The Future of Education: Skills of the Future

Last week I spent two very informative days at the annual IAPS Heads conference. This is a very important yearly event where Heads from Prep Schools up and down the country have the opportunity to debate and discuss the latest thoughts and progressions occurring in the education sector.

The focus this year was about how the working world is evolving with the continued evolution of technology and how best we can prepare the next generation for the future. The lectures presented solutions and suggestions on this conundrum and we heard how important giving our pupils the skills to deal with the world in 2030 and not relying on just teaching knowledge.

The world economic forum published a top 10 list of the most in demand skills the next generation need to enable them to succeed in 2020. The stark difference between their most recent list and previous ones is that skills such as creativity, emotional intelligent alongside critical thinking is listed. Other ‘soft’ skills such as empathy, the ability to collaborate and to be self-confident were also crucial. The main reason for this is with the introduction and increased use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) we have to move away from knowledge (robots/computers can provide this at a click of a button) towards skills and characteristics which robots cannot do.

So what does this mean for Hatherop Castle School…

Well the good news is that our broad and balanced curriculum ensures that subjects like dance, drama, art and music feature highly and are seen as essential subjects to ensure creative subjects are given the gravitas they deserve. We take pride in that we can work with children collectively, collaboratively and individually to develop skills such as resilience, perseverance and emotional intelligence framed around a growth mindset culture.

Our new pastoral systems and timetable allow for form teachers to mentor and support our children in these valuable life skills. The changes we have made at Common Entrance in the humanities means we are not restricted by having to cover the CE Syllabus in order to take the exam. We now have the flexibility and time to teach the children to think critically and to ask and debate various questions from the past, present and future.

It was very encouraging listening to the lectures and debating with colleagues about these issues in the knowledge that Hatherop Castle is already one step ahead and is doing a lot of what was discussed.