This week I am writing to you from Harvard University where Tracy Healy (Deputy Principal) and I are completing a week long course. The Summer School intensive is run by the Harvard Graduate School of Education and we have joined with 106 colleagues from across America and around the world to learn how we can be even more focussed in improving learning for our girls. The motto of the faculty is “Learn to Change the World” – a concept that resonates strongly with us both – not just for our own journey as life-long learners, but because we hope that each Lowther Hall girl will learn as much as she can during her educational journey in order to make the world a better place through her presence in it.
Our days here begin at 8.00am and go through until 5.00pm or 5.30pm and are comprised of a mixture of lecture, tutorial, small group interaction and individual project work. As we participate in each aspect, we reflect on what makes a productive learning environment and we are pleased to observe that many of the practices of collaboration and group enquiry being used here are well embedded at Lowther Hall. We are also undertaking a project about the use of data to improve student learning at Lowther Hall and again, it is heartening to know that many of our teaching practices and assessment processes are at the leading edge in terms of world’s best practice.
Last week we spent time in New York where we had an opportunity to visit the accommodation where the girls participating in the Choir tour will stay. We also met with the Rector of St Thomas Church Fifth Avenue and his wife in order to set up some meaningful experiences for the girls during the trip. We have enjoyed planning activities for them to undertake and finalising venues where they may perform.
It has been pleasing to hear positive reports from the various camps, trips, assessment periods and special activities that have been taking place at Lowther Hall while we have been away. We are both looking forward to seeing girls, families and staff at the start of next term and we wish everyone all the very best for the end of Term 2 and for the break.