From the Principal

What does a future -focused school look like? Part 2 – The Foundations For Future Success

In the Part 1 on this topic (8 February, accessible here), I explored the current social landscape of our world, and what it means for our young people as they navigate their schooling and plan their future in the world. I wrote about what experiences, drivers and challenges will be different for those young people leaving school in the next 10 years, compared to the last 40, and how these things have been core influences and priorities during the creation of our 2030 Forward Strategy. So that logically leads to what skills, attributes and dispositions will young people need to have to successfully navigate this future world that is already so very different, and will only become more so?

The erosion and ultimately, the death, of the so-call ‘knowledge economy’

With enormous amounts of information and knowledge at the fingertips of every person through their desktop, laptop, iPad, or phone and every possible query having a ‘how to’ with FAQs online, the historically valued importance of ‘knowing content’ and schools assessing solely on that basis must logically be reconsidered as being the very highest priority. Similarly, a world that increasingly values collaborative capability, ingenuity in problem solving, and ongoing learning, unlearning, and re-learning gives us cause to consider what we prioritise in teaching, mentoring, and guiding young people.

The unchanging and immutable elements of great education

Like a house, an excellent future education will be built on strong and shared foundations. One of these foundations that will always be prioritised at Tintern will be a leading academic education. Without excellent foundation knowledge, understanding and skills, along with higher order thinking and metacognition cannot be adequately and consistently scaffolded, and will not ‘stick’.

In the ELC and Junior School particularly, academic literacy, numeracy, and the progressive development of application and problem-solving skills are key to establishing those foundations in the early years of school. Whilst by no means the only important elements of an overall education, without them, future options and opportunities may be limited. Strong primary years foundations will enable the extension, complexity, and breadth of secondary education and beyond, to be accessible to every student who seeks it, so the work our ELC and Junior School teachers is critical for every child.

Second, but perhaps even more critical to be embedded in primary education, is a sound understanding and critical examination of ethics and values, and the fostering of the self-awareness and emotional intelligence that will enable young people to be ‘readers’ of others and good partners, team contributors, and collaborators later in life. These are the foundation footings and the concrete slab on which their later ‘capability house’ will stand tall and strong.

What else will be in the toolkit that will support young people to find their successes, and reinforce this ‘house’ that symbolises the creation of a success-ready graduate profile?  

In Part 3 of this series in April, I will examine what we need to equip our young people with, beyond excellent knowledge understanding and skills, to maximise their chances of finding future success and finding fulfilment in their lives as adults.

* A late addition to this article

The terrible events in the Ukraine, where an unprovoked invasion of another country has occurred, with terrible loss of civilian life, along with those defending their country, leaves me terribly saddened as I am sure it does you. Many of us will be wondering how we talk with our children about this, particularly young children. The following article from the politically and financially neutral website “The Conversation” provides excellent guidance and tips that will help parents negotiate this very tricky topic in age and stage appropriate ways.

factis non verbis


Brad Fry




2023 Term Dates