Will children lose out to robots? | Portsmouth High School

Will children lose out to robots?

Julian Thomas, the new Headmaster of Wellington College, said in a speech at the Independent Schools’ Fair at the weekend that children will lose out to robots because the current system of assessment only teaches them to recall facts and not soft skills that are required in the workplace.

I am not in agreement with him that examinations only require a recall of information but I do agree that sometimes too much emphasis is placed on getting the very best results at the expense of teaching life skills.

I try hard to battle the myth that league table positions tell you all you need to know about a school and I am aware that some parents base their entire rationale for choosing a school on this measure.

Essentially league tables based solely on academic performance are an indication of the level of selection of entry. What they don’t rate is the teaching of soft skills that enriches an educational experience and arguably assists in making students employable in the future.

This week has been a busy one across the schools but especially so in the senior school, starting with Year 7’s Grimm’s Tales followed by Schools’ Shakespeare Festival and ending with the sixth form fashion show and charity week. PHS puts an emphasis on an holistic education and this week has been no exception. If there was a rating for teaching soft skills we would do very well indeed.

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