There was a time when education was all about cramming information into pupils’ heads for them to regurgitate on an exam paper in the distant future. Content and knowledge were priceless commodities, and schools’ jobs were to provide them in spades.
At Forest, we realise that developing skills and academic agility is about a lot more than that. We recognise that pupils need to develop skills in risk taking, blue-sky thinking, creativity and even sometimes failure and learning to pick themselves up and learn from their experiences as part of their education.
Perhaps in the past education didn’t always value such things, but our pupils are living in a very different world, one in which information is easily and freely available, in which the pressures on young people have never been more intense, and in which examination performance is only one measure of the intellectual dexterity that the world will demand of them.
So, with robustness, courage and independence, we are rising to the challenge of educating young people to be not only well-informed and knowledgeable, but most importantly of all, really adept life-long learners. Our curricular and co-curricular offer, pedagogical frameworks, and the language of learning embodied in The Forest Learner are all centred around the need for pupils to understand what they are doing when they learn because they’re going to need to continue learning for their whole lives.
In the end it’s not just about what we can do for these pupils, but what they can do for themselves that’s important. After all, we want them to leave as proficient, confident, imaginative innovators who will shape the brave new world they enter at 18.