The Thistle - An E-Newsletter of Scotch College, Perth, Western Australia

From the Head of Senior School

The importance of knowledge - being globally aware

As a part of being an International Baccalaureate World School we support and encourage the development of the International Baccalaureate Learner Profile attributes in all our students. One such attribute is being knowledgeable. That is, one who explores concepts, ideas and issues that have local and global significance and learns about different subject areas. Learning about different subject areas is a given, and senior schools are generally set up in this way. The notion of exploring concepts, ideas and issues on a local and global scale is an essential challenge for good schools in developing global citizens. In an article written for The Guardian in the UK, the Principal of Impington Village College, an IB school just outside Cambridge, is quoted as saying, "Teaching children about global issues and encouraging them to see the world through other eyes is of huge importance. In an increasingly interconnected world, today's young generation need to learn to be able to engage in communication with people from a wide range of different cultures and traditions."

This is supported by evidence coming from business leaders around the world who rate prospective employees' knowledge and awareness of the wider world as more important than a level of training at school or university alone. In a report produced by the British Council business leaders in the UK were surveyed they raised concerns about the UK being left behind by a lack of global awareness impacting on their ability to "operate in a globalised and multi-cultural economy". Here at Scotch College and through our different programmes, including the Diploma Programme, we too have an emphasis on developing cultural understanding, multilingualism and global engagement across a broad range of subjects. Again, research from the British Council has shown, giving young people an understanding of how the world works can be a really important skill as far as getting on in life is concerned.

Further to this, and through the challenges we face such as sustainability, climate change and conflict resolution, people are more likely to take action to make the world a better place. It might be as simple as donating time or expertise. There are, of course, many other reasons for developing an international or global approach. Tolerance, an appreciation of different beliefs, cultures and backgrounds are important in themselves. Though we need not look overseas to appreciate the latter as we commemorate Sorry Day this week in our local community.

All of the above resonates with Scotch College's aim to instil in all of our boys a capacity for lifelong learning in any of the many directions in which their life might take them; as we do, indeed, 'prepare boys for life'.

Mr Dean Shadgett
Head of Senior School