Message from the head of school - 7 February 2017

The Future of Jobs, a report by the World Economic Forum, presents the updated skills that are predicted to be essential in the job market in 2020. As a school, we are guided by these skills in our curriculum planning, as it is our aim to prepare St Mary’s girls for tertiary success and future employment. It is imperative for us to balance the needs of the current exit examination that the girls will write, with the future requirements of the job market.

The top 10 skills described in The Future of Jobs include:

  • Complex problem solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Creativity
  • People management
  • Co-ordinating with others
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Judgement and decision-making
  • Service orientation
  • Negotiation
  • Cognitive flexibility

What strikes me about this list is the time, patience and awareness that is required to develop such skills. The world we live in is time poor and our biggest threat is insuffi cient time to explore, to linger and to develop fully. Our children must be encouraged to take time to know themselves, to know others, to explore, to try and try again.

The Form Is and Form IIs are involved in alternate curriculum programmes, which we believe will address the development of these skills, and provide them with a sound foundation on which to build their 21st century profile.

Our co-curricular programme also contributes to the development of these skills. St Mary’s was involved in a number of sporting competitions over the weekend, and I always marvel at the opportunities for character development through sport.

Deanne King

Head of school