Three Kindergarten classes commenced at TIGS in 2018 and we know the future for each student will be bright! We know this because as experienced educators, we are confident we are on the right track. We may not know what the future will be like for these four and five-year-olds when they graduate in 13 years’ time, but we know what skills and competencies they will need!
In a rapidly-changing society, we recognised the need for a proactive approach to further bring our Christian values into action. Alongside the successful implementation of all mandated NESA (NSW Education Standards Authority) syllabus documents, we have become an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School.
Starting with the introduction of the Primary Years Programme (PYP) in 2010, the IB programmes aim to “develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect”. The IB also “encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right”. It is our aim to develop within all our students the capacity to identify opportunities and use their potential to take advantage of different situations as they arise.
So what do our Kindergarten students need in order to face what 2031 might present them? And how do our programmes over the next 13 years set about achieving this?
We know these students will need to:
Be effective and responsive communicators
21st-century learners will have more information at their fingertips than is imaginable. Explicitly teaching students how to be respectful, confident and thoughtful communicators capable of using a myriad of communication tools will put them in good stead for future change and challenges. Our students develop valuable interpersonal skills and learn how to adapt and perform in a variety of formal and informal situations.
Be creative and critical thinkers
Our programmes provide learners over their Preparatory to Year 12 learning journey with embedded opportunities to think both critically and creatively about issues in their world. Culminating examples of this can be seen in the PYP Exhibition and the MYP (Middle Years Programme) Personal Project where students are challenged to research and respond to real-world problems in a creative and innovative way. We cannot predict the problems these students will face in the future but we can equip them with the skills to design solutions.
Focus on the process, perseverance and resilience
Students need to develop reflective learning skills to possess a growth mindset. Just being able to use technology will not be enough for our students to face a brave new world. It is fundamental that we teach students how to learn for life so whatever comes their way, whatever tool they are using, they will have a skill set to succeed.
Be connected and collaborative
Our students are being educated to be internationally-minded, able to collaborate with others to achieve goals and to adapt to situations as they arise. Our learners connect with others on a local, national and global platform as they identify, analyse and solve problems.
Develop enduring values and understandings
Enduring understandings are developed by providing a transdisciplinary curriculum that achieves so much more than purely delivering content. It makes learning real and transferable. From Kindergarten to Year 12, the development of enduring understanding gives our learners the ability to take action in the real world.
Care for each other and their world
Embedded throughout all of our Units of Work is the opportunity to take action. We know that successful action requires grit, compassion, resilience and empathy. Actions speak louder than words and through the implementation of the IB, we have a framework to ensure we are confident and adaptable educators. It is our goal to provide a proactive Christian education that is student-centred and inclusive from a need’s perspective and forward thinking for future growth. Most importantly, we are certain that the 10,000 hours a Kindergarten student will spend at TIGS until graduation will provide them with the very best preparation to succeed in a future that is uncertain.