The 8 key points of a British education of excellence at Coruña British International School
The British educational system is one of the most prestigious in the world. This is why in recent years there has been a significant increase in the number of students from outside the UK enrolling in British schools and Universities in search of a quality, future-orientated education, such as that provided at Coruña British International School.
British education bases its resounding success on eight unwavering values, a foundation that should be kept in mind, as according to the 2013 OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) report, the UK is one of the ten most educated countries in the world. In the UK, education is focused on giving every student the tools they need to develop their skills and enhance their learning, giving them the freedom to be creative and, at the same time, the support they need to do their best. But how is this done, and how is it achieved? Let’s look at 8 key points that make British education stand out:
The first point is education based on achieving independence and autonomy for pupils. The way to achieve self-reliant adults is by nurturing and cementing individual responsibility. To achieve this, at Coruña British International School we encourage pupils to make their own judgements, based on their own values and principles. We believe that the best driving force for every personal act is born within themselves: their own motivation and curiosity. With the help and guidance of their teachers, our students are able to develop the skills necessary to become independent.
Climate change, socio-economic inequalities, international and mass movements of people, the looming recession and its recovery that will take between two to five years should begin to radically change what is considered the goal of success for this society as a collective. In this transformation, education has to play a central role. The second point underpinning the British education that we offer at Coruña British International School is challenge. The aim is to create a challenging environment for students to step out of their comfort zone and work beyond it, encouraging the risk of failure, resilience and giving them confidence in the process. This is our way of educating so as to be prepared for the uncertain world that lies ahead for our students.
Open-mindedness is the third pillar of a British school. The belief that a great education involves a broad experience, not only academic knowledge but also extra-curricular subjects, creating a rich context of discernment and the conditions for personal exploration. Specifically, at Coruña British International School we have a multilingual curriculum which emphasises music, creative arts and sport as key elements in the holistic education of our students.
What do you think of when someone talks about British culture? Probably a series of traditional stereotypes. Some will think of the classic James Bond ordering a sophisticated Martini; many others will think of the palatial beauty of Downtown Abbey; others will think of Wimbledon tennis; some may even laugh at the eccentric shenanigans of Mr Bean. The truth is that the UK is a multi-national and multi-ethnic land, full of diversity and contrasts. However, you’ll be hard pressed to find a Briton who doesn’t love a good cup of tea. Tradition, as the foundation of British education, provides a sense of connection to history while respecting heritage, as Cicero famously said: “You must know the past to understand the present and change the future”.
It can be said that globalism has had a positive impact on the use of English. It has opened doors to beliefs, ideas and new cultures, but it has also facilitated the application of English as a global language. The globalisation of the language, as a tool with an international perspective, is worked on daily as a commitment to our planet and the future of our students. The advantages of this language as a tool for communication between different countries are significant. For some people, English is just a language while for others it is highly related to globalisation and power between cultures as it is considered a lingua franca. Our aim is to educate our students to become valuable and responsible members of the international community, with the ability and sensitivity to understand the real issues of today’s world, and language is the first barrier to breaking down walls.
The importance of instilling respect is probably the cornerstone of British education. From respecting opposing views, to expressing our opinion without hurting others, to encouraging good manners, to being disciplined… these are everyday manifestations of how we understand respect.
Lao-Tse, one of the most important philosophers of Chinese civilisation, said: “He who conquers others is strong, but he who conquers himself is powerful”. Self-control and self-awareness, a trait of the Brits, would be the seventh value to highlight; emotional regulation of oneself; knowing how to keep calm; working with confidence and full attention almost overlap before any academic knowledge.
Last but not least, working with their imagination to foster a creative spirit focused on entrepreneurship and innovation. Part of the success of British education, with its focus on progress, lies in imagining the unimaginable, so that when today’s students are adults in 2035 they have the tools to solve the (still unknown) problems of the future.
The content, style and assessment standards of British education work for the success of each individual student: broadening and deepening their own learning, giving value to extra-curricular experience, with a focus on art, music and sport, and of course values and links with their own community. In this way, and only in this way, can we offer Excellence in British Education.