From The Principal

Insights – curiosity, creativity and exploration

Dear Community,

When Nobel prize winning physicist, Isadore Rabi, was asked to explain his stellar career and life-long devotion to the study of science, he attributed it to his upbringing. He stated: “My mother made me a scientist without ever intending to. Every other Jewish mother in Brooklyn would ask her child after school: So? Did you learn anything today? But not my mother. “Izzy,” she would say, “did you ask a good question today?” That difference – asking good questions ...

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Insights – passionate educators

Dear Community,

In discussing the factors that determine positive student outcomes, School Principal Deborah Kenny stated that: “If you had an amazing teacher who was talented and passionate and given the freedom and support to teach well that was just 100 times more important than anything else.”

Indeed, most of us can remember the teacher or teachers who most influenced us to be the people we have become. While this may have been through out-of-the-box ideas, a passion for the subject matter ...

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Insights – celebrating positive relationships and student individuality

Dear Community,

This week, prominent author and educator, John Marsden, provoked controversy with his statements around bullying. Marsden said that: “A lot of the so-called bullying in schools is just kids giving each other feedback…it’s rare for a child who’s got likeable qualities to be treated in some sort of horrific or bullying way. Usually there is a range of behaviours which have caused friction to develop.”

In the aftermath of this statement many personal reflections have been shared which detailed a ...

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Insights – “learning to learn”

Dear Community,

I remember spending many of my formative schooling years engaged in the time-consuming research projects that were in vogue. These required the regurgitation of the relevant facts about a particular subject matter with appropriate accompanying illustrations – I remember ones on coral reefs, fireflies, Costa Rica and coffee. At the time, sourcing the relevant information was considered a valuable task by my teachers as it involved seeking information out manually in an encyclopedia in the school library and transcribing ...

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Insights – the power of resilience

Dear Community,

Cultural commentator, Simon Sinek, has spoken about a perceived lack of resilience among millennials and its contribution to their poor rates of retention in the workplace. He states: “You take this group of people and they graduate and they get a job and they’re thrust into the real world and in an instant they find out they are not special, their mums can’t get them a promotion, that you get nothing for coming in last and, by the way, ...

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Insights – holistic development

Dear Community,

It is an interesting exercise to consider the key skills required to perform in all the discrete tasks which make up one’s employment and determine how many of these were reflected in one’s school education. My school education was largely focused on developing my literacy and numeracy skills and capacity for recall, as well as fostering my ability to think critically and develop conceptual understanding. I use each of these in some capacity every day. However, there ...

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Insights – climate change advocacy

Dear Community

I would like to share with you the speech I gave at the King David School Parents’ Association Annual Breakfast.

When I walk around the School on tours with prospective parents I will often ask a passing student at random to articulate what they think is so special about King David. With startling regularity there is mention of our community, the relationships between the students and staff and a feeling of being at home at school.

I point out that this ...

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Insights – teenagehood

Dear Community,

I have always loved teaching teenagers. This precious time between childhood and adulthood presents individuals who are speedily acquiring a personal sense of ethics, who can express with assuredness their perspectives on many issues and also have an exuberance of energy and verve that is fun to be around.

That said, I once heard Dr Michael Carr-Gregg characterise teenagehood by stating that a teenager’s developmentally appropriate characteristics would be considered a major personality disorder if they presented in a grown ...

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Insights – holistic education

Dear Community,

This week I was privileged to participate in a series of educational discussions at an Australian Heads of Independent Schools Association Branch meeting. The discussion topics focused on perceptions of the decreasing relevance of the ATAR and the vital role of schools to provide a broad and holistic educational offering.

Reference was made to the 2018 Mitchell Institute study which showed that tertiary institutions are increasingly looking at other factors than ATAR to determine admission. In fact, the study found ...

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Insights – celebrating diversity

Dear Community,

Too many times this year we have had our hearts broken by the extreme violence and hatred that comes from fearing “the other.” From Christchurch, Sri Lanka and the United States we have mourned with different targeted communities through each new tragedy.

With this in mind it is especially gratifying to paint a different scene for you. This one involves young Jewish students engaged in a spontaneous musical jam with First Nations members of the Black Rock Band. I stood ...

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