Developing 21st Century Skills

Workplaces today and in the future need people who can collaborate and offer creative solutions to complex problems. Educators are increasingly looking for ways to equip their students with those skills within an environment that can help encourage active learning behaviours.

Teaching methods are evolving, with classes regularly employing group projects and individual work along with more teacher directed presentation. Peer-to-peer learning is on the rise and blended and interactive approaches to learning and teaching require spaces where everyone can see and interact with content, instructors and other students, often at a moment’s notice.

Our 21st century requires skills for learning, literacy and life. The essential skills for learning include critical thinking (finding solutions to problems), creativity (thinking outside the box), collaboration (working with others) and communication (talking to others).

Skills in literacy are required with information (understanding facts, figures, statistics, and data), media (understanding the methods and outlets in which information is published) and technology (understanding the machines that make the Information Age possible).

Life skills are the intangible elements of one’s everyday life, including personal and professional qualities such as flexibility, leadership, initiative, productivity and relationship building.

There is mounting evidence that core character traits producing emotional intelligence and “grit” may be better indicators of school and life success than pure academic achievement, including grades and standardised test scores.

What is obvious is that knowledge itself is not enough. The information and cognitive skills taught by schools need to be “humanised” by vital moral and life skill values and attributes embodied in the notion of character education.

At the Alice Smith School, our vision is to lead the pursuit of excellence in learning through nurturing, inspiring and enriching the lives and characters of young people.


Our students have a genuine love of learning and are guided by teachers who are passionate about teaching. This exceptional combination, together with the enriched, challenging curriculum and the wider learning experiences and opportunities that happen beyond the classroom, are the foundations of our students’ success and excellent reputation.


Written by: Roger Schultz, Head of School

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