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Head of School Blog

Sep 3, 2015

Balancing School

Learning takes place everywhere! What does school mean to you? What did school mean when you were a student?

Learning takes place everywhere!
What does school mean to you? What did school mean when you were a student? What do you remember about your schooling and how does this impact on your expectations as a parent? I hear many and varied views on what schooling is and isn’t. Parents can be quite firm in their expectation and balancing that and what is in the best interests of our students can be challenging. Sometimes, there will be differences of opinion. Is school just about mastering your times tables, being able to spell appropriately and string a series of sentences together to create meaning?
At St Peter’s, learning takes place everywhere and staff use every opportunity to challenge the thinking and responses that our students make. Yes, learning happens in our classrooms. It happens individually and in groups. It also happens in the playground, on excursions, when students are being dropped off and picked up, on camps and even at our Spring Fair.
Learning is best when it is balanced and centered in real life. Learning that is authentically placed in situations that students find themselves in. Learning alongside a parent in the kitchen as you help to bake a cake, or the learning that
takes place in the backyard as a child learns how to start a lawnmower. There is learning responsibility as a child cares for a pet and learning conflict resolution as a child addresses a point of difference with another child.
Learning takes place as we learn how to appropriately respond to frustration and express disappointment. It takes place when we are pushed out of our comfort zone and encouraged to take risks and try things that we wouldn’t normally have attempted. It takes place as a child learns the rules of a game and works toward winning the game or improving their place. This of course is balanced with learning how to lose with grace and without excuse.
Learning takes place when a child learns how to run and balance their energy levels to make it to the finish line. It takes place in using the skills developed to allow the ball to reach the soccer goals. It occurs when someone makes horrific noise with their mouth, to better achieve the desired sound on an instrument.
Learning is part of life and we must have an approach of being life-long learners. Whatever situation you find yourself in, requires an element of learning. For a school, getting this balance right can be challenging. As a school that has a strong 

reputation for academic excellence and for providing support and enrichment, I am delighted that this is well balanced with the learning that occurs in our football development league, our music opportunities and various co-curricular avenues. This is also balanced with parents who seek to teach, encourage and equip their students to be the best they can be.
Learning isn’t just for school, learning is a quality that we should harness and share and continue to be excited about. At St Peter’s, we seek to create students who are life-long learners. We value and appreciate the support of our parent community as we seek to do this.

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