Dear Members of The British Schools community,
My history with the School starts this year, but I was well aware of the School before I arrived. The British Schools has a strong reputation, not only in South America, but further afield as well. Internationally, a school with an International Baccalaureate number of 11 has proven itself as one of the first schools in the world to show a willingness to involve itself in international education. There are now over 4,780 IB schools in the world, so one can see the value of the decision taken by the School in the 1970s to become involved with the IB Diploma Programme. We also now have the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) for our younger students.
There has been a lot written about education in the 21st century and while much of it is very readable, some of it can also be a little alarming. We live in times of great change, but then again, I can remember someone saying the same to me over 40 years ago! It is always interesting to listen to people today saying that standards today are not what they were before, and I remember that being said to my friends and I while we were at school. Times always change, and not all change is bad. How many people would honestly like to go back to a world without mobile computers, which is after all, what phones are today?
What has not changed is what is at the heart of education. Students need to learn what will be useful for them. Not only how to take examinations and to learn information that will be useful for them later in life, but they need to be prepared for life after school. This includes being comfortable speaking in public, relating well with people from all walks of life, learning how to make sense of all the information that is available to them - especially in our so-called ‘post-truth’ world - and to be responsible in their actions.
We must respect the past and uphold the proud history and traditions of the School. These solid foundations remain firmly embedded in the School’s Mission Statement and are at the heart of everything we do. While respecting the past and acknowledging its role in shaping the present, we must also understand that all times are different and even if what happened many years ago was good, it might not be possible today. The philosopher Soren Kierkegaard wrote that, “life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards”.
I am honoured to have been appointed as Principal of The British Schools. I have already met many parents and former students who share a great sense of pride for their school and I am sure the current students feel the same.
I look forward to meeting everyone in the next few months.