Loading

Reflections Tim Calvey

Dear Parents,

Welcome back to what is the tipping point in the year - we're over the half way point and having looked in the diary, I cannot see how we are going to fit everything that remains into the time!

Amelia Constanti returns to Orley to share pearls of wisdom!

The week started with an inspiring Assembly from a former pupil who wrote to me a couple of months ago and said that she wanted to give something back to the school based on the lessons that she took away all those years ago!

Amelia Constanti left Orley Farm in 2010 and it was a picture seeing her face when I asked the school who was born that year - a sea of hands went up and Amelia realised just how the world has changed in such a short space of time! Amelia took us through her journey and some of the trials and tribulations both at Orley and beyond. However, her messaging about 'Creativity' was such a powerful and thoughtful one. Amelia is currently completing her Degree at Central Saint Martins, focused on Performance Design & Practice, and gave us all food for thought! All too often we think of Art as being painting, drawing and possibly sculpture but Amelia shared work that involved cinematography, choreography and performance through the creative viewfinder. She has clearly been on an amazing journey and I am delighted that she remembers elements that she traces back to her Orley start!

I thoroughly enjoyed the conversations that have followed as I've joined different year groups for lunch. Pupils have put me on the spot as they have asked 'why do we get 5 times more English lessons compared to Art?', not an easy one to answer and considering suggestions on the horizon, we're going to need a great deal more 'Creativity' to resolve the problems of tomorrow.

Amelia inspired me to do a little research on this front and the following information was published by the World Economic Forum as being the top 10 Soft Skills that are currently desirable as well as those needed for the future.

Today:

  1. Analytical thinking and innovation
  2. Complex problem-solving
  3. Critical thinking and analysis
  4. Active learning and learning strategies
  5. Creativity, originality and initiative
  6. Attention to detail, trustworthiness
  7. Emotional intelligence
  8. Reasoning, problem-solving and ideation
  9. Leadership and social influence
  10. Coordination and time management

What will change tomorrow?

Active learning, learning capabilities and creativity will make a difference and climb up the ranking of most in-demand skills for 2022; emotional intelligence and leadership abilities will keep being sought-after. Computational thinking and programming become crucial:

  1. Analytical thinking and innovation
  2. Active learning and learning strategies
  3. Creativity, originality and initiative
  4. Technology design and programming
  5. Critical thinking and analysis
  6. Complex problem-solving
  7. Leadership and social influence
  8. Emotional intelligence
  9. Reasoning, problem-solving and ideation
  10. Systems analysis and evaluation.
As it happens, Amelia returned to Orley and appears to have led a creativity revolution...enjoy reading about the week below:

Can you imagine having enough Lego to build a house - quite literally?!? Well, our Year 2 Team decided to bring a practical element to their topic 'Marvellous Mechanics' and invited Jamie from 'Brickies' to lead a creative workshop. Jamie arrived with boxes and boxes of Lego of every shape, size and colour and put Year 2 through their paces. Pupils were offered 2 challenges, the first was to create an invention that could clean up the oceans of the world. The second was to design and build an eco inspired house.

I have to say that being a huge Lego fan myself, I found it hard to just take photos, I've never seen this much Lego and what an amazing workshop...below are some captured moments:

It came in pink...
...blue...
...yellow...
...and pretty much every colour, shape and size that you can imagine!
I liked it because there were good pieces and we got to make a cool recycling truck! I liked that there were no instructions, so it let us be creative.'

Leon

I liked that the pieces were all in their own colours in boxes

Yahya

I liked the slide bits and liked the new pieces...

Anaiya

I liked using my imagination...

Hannah

I liked making the glass house. I loved making the underwater plane.'

Oscar

I liked the pieces. I don't have all of the different bits in my house. I haven't seen them before. It was so cool...

Sabr

I liked it because me and my friends put our ideas together and then worked together.

Aly

The only way to close the session was hands on heads...!

QUEST

A very exciting pilot programme that is all about continuing the adventure of learning...

Samih has joined me for our first mentored lunch meeting and he came up with the above statement...!

Without realising it our pupils already hold a very diverse set of skills and with the findings above in mind the school has developed a new program called Quest. This is a new initiative aimed at developing these core skills needed to adapt to any given situation, be that at school, university or indeed future careers. Year 6 began their individual Quests this week and with the guidance of one to one mentoring will be encouraged to develop academic confidence through a process of creativity, discovery, making, re-making and embracing change. This will culminate in the Summer term with an exhibition of their findings to their fellow students and parents.

I am so excited about this programme that Mrs Harrison has developed in collaboration with teachers across the school over the past year. We are deliberately unveiling it to your children without fanfares to you as this is about their learning journey, that flies above tests, assessments and exams - what liberating unshackled freedom where the possibilities are endless!

I will put updates in over the coming months as we believe this is yet another unique programme like 'Edge' that will pay lifelong dividends. I know that staff and pupils are really excited about starting their one to one mentoring sessions that will culminate in the Summer Exhibition.

Mr Ford invited me to drop into a wonderful lesson looking at introducing crotchets, quavers and semi-quavers through voice, performance and a little rhythm - Noah was on that beat and very focused! Creativity was being explored...

Theatre Time

Thank you to the staff team and Year 6 for what sounded like a thoroughly 'wicked' day! I know that the English department are going to follow up with a host of activities based on the trip and I look forward to hearing more than the soundbites expressed below!

Wicked was the best musical I have ever seen...
It was a 'wicked' show...
The musical had lots of twists and turns...
The scariest part was when the mask started speaking...
The cast were extremely talented and the main performers were inspirational...

A huge congratulations to all of 4F who presented their assembly this week. The class were eager to plan their own scripts which they performed with enthusiasm. They shared all the interesting facts they have been learning in class and in their spare time. Some even learned a few Japanese phrases! It was wonderful to see them show off their art and technology work including their Katakana names, fans and their current project: Pokémon toys. We also have a few future chefs in class as they cooked up some mouthwatering traditional dishes such as miso soup and ramen.

Learning from the Past

Mrs Llewelyn braved the blizzard conditions that greeted us at the start of the day to lead the intrepid Year 5 historians to the Tower of London. Here are some reflections:

I liked travelling in the snow and the games in the White Tower and all the gory stories - Kiran Bhamra
The crown jewels are stunning - it was an amazing trip - Ananya Halliwell
I loved the armoury especially Henry VII's armour - Abisha Rupasinghe
It was quite an adventure - Ava Keen
I loved the gory stories - Sohum Patel
I loved the Crown jewels as I have only ever seen them on TV - Harshil Shah
Miss Gentles recently started her Masters in Positive Psychology and whilst researching material she stumbled upon the following TedTalk that she shared with me as she knows how important photography is to me.

If you have time, I would encourage you to pause to hear this message as it demonstrates the power and beauty of creativity...enjoy a moment of reflection

Every child is an artist, the problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up! Wise words from Pablo Picasso and I would encourage families to have a weekend exploring your own creativity...you never know where it might take you!

Tim Calvey