Social and emotional News
As we introduced changes to our teaching methodology, we began to notice improvements in the ways the boys and girls learned. However, we were not satisfied. Many of us felt that children had the ability to learn far more quickly than was usually the case at school. We began to look at the question of motivation. What was it that held the attention of some children so completely that they were oblivious to all around them, even to offers of food?
Some of us are born with simply extraordinary talent. This type proficiency normally only achieved by a handful of adults usually results in two responses. We are either inspired to develop our own talents or we are simply overwhelmed and say, ‘I could never do that’. In the main though, most associate such brilliance with success.
If a school is to adequately prepare its students for a future described more accurately by its unknowns than its knowns, then it must include 21st Century ‘survival’ skills such as those researched by Harvard’s Dr Tony Wagner:
The enormous effect of environment on intelligence in the early years is one of the main drivers for the opening of our own St Peter’s Pre-Prep. Early Childhood Development (ECD) encompasses physical, socio-emotional, cognitive and motor development between 0 to 8 years of age.
Parents who have undergone the process of applying for places in senior schools will be able to testify to the willingness that many schools display in accepting St Peter’s pupils. Our Mission Statement includes the undertaking to prepare children for senior school and life beyond.
What follows below is the first part of an article I have written. It explains the thought and research devoted to the creation of the St Peter’s curriculum and teaching methodology. We’re dishing it up in small portions to make it easier to read.
The appearance of the Covid-19 virus in South Africa produced a deluge of news: articles, opinions and statistics. Anxiety gripped society which seemed obsessed with the worst predictions, serving only to heighten fear. We quickly realised that dealing with the panic would be likely to be more taxing than dealing with the effect of the virus itself at School.
As set out in our letter of 6 June 2020, the Council Sub-committee has been established to look into racist, sexist and other forms of discrimination and related matters at St Peter’s College. The Committee met on 13 June 2020 to consider submissions from concerned parties.
Not so long ago, at least from your parents’ perspective, social media was not part of society. There were traditional media, and there was a social connection, and neither had any real relevance to the other. Information was shared face-to-face, over the phone, in a letter, or via the grapevine.
In these uncertain and challenging times, divisions and tensions have escalated globally and the College has not been immune. Stories of racism at the College surfaced on social media last week. As already communicated, the specific student at the forefront of these was immediately suspended and has since left the College.
Unfortunately, the College Council has been led to believe this was not an isolated occurrence. It has since been alerted to a number of other incidents that are also cause for alarm. Accusations and counter-accusations have been made in public which have escalated divisions and tensions. Impatience and frustrations have also risen.
Despite some perceptions to the contrary, the Council responded immediately by establishing an independent committee to look into these matters. This Committee is not only made up of representatives from Council, the College (staff and students), parents and alumni, but also has an independent member. The Committee has been drawn up to reflect the diversity at the College.