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As adults we sometimes forget that real learning is a step into the unknown for the learner and your children, our students are confronted with the unknown, a new challenge many days of their lives.

As we get older we assume patterns of behaviour, usually replicating success of the past in our current circumstances. Generally, we are not as enthusiastic about change as we age. We forget what it is like to be curious, to explore and wonder at new learning; the very things we delight in seeing in our children.

Unfortunately, we do not have much choice in the current circumstances. Volatility and uncertainty are upon us; we cannot avoid the complexity and ambiguity that confronts us.

What we can do is adapt our mindset to the challenge and see it as an opportunity; to become curious about what we can learn and how we can grow in wisdom and knowledge from the experiences we cannot avoid.

For me, as an example, I am learning of the differing perspectives that adults have on what constitutes a healthy and safe approach to our current context. I am learning of the short and longer-term perspectives that people take in making those determinations.

My main goal at present is to provide the best balance between health and safety for your children, our students (physical and psychological health; short and longer term) and continued learning for them so as not to disadvantage them in the longer term. My secondary goal is to continually provide clear communication of the stance taken and the reasons why.

We can learn from our young children by adopting their ‘can do’ approach to life and look for the opportunities that exist in the challenges we currently face.

Allan Shaw

Allan Shaw is Principal and Chief Executive of The Knox School

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