Elite teaching: why enrollment is increasing in a century

Green grass, natural light in almost all spaces, generous trees, a budding garden to attract butterflies, relaxing sound of birds and none of the usual commotion of arriving at school each morning. More than going to school, the students – from the classroom of one year to the sixth year of high school – of the St. George’s College Northin The powder kegsseem to enter a backwater in which learning flows smoothlyalthough it is a bilingual double shift that trains international high school graduates with certification exams in the United Kingdom.

Almost without interruption during the pandemic (only one morning classes were not held in March 2020 because virtuality had to be organized), high school students were not surprised to finally face remote learning. Since 2017, technology is a central part of their school days and at the end of this year, a new milestone will be reached: the first group of high school graduates fully trained with digital tools inside and outside the classroom. Perhaps, that transit of more than a year without attendance, but with the same quality of learning as in the comfortable classrooms where there are no symmetrically organized benches in front of a blackboard, they experienced it without the ups and downs of many children and adolescents who had difficulties to adapt to the “new normal”. Both the students of all levels and the teachers were far from facing the problems of adaptation to the new educational language that went through many private and public management establishments and that even generated the desertion of at least 500,000 students throughout the country.

If a crisis can be seen as an opportunity, the versatility of teaching during the pandemic attracted more students in the following years. “For the enrollment of 2022, 135 new students entered; 50 correspond to kindergarten, 49 to primary and 36 to secondary. By 2023, we already have 24 more students insured. We will see how that number evolves in the coming weeks, which is when the demand for new registrations usually increases,” he says. Oliver Proctorthe general director of the school, who next year it will celebrate its 125th anniversary and through whose classrooms several generations of families have passed.

Since 2017, high school students use technology on a daily basis in learning

“All the students were able to keep the national and international curriculum up to date and it was a differential with other schools in the area. The pandemic found the educational system with some weaknesses that we, from a previous program, knew how to counteract. That’s the plus for many families who were able to verify that the pedagogical proposal was not lostwhich had excellent results that transcended and attracted new ones“, adds Proctor a THE NATION.

St. George’s College North It also has the particularity of admitting students throughout the year, since it is an international school”, he adds. Proctora 41-year-old Briton, who took over the management in 2017 and imprinted his unusual stamp of education expert and drama graduate (theater, for our country), among many other university diplomas.

The flags that crown one of the walls of the primary level dining room confirm its international status: from Japan to Brazil, including Argentina and several European countries, each flag indicates the origin of its students. Different cultures that combine to advance the goal of excellence in education, which is achieved, among other things, because all the work team is “fully bilingual” and “full time”slide Proctorwho does not deny his pride in knowing that students obtain very good grades in the standardized learning tests that are carried out in the country and abroad, although he does not go into details because the current legislation does not allow disclosing punctual results.

Yoga to contribute to well-being and skill development
Yoga to contribute to well-being and skill development

We are a school focused on the student: active learning, infrastructure, well-being and leadership. That is why we implement learning based on interdisciplinary projects and supported by skills and abilities, not so much by content. The student assumes a leading role in their learning process, which makes them develop greater responsibility and commitment, as well as more autonomy. The context of where and how students learn is essential, so we focus on transforming classrooms into learning spaces in order to enrich the student-centered pedagogical approach. We are fortunate to have a campus of eight hectares with abundant trees, many classes are outdoors. We do not offer the academic experience by itself, it is accompanied by a holistic and comprehensive training, accompanied by an interest in the development of the management of emotions and the development of soft skills that will accompany them throughout their lives”, explains Proctor.

The director also points out that among the most recent innovations, especially in technological matters, is the first certification in Argentina as Google Reference Schoolin 2019. In the following years, several private establishments were added and, a few weeks ago, that same status was achieved by the Manuel Dorrego Municipal Primary School, Vicente Lópezbecoming the first public management in the country to integrate a kind of club of technological schools in the world.

Outdoor classes, an option that allows students to enjoy learning
Outdoor classes, an option that allows students to enjoy learning

We don’t know what the jobs of the future will look like, so we want to give students tools and skills that will accompany them on whatever path they choose.”, raises the director of the school, while stopping in a sector where, due to the initiative of the students, a butterfly garden and a forest classroom, built by the students themselves. The forest purpose is to produce native trees to reforest in different regions of the country. She also anticipates that a group of female students started a project to use solar panels to improve the energy efficiency of the eight-hectare campus.

Crossed by virtuality, Proctor considers that one of the challenges of the current school is “train efficient users in technology”. “It will allow our students to have more opportunities in a globalized field of work in which they will naturally compete with people from other parts of the world. For young people to be successful in the future, they will need knowledge, skills and dispositions to thrive in a world that is constantly changing. Their time in college should prepare them to become global citizensfostering curiosity, critical thinking and agency in learning”, he concludes.

Elite teaching: why enrollment is increasing in a century-old bilingual school