From the Principal’s Desk – 12 October, 2017

Dear Parents,

“Children are unique, so our approach to them must be unique as well”

This quote, taken from this week’s Cape Times article entitled “Turning the problem of education on its head” by Omeshnie Naidoo, certainly validated our mission as an International Baccalaureate World School. Many of the points raised in the article reflect the kind of education we offer at HBIS. From the references to the kind of traits we need to develop in our future generations which so closely mirror our IB Learner Profile, to the kind of school we need to be; “more relevant, offering timeless skills, curricula based on passion projects, global and hyper-local curricula, curricula that can go from classroom to boardroom”, it is scary how similar the much needed schools of the future are to the very present Hout Bay International School.

HBIS is the ONLY IB World School in the Western Cape and we have something very special in our curriculum. It is what truly separates us from many other good schools that surround us; yes we may not have a swimming pool or a grand hall at the moment, but that cannot detract from what we currently do have. More and more you hear stories of how unprepared children are for the real world after leaving school, and more and more stories emerge from business leaders about what kind of employees they are looking for in the future. For many of us “older and more distinguished” folk, our only frame of reference is the type of schools we attended as children. To fully grasp what kind of education IB students receive, is only possible when you are in the system and see first-hand what our students achieve. Times have changed and school’s need to adapt and evolve to meet the needs and demands of the 21st century. Just off the top of my head I see the following happening at our school:

last night our IGCSE1 Business students participated in the annual Dragons Den, where they had to present their business model, create a product, draw up a budget and set up a marketing stall, all in front of 3 renowned business owners who probed and gave advice on whether or not they would invest in the student’s products – these students are 15 years of age
• the PYP6 Students will be working on their final PYP Exhibition which will be presented later this term – the level of engagement, work and enthusiasm you will see in their work is mind boggling – these students are 11 years of age
• the DP 2 students have completed their numerous Internal Assessments (IAs) and written and submitted their 4000 word Extended Essay (akin to a mini thesis), the level of work that would rival any university student quite easily – these young adults are 18 years of age
• the Early Years are busy refining their performances for their concert next week – they sing, dance, play instruments and perform with the confidence of a child much older, the knowledge and level of understanding of all things is quite incredible – these students are 3-5 years of age

And the list continues……..

I have always maintained that different schools exists for different reasons and different or unique students must find the one that fits them best, in order to bring out the very unique qualities of every child. Here at HBIS, we believe in our product and what we are doing and we are incredibly proud of what we offer. Yes there is always room for improvement and yes we must continue to evolve and stay ahead of the curve. But in order to do this we need students who want to be here and are proud to be part of the school, we need parents who support and happily share the vision and mission of the school and finally we need staff who are invested and committed to the very essence of what HBIS is all about. With the amazing framework of the IB Curriculum as our guide, how can we not step up and meet the challenge of education students the 21st century world wants and needs.

I share the link again to the article that I make reference to – if you have not had the time to read it please do take a moment to do so.

Kind regards,

Grant Ruskovich