some time working with Scott Bryan, the International Business Director from Wellington College, who is here on a regular visit. Scott is part of the very strong network of support that we benefit from, being part of the Wellington College family of schools. One of the interesting conversations we had concerned the influence that our young school is already having on others, in this city and elsewhere. He and I have both noticed other schools rethinking their approach to interior design for learning, as well as their focus on the development of independence. What I very often find, though, is that international schools take on new ideas or initiatives without really comprehending them – almost as a latest educational fashion rather than based on a genuine understanding of change.
Both Mr Bishop, who founded our Junior School, and Ms Byrne are the opposite of that type of person. When they decide to implement something, there is always complete, A to Z understanding and justification for it. All of the unusual elements of our school are here for very good reasons. We are flattered that others are copying, but I doubt that those other schools have the same total commitment to doing the best thing for the right reasons.
As I said last week, at this time of year schools tend to trumpet their exam results. We don’t yet have any, but I perhaps should quietly note that, with this year’s cohort of around one hundred students, Wellington College (UK) got an IB Dip average of 40.2. Very few schools in the world get that high – and almost none at all with such large numbers of students. Exam results are definitely only part of the picture when we are looking at the quality of schools (and those that boast about getting the best results are usually quite unpleasant places to be) – but our sister school really is extraordinary!