Thoughts from the Study
Reflections on Davos
The 54th Annual Davos Forum ends today, a platform that aims to create a space for open discussions between governments, businesses, and thought leaders who are committed to improving the state of the world. I have always shown a keen interest in Davos, as it offers a great deal of opportunity to learn from others and to hear the many different perspectives on global themes. While the conversations happen in Switzerland, as a forward-thinking school, we recognise that these themes also carry weight locally and that a positive, proactive approach within education is needed to ensure our children are best prepared for the world today.
The forum has four key areas this year, which include achieving security and cooperation in a fractured world, creating growth and jobs for a new era, artificial intelligence as a driving force for the economy and society, and a long-term strategy for climate, nature, and energy. As I have been listening to some of the many interesting conversations from Davos, I have been reflecting on what it is we do in school around these themes.
At Broomfield, we are blessed with a wonderfully diverse school community, something we are proud of and embrace. We believe in nurturing a sense of global citizenship in our children, and we look for opportunities for children to share stories and experiences from their backgrounds to give others insights into their differing perspectives on the world around them. To prepare our children for a world where security and cooperation are crucial, we introduce activities across the curriculum that encourage understanding and empathy. The sports field is a prime learning environment that allows our children to understand that working as a team, rather than purely as an individual, often yields a greater outcome. Whether during classroom discussions in an ethics and philosophy session, or during an interactive lesson on world cultures, or participation in community projects, we want our children to learn the value of collaboration and support, and the importance of resolving conflicts peacefully. In an ever-evolving world, we need to ensure children are aware of global issues, but are also equipped with the skills to contribute positively to their local community.
During our staff training day a few weeks back, I enjoyed delivering an AI workshop to the staff team here. Artificial Intelligence is transforming our world, and it’s important that our staff and our children are well-informed and comfortable with this technology. We have already been introducing children in Year Six to the basics of AI in a fun and interactive way, with discussions around the benefits as well as the limitations. Our aim is to demystify AI, showing how it can be a tool for positive change and innovation. Through hands-on activities, children learn how AI is already impacting our daily lives and the potential it holds for shaping a better future. Although we do not overly market it, we are a highly techy school behind the scenes, with an advanced and future-proof network that allows us to embrace best practice when using technology. I am looking forward to attending a global EdTech conference next week, where I will be taking part in Round Table discussions, further improving my understanding of what technology is coming next to the education sector.
An understanding of new and emerging technology is also crucial in today’s fast-evolving job market. Although Broomfield is a prep school, we are already focusing on fundamental life skills that we hope will inspire our children to study further when they leave us at the end of Year Six and enter senior school. Confidence, not being afraid of failure, the development of entrepreneurial skills, and a creative mindset are something we aim to inspire in even our youngest children. Our new Forest School sessions are a great space to develop these skills, and I have been enjoying watching our Early Years children get a lot out of their outdoor learning. As part of our curriculum, we offer workshops on basic economics and encourage innovative thinking. By fostering a can-do attitude and resilience, we want to prepare the children not just to seek out future jobs but to create opportunities and drive growth in new and exciting fields. I am also very excited that we are launching the Little Leaders pathway across Early Years (more details on the Famly App), which is designed to further recognise the children as they develop the skills they will need in the future to inspire positive change.
We were delighted to win the Duke’s Sustainability Award in December. Our planet’s health is a priority, and I believe it crucial to instil a deep respect for the environment in our children. To support this, we integrate lessons on climate change, conservation, and sustainable living into our curriculum. The children participate in eco-friendly projects, learn about renewable energy sources, and understand their role in protecting nature. We also have a superb club that takes place during lunchtime each week, run by a fantastic leader and commercial expert in this area. Ultimately, we aim to empower the children with the knowledge and passion to be proactive in creating a greener, more sustainable world.
As is the case at Davos, each of these key areas is essential to reflect on, to ensure we prepare our children not just for academic success, but for becoming well-rounded, responsible individuals in a rapidly changing world.
All the very best for the weekend.