As we face the challenges of rapid change and developing strategies for learning in the 21st century we must never lose sight of the fact that people matter, therefore positive education matters. The wellbeing and engagement of all school stakeholders is essential if a school is to nurture and grow its learning potential. School leaders must focus upon purposeful change that will bring about positive outcomes for all, we have power to influence those around us, and in return, be influenced ourselves. In our purposeful schools happiness and wellbeing truly matter. To this end at Avondale we collaborated to develop a Curriculum Map for Positive Education, we engaged with parents and we shared our success, we grew together. Most importantly we grew and nurtured our students as confident, capable learners and resilient individuals.
Feelings of happiness, contentment, enjoyment, curiosity and engagement are characteristic of individuals who have a positive outlook on life. Equally important for well-being is our sense of purpose and place, not just within schools, in the world. Experiencing positive relationships, having some control over one’s life and having a sense of purpose are all important attributes of Positive Education. That said, wellbeing is not an outcome; it is something which broadens our perspective, a predictor of future success.
About Rob Stokoe OBE
Currently Managing Director of the Al-Futtaim Education Foundation having recently led Avondale Grammar School in Singapore. After four decades as an educator I can both look back over a range of stimulating and challenging experiences and an educational paradigm which has been subject to constant change. Understandably over time I have learned that the best way to cope with change is to prepare for it. With 30 years leadership experience including Primary, Secondary and a 5 year spell with the University of Sunderland it’s fair to say that my career has been varied. I am passionate about great learning and see positive education as an essential ingredient for effective learning and future schools.
I am still, listening, learning and sharing, continually hoping to stimulate debate and growth for the most valuable of professions. I continue to have the privilege of working with and alongside many gifted and dedicated educationalists who continue to inspire me.