Dear Parents,

We recently held an event where our guest speaker, Maripé Menéndez, explained very clearly and convincingly the many virtues of the IB Diploma. As you all know, we have decided to adopt the Diploma for Years 12 and 13 as the most appropriate preparation for university and beyond. In this newsletter, we want to demonstrate briefly how the British system in Primary and Secondary paves the way for the introduction of IB in the final two years at Richmond Park.

The IB is based on the idea of developing “inquiring, knowledgeable, and caring young people” who will live their lives and take action to create a more peaceful world. The English National Curriculum equally emphasises the vital importance of both knowledge, deep understanding and skills and also the pupils’ overall spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development. Its key purpose is to produce, in every sense, “educated citizens”. At Richmond Park we shall stay true to these shared principles within our curricular studies and the co-curricular initiatives, for example focusing on sustainability and world peace. We want our pupils to both think and feel deeply, use their knowledge constructively, seek solutions rather than problems, and take action in support of others. An essential value of education is to educate pupils in values.

IB learners strive to be knowledgeable, reflective and effective thinkers, open- minded, good communicators, curious and inquiring, and, above all, caring. These are exactly the attributes we shall develop in pupils at Richmond Park School. Many of them will be acquired through the broad and balanced National Curriculum and the co-curricular experiences we offer. Equally, if not more, important is the school environment and the approaches to learning. Our pupils will be able to develop in a safe, respectful, and supportive place, where everyone can get the best out of themselves and others. They will learn in many different ways: exploring, imagining, questioning, creating. They will learn how to think for themselves and share others’ thinking, to listen carefully and to speak articulately,to work on their own and with others. Whatever the exact context, pupils will always be at the centre of their own learning and will constantly interact with their teachers and peers. Often, when solutions are found, no-one can remember who had the original idea or breakthrough thought. The solution is seamless, it belongs to no-one in particular. At Richmond Park, we shall aim, in all aspects of education, for the full participation of all pupils, constant cooperation, teamwork. and consensus.

Our pupils already live in a revolutionary, challenging and unpredictable world. As they mature, they will need new (as well as traditional) knowledge, deeper understanding, fresh skills, strong values, commitment to themselves and others, and perseverance. At Richmond Park, the English and IB curricula, blended with our own co-curricular projects and varied methodologies, will prepare pupils well for the future, helping them to be personally and professionally fulfilled, confident, optimistic, and committed to supporting others.