One of the really delightful elements of my role is interviewing prospective students for Year 7. I love to ask them particularly about what they are reading and what their personal interests are. Not surprisingly many boys this age express a great creative streak, expressing a passion for Harry Potter and Star Wars whilst quite often suggesting their curiosity about dinosaurs, aeroplanes and space travel. It is hard to fathom that the students who join us in Year 7 will graduate into the world of 2024. Even more startling is that boys entering Prep next year will graduate in 2032. What will our world be like?
At present there is much consideration been given to the type of education that young people will require to thrive in the next decade. Rampant changes in technology and increased automation are perhaps the two elements that may propose both a blessing and a curse to the young men moving forward. The ethical decisions and perhaps the impact on our social and emotional well-being which such challenges craft will no doubt extend their abilities.
Our Growing Good Men Project at Berwick Grammar School continues to gather momentum and garner interest from other schools and educators as we seek to future proof our students by crafting programs designed to teach enduring human skills and values. Regardless of the future, we believe that young men need the capacity to be leaders, to resolve conflict, to use creativity and critical thinking, capacity to find solutions to new and existing problems whilst also enhancing their capacity to build and sustain authentic intimacy, trust and respect in all relationships. These elements, including personal integrity and a willingness to enrich the experience the other through service, will always be the hallmark of a good man.
However, it is also vital that we seek to develop the appropriate skills and mentality which will ensure our boys are ready for a workforce, one in which they will dictate in ways that perhaps previous generations have not. They are entering a global market where the power of technology can be harnessed in an economy already being disrupted by creativity and entrepreneurial capacity. As such, a key element of our School Strategic Plan is to develop an entrepreneurial flair and mindset in our students to ensure that they can identify and fill demand within our economy. I cannot think of a better environment for our boys to exhibit entrepreneurial talent than in one of the most massive growth corridors in our country. The opportunities to engage with and serve existing and new communities means that our world is literally our oyster-drone technologies, financial literacies, viticulture, agriculture, small business, coding, creating of apps, aviation, running cafes and finding niches are just some of the topics we are exploring as part of our next phase of The Growing Good Men Project.
As one student said to me today as I discussed this with him, he can’t wait to be learning about earning. This is where all members of our wonderful community can play a part. I’m eager to engage with parents and members of the local community to find new and creative ways to sustain the thirst our boys have to exercise their creativity and entrepreneurial spirit. We are an entrepreneurial community with many successful business owners, leaders and advisers. If you are interested in engaging with our boys and assisting them in this learn to earn project as part of the next phase of The Growing Good Men Project please let me know.
Dr Steven Middleton
Head of Berwick Grammar School