A Letter to Parents

Mark Turner

Dear Parents and Guardians,

There is always a frisson of excitement around a new school term, a new year and particularly at the once-in-a-decade opportunity to look over the horizon toward 2030.

A new decade gives rise to a frenzy of ‘future scoping’, where it seems anybody with an opinion is able to pontificate about what the world will be like in 10 years’ time. Doubtless there will be further rapid changes in technology, artificial intelligence, sustainability, environmental politics and numerous other areas. In our fast-changing world, we can be certain that traditional interpersonal skills, the ability to communicate and work with people from all backgrounds will be more important than ever. I believe a SMUS education is in no danger of becoming redundant – lessons taught by robots will become pretty boring once the novelty wears off, and I suspect the students will become expert in pulling the plug when it comes to test time! On the contrary, the challenges of the future will mean a strong values-based education will become more important in preparing the leaders of the future to navigate the enormous challenges that lie ahead.

I am delighted that the start of the new decade coincides with the launch this month of our new 10-year strategic plan.

As you know, this plan has been built on foundations of thorough consultation and research conducted over more than a year. Having been unanimously adopted by our Board of Governors, I am very much looking forward to an opportunity to share more of the detail with our broader community.

As mentioned in my December 2019 letter, two information sessions for parents have been scheduled for Tuesday, January 21 and Tuesday, January 28. These events will take place in Chapel. We hope to make them both enjoyable and informative.

  • 6-6:30 pm – Canapés and refreshments
  • 6:30-7:15 pm – Head of School Presentation
  • 7:15-8 pm – Opportunity to mingle with members of our Senior Leadership Team and ask questions.

This would be an excellent opportunity to bring a friend, if you know of anyone who may be interested in the future direction of SMUS.

Please RSVP online so we can confirm numbers.

Over the coming weeks and months, we will take every opportunity to connect with you as we roll out our strategic plan. No one will be able to say, “I wasn’t told about this,” when the changes begin to impact. Having contributed last year in impressive numbers to the consultation process (congratulations to the Junior School on a magnificent 68% response rate; Middle School and Senior School rated well at 52%) we hope you will be interested in the priorities that the Board has established. Come and find out more.

For now, very best wishes for 2020 and the new decade.


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