• Headmistress
  • Sixth Form

What are the most important skills that you will need in the future in order to fulfil yourself in your lifetime?

This was the question posed by Dr Jones, to Year 12 guests of this half term’s virtual academic discussion supper along with the Headmistress, Mrs Raraty. Over the course of 90 minutes via Microsoft Teams each member of the group introduced the skill that they believed would be vital to them in the future and explained why they thought it would be of use.

Organisation and time management was posed by the economics student as a key means of optimising outcome and production. This was then extended into the practicalities of actually implementing effective organisational principles. One interesting suggestion for managing A Levels, was to map out allocated time for fun and relaxation so that it brought balance to your working life and made efficient work time possible.

Lifelong learning was also seen as an essential skill. We need to continue to learn so that we are able to appreciate different perspectives and the scientists amongst the group highlighted the fact that our understanding of the world and how it works is constantly changing. New ideas, such as Quantum theory, were raised as an example of how science is constantly moving forward.

Self-awareness was introduced as a skill that was important to master so that, as an individual, you can understand your own strengths, weaknesses and clarify the social group that influences your way of thinking. With this knowledge, it was agreed that you then have an opportunity to grow beyond the confines of your individual ‘bubble’.

Other elements such as entrepreneurial skills, digital skills adaptability and problem-solving were all raised and their merits identified, but a key skill that emerged was that of critical thinking. The scientists in the group agreed that although scientific method enabled research, interpretation and understanding of the meaning of the data was key. The humanities students agreed that analysing cultural and ideological viewpoints was essential in order to gain an insight into bias.

Our supper was enhanced by a picnic provided by our catering department so that we could dine together on screen, even though we were apart. The evening was, as ever, a thought-provoking experience.

Words by Dr R Jones, Head of Library & Enrichment