One of the many things that continually impresses me about my current school is how consistently we try to expose our students to big thinking and authentic, real-world experience. It shows in lots of ways, from our focus on employing teachers and support staff that are passionate and committed to being the very best in their fields, to the way we manage to set the bar of expectation as high as possible for our kids. Many studies confirm that the best way to get kids to excel is to give them great teachers who have high standards and expectations, who know their stuff, who model expertise and passion, and who create situations for our students to shine.
This video, which I recorded on my Nokia N95, is the world premiere performance of a piece of music commissioned especially for the school and written by Australian composer Paul Jarman. It was performed by our students and staff in the main concert hall at the Sydney Opera House. Being new to the school this year, it was my first annual Speech Day and I have to say it was a rather extraordinary experience to hear the orcehstra and choir made up of all the students in the school performing this piece for the very first time.
I imagine that this experience will not be one our students will soon forget. I also realise only too well that not every school is in a position to commission artistic works from well known composers and then perform them in iconic buildings like the Sydney Opera House, and no doubt to many it seems somewhat elitist. Maybe it is. But I do know that giving kids wonderful experiences such as this, and providing them with the opportunity to shine, is very important. Whether it’s this, or the DET’s School Spectacular, or some other opportunity, the chance for kids to meet high standards that have been set for them is an important part of getting a real education.
Setting The Bar High by Chris Betcher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.