Back in the USA

By | 21 March 2012

All very well to plan to blog on a Monday, not so easy when Monday finds you at a Global Symposium (an interesting distinction – not a Conference) in Georgetown, which is cheek-by-jowl with Washington DC.  I was asked had I travelled with Cameron (no. . .) and did I enjoy sharing a platform with colleagues from the American and Australian boarding schools’ associations, talking in particular about international students (yes of course. . .)
Fascinating session from ‘Axis of Hope’ guru Carl Hoberd – we are working on getting him here for the Heads’ Conference in 2013, but it’s a big financial ask, and it may not come off.  What they do is try to educate students to become citizens of the world, which is not just about sharing desks with students from round the world – it’s about recognising their place in the worls and their responsibilities as leaders of tomorrow for finding solutions to some of the world’s apparently intractable problems.  They run sessions in schools where students are assigned ‘sides’ in multi-faceted problem case studies – titles like ‘Whose Jerusalem?’ and spend a day trying to get to ‘Yes’, or something approaching it.  Inspiring stuff.
Also good to hear from the team at Wasatch College in Utah about their Res. Life curriculum – yes, a real live curriculum for boarding.  It is still embryonic at their school, but it is working well and looks like an excellent model for other schools to adopt.  They gave an interesting reply when asked if their faculty was as multi-national as their student body – ‘Sadly no – we are working towards it – but hey, we’re in Utah!’
Back from the States to a meeting with the Under-Secretary of State for Education in Hong Kong – delighted to hear (me, that is) that this summer there will be a competition for Lower Sixth Formers to spend a week in Hong Kong at a University summer school, to raise awareness among our students that Hong Kong is a great place to get a degree for the multi-cultural world in which they will eventually work.  How good would that look on the CV?  5 winners, details not yet finalised, but the intention is to circulate Heads of Sixth Forms to get the word out.
And on Friday, half an hour freezing – really, really cold – in the quad at Wymondham College in Norfolk, talking to the interviewer from The One Show –  five-minute film should be broadcast tonight (20 March) following a youngster who joined the school this year as a boarder – what about the growth in state boarding? asks the interviewer.  My teeth chattered through several answers, and will be cut to 30 seconds (if that) so I go home to see/hear the results with some trepidation.
Saturday night – Godolphin’s Got Talent – absolutely.  Splendid evening at Godolphin in Salisbury in some very high-end entertainment company watching a marvellous singer-song-writer win with a song she wrote three years ago when she was 12!!  When you hear the name Calypso on the radio, you heard about it here first. The school raised a considerable sum for its charity project in Kenya, and Angela Rippon came to watch – well done all concerned, especially Miss T.
After such excitement, will visit a school opening new boarding tomorrow, then take a couple of days off.  And Monday will come round again sooner than I can blink.
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Category: BSA

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