From the Principal
Future Frontiers: Educating for 2040
At a meeting this week, The NSW Department of Education shared the findings of sponsored research undertaken by Sydney University on the future impact of Artificial Intelligence on education and employment. Several Heads of Independent Schools were invited. Secretary for Department of Education, Mark Scott (AO), posed the question: “How do we best prepare our students for the complexity and change that will be part of their lives? We need to be mindful of the future – of the world we are preparing them for.” After attending the meeting and reading the research report, the following take-aways have emerged:
- The key challenge is not to predict the future, but to prepare for uncertainty;
- Educators need to navigate transformational change in an inclusive and orderly way;
- We need to develop in our students the capacity to adapt successfully to changed conditions;
- We need to nurture productive, flourishing citizens, rather than flexible workers with no specific expertise;
- From a young age, we need to promote dispositions such as curiosity, the ability to concentrate, resilience and learning relationships; and
- We need to seek quality engagement from the business sector, through partnerships in learning.
It is pleasing to note that we are already seeking to address many of the issues raised. There is much to learn – and much to do!
An Evening of Dangerous Debate
An audience of parents, alumni and students had the opportunity to learn and engage with controversial political issues and hear from an panel of academics, community and religious leaders, lawyers and corporate players. The topic was ‘How Morality is Changing in the Modern World’ with discussion focused on:
- The role of technology in shaping society and associated issues such as how technology affects our social interactions, privacy, big data and media bias.
- A broader discussion of human rights and the role of Australian Jewry in relation to the recent events/issues in Israel.
Joshua Amoils (Year 12 Madrich) moderated an animated and passionate panel discussion adroitly, and the questions from our students were intelligent and thoughtful. Congratulations to Joshua and Head of English, David Camp, for an entertaining and informative evening.
A Child Safe School
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse made a number of recommendations for schools. A key recommendation was to implement the following Child Safe Standards:
- Child safety is embedded in School leadership, governance and culture
- Young people participate in decisions affecting them and are taken seriously
- Families and communities are informed and involved
- Equity is upheld and diverse needs are taken into account
- People working with young people are suitable and supported
- Processes to respond to complaints of child sexual abuse are child focused
- Staff are equipped with the knowledge, skills and awareness to keep children safe through continual education and training
- Physical and online environments minimise the opportunity for abuse to occur
- Implementation of the Child Safe Standards is continuously reviewed and improved
- Policies and procedures document how the School is child safe.
Emanuel remains committed to maintaining a caring and child safe culture and environment; we are reviewing our practices, to ensure that we meet these standards. Our staff undertake professional development annually on child protection matters and our Board members also participate in child protection workshops, as part of their governance program. In High School assembly this week, I outlined the finding of the Royal Commission and explained our complaint reporting process. We are also exploring the timing of an external audit on our child protection practices.
Our trip to Kenya
We wish our Emanuel team well as they depart on Monday evening. After a 30-hour trip, they will spend a night in Nairobi then drive South East to the Camps International main campsite, Camp Tsavo. Over the next 12 days this will be their base, as they work on a number of local community projects. These projects will include making bricks to build a new classroom for the local Primary School, planting trees to stop erosion and flooding of community housing and join a building project to construct an elephant-deterrent fence to protect local crops. Our students will also embark on a three-day trek and a one-day Safari in Tsavo East National Park. Finally, the group will visit the projects in Kenya that were built by our own nurse and alumna, Genna Radnan and her charity Gennarosity Abroad. They are the Emanuel Karunga Kindergarten and Grandma Jenny’s Training Centre. Genna has arranged a community gathering to welcome the Emanuel students, and the students will have the opportunity to hear from young women who have gained skills and started small businesses after graduating from the project. The group will return late into the 2nd week of the term break.
On Thursday, we were honoured to welcome Harry Triguboff AO and Rabbi Orna Triguboff to our School. Following a conversation about the importance of Business and Entrepreneurial skills, amongst others, we led our guests on a tour through the new Innovation Centre. As a builder, Mr Triguboff was very interested in the building and it’s features, and certainly came away with a sense of the important role that the Centre will play in our students’ learning.
The Staging Post
I encourage you to join me on Wednesday night for an exclusive viewing of the acclaimed documentary, The Staging Post. The film follows 2 Afghan Hazara refugees who rose above their adverse circumstances to inspire a refugee education revolution. Click here for the preview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpgoVO2ydI4
The event starts at 6.15 pm with the opportunity to enjoy pre-movie snacks. The film will start at 6.45 pm sharp. We are very lucky to have one of the refugees, Kadim Dai, join us. Tickets are only $10 for adults, $5 for students. There is a family ticket too as the documentary is suitable for Primary School students. Book here https://tinyurl.com/StagingPost or pay at the door.
- Daniel Melamed and Daniel Zipser for winning every Chess match they played on Board 1 in the Inter-Schools’ Competition this season (7 rounds).
- Our Primary A Chess Team for winning their Division in the Inter-Schools’ Chess Competition. They will progress to the next round in Term 3.
- Our High School and Primary School Chess teams came 1st and 2nd respectively in the local heat of the Sydney Academy of Chess Inter Schools’ Tournament, qualifying them for the semi-finals in Term 3.
- Sienna Poswell (Year 6) who was the only Emanuel girl selected to represent CIS Soccer in the NSW Primary Schools Sports Association State Competition in Kiama last week.
- The Open Debating team (Lara Joffe and Liahm Simon from Year 12 and Isabella Flax from Year 11) were victorious against George’s River Grammar on Tuesday and now proceed to the Quarter Finals.
- The Senior Year 9s Debating team (Liat Granot, Lara Fosbery, Jesse Koslowski and Ruby Hurwitz) won their round on Thursday against Broughton Anglican College and also move forward to the Quarter Finals.
Quote of the week
“Tell me and I will forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I will understand.”