Student Success is More than Straight A’s

I’ve had a lot of time recently to reflect on what student success looks like in the context of the university counselling process for Grade 12. I’ve seen how it has been been defined and measured by universities and how that definition and the way it is being assessed is changing.

In Senior School a recent cycle of assessments, report cards and recognitions has also highlighted for me the ways in which we define student success. It was delightful last week to see that over half our Senior School students were recognized for the effort they consistently demonstrate in all their classes. It was an additional pleasure to be able to award over 40% of our students with certificates for achieving either Honour Roll (86% average) or Honours with Distinction (92% average) status. Our students are clearly working hard to achieve success and our teachers are supporting them every step of the way:

But, what about this changing definition of what success looks like? Can we continue to say that only academic effort and the acquisition of academic skills, knowledge and understanding are the measures of future success?

Future Measures of Success

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has just released its answer to that question:

The world needs students who can work with a range of people, who can persevere, negotiate and demonstrate emotional intelligence. This list of skills also reflects the criteria being established by universities around the world for gaining entry to their programs.

Academic excellence remains essential but gaining in importance are the skills which we don’t always recognize as critical for future success. Paying attention to others’ needs, providing service, not just once but on an ongoing daily basis, being able to adjust our thinking, and demonstrating compassion consistently, are now beginning to be recognized. And you can be certain that at our next recognition assembly, students who demonstrate these skills and values which are central to a Queen Margaret’s School education will know they are successful.

~ Deborah Cook, Senior School Principal





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