Sebastian Dakin, Principal of Kindergarten, Elementary School & Junior High School
The increasing pace of technological innovation and change, changes in the way we work, changes in society, changes in population structure – all of these have one common thread; change. Change brings opportunities and challenges. When we think about how best to prepare the adults of tomorrow the one thing we do know is that they must be able to deal with change. In fact, as Charles Darwin identified, the ability to adapt to change is the key to success in life itself.
AMICUS began ten years ago with the goal of raising glocal – think global and act local – citizens. To act upon a global stage, English language ability is an important tool, and our immersion education program is effective because it involves the students using English as a method, as a tool, rather than an end in itself. Likewise, as the last couple of years has shown, competency in ICT is a tool that students need, and why we are embracing ICT and technology for everyday use in the school.
Tools are of little use however unless you have the skills and confidence to use them well. Complex problem-solving, critical thinking and creativity are the skills that will be of paramount importance in the next decade. As children acquire these tools, so they should also be learning to use them, and at AMICUS we will continue to strive to ensure that we are providing the opportunities, challenges and environment in which children can through thinking, learning and acting, become proficient in using their individual abilities to set and achieve goals. The pandemic that all of us have had to deal with has been a reminder of why this is so important, and the exceptional response of students and staff has enabled the school to successfully meet the challenges it has posed.
Above all I would ask our students to have confidence. This includes of course the technical confidence that comes from practice and experience, but also the deep confidence that comes from a sure sense of self and identity. Our greatest mission as a school is to provide an environment in which children feel secure, feel valued and feel happy. Where all children develop a sense of self-worth and respect for the worth of other people. Where identity and diversity are not threats, but a source of security and comfort, and the confidence that comes with it. I hope our students leave here seeing change as an opportunity to improve society, local or global.
Our multi-national staff, student body, innovative approaches to education and our location gives us a wonderful opportunity to achieve all this, and I am honored to have the opportunity to contribute to the continued progress and improvement of the school, and the provision of a wonderful world in which for children to grow and learn.