Woodford is a unique place. It occupies a privileged position in Solomon Islands, though while it may be elite it must never become elitist. Through the efforts of teachers in particular, Woodford strives to share with the community some of the benefits of its position as the country’s leading school.
The school is fortunate to have some wonderful, dedicated teachers, and supporting them is a critical part of the Board’s function. The Board has for a long time advocated more assistance and training for teachers, and is delighted at the progress being made this year, and the plans for the future. This will help our teachers realise their potential, and in turn our children achieve theirs.
Woodford charges, in the context of Solomon Islands, high fees. The reason for this is to enable it to deliver an international standard education – and to demonstrate that it is doing so. One of the most significant developments of recent times is that, later this year, Woodford will for the first time begin to benchmark itself against international standards. Having objective information is long overdue, and will help parents better understand what their children gain from Woodford, as well as assisting the school to plan for continual improvement.
Education is a three-way effort – between children, teachers and parents/guardians. Each have a role to play, and must take the initiative to play it. This year good progress has been made in strengthening three-way communication though (as is always the case in regards to communication) more could be done – on all sides.
Woodford is making excellent progress to delivering a world-class education, and must keep striving to do so.
Woodford is fortunate to have a strong team of parents willing to serve, giving their time to help make the school a better place. I have had the pleasure of working with some excellent Board members, and wish to particularly acknowledge the current Board – Emily Follett (chair), Bronwyn Besley (now in her second term as deputy chair), Dennis Lee (also in his second term, as Treasurer), Bevan Vollrath (now in his third term on the Board), Josua Naisau, Bernadette Ombu and Steve Johnston. These parent representatives work hard, for free, and without much that is visible to show for their efforts. They are ably supported by the Board’s teacher members, Leonora Houma and Denis Smith (both serving their second terms), and of course the Head of School Dwight Mott.
The school is now going through a stage of community engagement and enhanced professionalization, after years of good growth but underdeveloped engagement, information and systems. It remains in the most capable of hands to deliver on its motto, ‘Higher Aspirations’.