Keystone Magazine - Page 4

Letter from the Head of School A NEW YEAR A NEW BEGINNING A NEW WORLD SCHOOL T he sun rises every day, but it appears in the east only once in the life of a day. New schools are formed and founded all the time, everywhere, but there is only one first year in the life of each school, and only one founding group of teachers and students. The glory and the joy of such a dawn is breathtaking and enlivening. Is it a risk joining a brand new school? Yes, of course it is. Is it exciting joining a brand new school? Yes, you bet it is. In actuality, there are few if any educational experiences quite like it, both for students, teachers, and even parents. Speak to any graduate student who has had the remarkable good fortune of being part of a ground-breaking, innovative school in its first year and you will witness this rosy afterglow in the way they look back on what they learned, the formative experiences that they enjoyed, and the skills that they developed for the rest of their lives. Of course, this has something to do with moving into brand new buildings, purpose-built, and never used before. There is a freshness in this, a sense that all this has been made just for me. But the feeling is much deeper than this. The Keystone buildings are only a symbol of something more profound. For sure, they reveal the generous resources behind the project. But, much more important, they show a commitment to getting it all right both in Year 1 and in Year 100. Keystone Academy is a school for tomorrow and 2 The Keystone Magazine for the future. Here are a few aspects of being a founding member of a new school that simply cannot be repeated, ever: • The sunrise effect: the beauty and the power of a dawn that will never be repeated; • The empowering sense for both children and adults, including parents, of being part of a collaborative, small, special team that is setting out to build something great, and that will endure and prosper as it grows; • The sense of joint exploration and discovery that flows from this; • The resilience and spiritedness that is generated by the force that feeds a novel enterprise and the drive to ensure its success; • The unusually strong care and attention that teachers give to students in a new and growing school community and the camaraderie that students offer to each other; • The awareness that every day is a new day, a new exploration. This is something that simply does not exist in the same way in an established school; whether the risk is worth it. How do you know that your child will succeed where there is no previous record of success? The best way in which we can answer that is by asking, in all humility, that you consider the records of the people who have been attracted to get this project going. We are serious educators, with a huge range of experiences in different, high-quality schools on different continents. We have given ourselves a lengthy lead-in and planning period. We have all committed ourselves to Keystone for at least five years. We know what it means to work in world-class schools, and we know what true quality feels like. We are serious about what we are undertaking, and we will use all our experience and many connections to make Keystone Academy a huge success, next year, in five years, and into the future. We bring this richness to a focus here in Beijing. We are all attracted to the special nature of the Keystone project, to create a world school here in Beijing. You and your child will be joining a most memorable and uplifting enterprise. We welcome you eagerly and with assured confidence that Keystone Academy will be a meaningful and thrilling experience for you and your child. • The unrivalled necessity for invention and the power of creation; • The absence of tradition that is liberating, and the responsibility for creating the foundations of brand new traditions that is awe-insp