Ben Davies

Our core business is educating young people and inspiring them to live purposeful lives. If we consider the various activities and achievements of our staff and students throughout 2021, one can conclude that they had an excellent year, especially considering some very challenging contexts.

In order to comply with COVID-19 related protocols, hybrid classes (a combination of online and face to face teaching and learning) began on February 17 th with attending school in two separate bubbles. On April 14th, schools were closed once again and we returned to online learning until the end of the winter holidays in July. Finally, on August 2nd all students could return to school once again, provided we used well ventilated spaces, observed social distancing, and insisted everyone use face-masks.

Beyond the challenges presented by the pandemic, there were important changes in school leadership during 2021. At the end of September we said farewell to our previous Headmaster, Sebastián Rubens y Rojo and thanked him for his services to the school. With my departure from the Secondary Leadership Team, Diego Bertotto stepped up to the Head of Secondary role for the remainder of 2021, before his planned departure from the school to work with his family business. We worked together to appoint new members of the SLT and were delighted to introduce Esteban Aranda as Head of Secondary and James Thomas as Deputy Head of Secondary to work alongside Marisa Márquez.

Despite the chaos reaped by the pandemic, important changes in leadership, and continued inflation, our staff were able to keep on track, deliver excellent classes, make important contributions to our competency-based school transformation, and begin to communicate our educational model to the community.

Our educational model is based on the growing body of educational research that reveals that if teachers start by focusing on who they are teaching and trying to understand their needs, then those students will develop the necessary skills and motivation to reach deeper levels of learning both in their academic studies and their preparation for 21 st century life.

We try to ensure that the curriculum we offer prepares our students for their future lives, we use new pedagogies such as project-based learning and personalised learning, and we aim to develop autonomous and curious learners by explicitly developing student competencies at every level of the school. We believe that if we do this well, our students will become amazing learners enabling them to not only excel in their academic pursuits, but to also graduate from school with an even greater sense of purpose in their lives.

Our hope is that St Andrew's graduates are passionate and motivated young adults who understand and espouse our core values of respect, responsibility, and integrity. That they are responsible citizens who are committed to a better Argentina and world, and have the qualifications, self-awareness, skills and abilities required to live purposeful and fulfilling lives.

Beyond the teaching and learning element of our school, our strategic support staff worked to great effect ensuring that the school community continues to flourish and operate smoothly. The school Works Committee pushed ahead with our ambitions to consolidate all of our school buildings on the Campus in San Fernando and we began working with Lake Flato architects to begin imagining the new Secondary school.

The academic school year finished on a high note with the introduction of Epic Learning Experiences, where our staff were invited to join in with a celebration of learning as a way of demonstrating our commitment to their professional development.

2021 should be remembered as a year where the strength of our community shone through. St Andrew's Scots School is bigger than the sum of its parts, and despite numerous challenges faced, the various bodies and institutions that combine to form our school community held firm and kept us on the right track.

Ben Davies
St.Andrew's Scots School