For the past six years St Paul’s School has had the vision to be leaders in educational thinking and practice. This vision was the driver that saw the opening of the Centre for Research, Innovation and Future Development. The work we have been doing has been recognised nationally and internationally, resulting in close relationships with the Australian Institute of Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL), David Price OBE from the Innovation Unit in the UK, and Professor Alma Harris and Michele Jones from the University of Malaya (to name but a few). It has also led to the School becoming the first Lab Site in Queensland for AITSL’s premier program, Learning Frontiers. To date, well over 100 schools from around Australia have visited us to see our work and learn from it. The pinnacle was an invitation from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to share our work with educators from around the globe in Washington DC in November 2014.
Our vision remains as relevant today as it did when it was launched in 2009. To be leaders, we need to remain at the forefront. Our ambition is to continue to be influencing the broader educational landscape. This ambition has far reaching benefits for many, not the least being the children attending St Paul’s School as we strive to prepare them to become balanced global citizens with a heart for servant leadership.
Scenario Planning is the next logical step for us as a school focused on doing the very best for the students in our care. Scenario planning is the process which, through rigorous research, we broaden the traditional approaches to developing strategy. It is about looking at the complexity of future environments in order to be sustainable and to continue to flourish as a school. Scenario planning is a process which changes the way each of us sees the world, engaging conversations with the future and how we might respond as an organisation. It is not a way of predicting the future. They are not strategies.
We have been researching extensively, imagining what the world of 2028 might hold when our current Pre-Prep students reach the final year of compulsory education. As a result of the process four narratives describing possible futures were developed. From there the School Council and the Senior Leadership Team developed strategy to help position the school and respond to the focus question: