A parent reflected to me recently that it was the things beyond the classroom that mattered most to his daughter’s intellectual and emotional development: the links between the subjects, the space where connections are forged, where imagination takes hold and new ideas happen. This is the learning that one feels will matter most to the Generation Alphas who joined us in September 2020.
I joined City as head just over a year ago, and could not be prouder. I love the school’s energy, the warmth of its community, its resourcefulness and its space both within and without. This is a truly great school, full of a ‘grounded, levelling spirit’, calling to mind the great Victorian thinkers, who proclaimed ‘education as the great liberating force’.
Our culture is informed by our commitment to professional learning and research, our pastoral support and innovation, and our student-led co-curricular energy. It is also defined by the talent and enthusiasm of staff and pupils, their diversity and inclusivity, and their happy, unpretentious wit and fun; these too course through the concrete here. Our unique location in the heart of the City inspires our community’s ambition and achievement.
Thinking outside the box is a twentieth century cliché but it is so apposite here. We don’t want to be boxed in by anything, despite or because of our glorious City box; and it is for this reason that ‘Finding space to pioneer’ will define our strategic vision. We want our teachers to think expansively about how they are delivering the curriculum and to explore ways in which their subjects engage others. We want all our staff to seize all opportunities to learn and to lead, and we want our buildings to fully support that vision. In light of the challenges of Covid-19, we could never have imagined that this vision would be so prescient.
As we look forward to the next ten years at City, we must consider what the future world will look like. If we can gather anything about the UK in 2030, it will be a place where there is a focus on creative, intellectual and purposeful play; and where sustainability is engrained, digital tools ever more fundamental, and agile thinking critical to manage our global challenges.
Above all, in 2030, the ability to be truly pioneering will be critical to the success of our students, our institution and our world.
Jenny Brown, Head