What is an Education Worth Having? By Peter Kerr, Fellow of Council

What is an Education Worth Having?
By Mr Peter Kerr, Fellow of Council and Old Guildfordian
When was the last time you mentioned your ATAR score?
Brought it up over morning tea? Around the exec table? Down a mine? 
As a parent of two kids, it's a question I've often pondered. 
What matters when you're choosing a school? What's an education worth having? 
I'm not trying to dismiss the importance of studying hard and striving for your best possible score. 
Of course ATAR is important, and different opportunities come with a good ATAR score. 
But it's one (average) point estimate in a lifetime.
What mattered - and matters - to me and my wife is how education prepared our kids for an increasingly complex and rapidly changing world.
First and foremost are the foundations.

  • There must be compassion and care at the heart of a school. Your children need great pastoral care to nurture them and provide a safe learning environment
  • A wide range of options – scholarly, creative and sporting – is important, so that students don’t feel pressured into “one path” in life
  • Quality facilities and room to move; Guildford feels like the country in the city
  • Tradition helps, especially when it’s used to inspire achievement and not dwell in the past. To Go Forward
  • Then there’s a great community. It’s engaged and active tribes like the Old Guildfordian’s Association and parent groups
  • Finally, it’s a place that values diversity of thought and experience, to help prepare children for the opportunities and challenges of life
  • To this I’d add co-educational schooling. Our son and daughter were both fortunate to benefit richly from being at the same school with their complete group of friends.   
Guildford Grammar School caters for, and represents, all this.
But it’s much more.
As some of our great teachers have recently posted, an education worth having is about students being at the very core of the school – teaching them what they want and need, rather than a curriculum that will get them a particular score.
It’s teaching them resilience: it’s not how you fall; it’s how you get back up that matters.
Add to that immersive, real world experiences to help build creative thinking and universal skills and capabilities so needed in modern society.  
That’s an education worth having. 
Peter Kerr is a current Fellow of Council and Old Guildfordian (Wb 85-87).

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1 Jul 2020 - 8:57 AM
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