Sunday, 31 August 2008

Cayman Islands and Hurricane Gustav.

The collapsed dock at Brac Reef Hotel on Cayman Brac
I was really pleased that the Cayman Islands really did survive Hurricane Gustav fairly well this week, especially Grand Cayman although Cayman Brac and Little Cayman did get some damage.

With such an aggressive educational transformation programme still under way, it really would have been a major pity if the plans had been interrupted by one of few things that humans can't control - the force of nature!!! It was very close though and many have died in other countries as a result of this massive killer storm!

My thoughts are with all my friends and colleagues in Cayman who, I know, are going to press ahead with this amazing programme as soon as possible with few distractions. I hope still to be able to still support them when and where I can!

Slow down...

Spotted near a primary school in Reading in the UK, a road safety sign with an additional sign designed and created by the students, which is in turn supported and printed by the council. Whilst it is not easily readable by car drivers, it does celebrate students involvement in safety awareness and potenially a multidisciplinary approach to life skills.

Just a goood project by primary students given credibility and relevance by the local council. I just wish that the students voice was given more attention in every school.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

A very special award...

As I left the Cayman Islands I was more than humbled to be presented with a "Spirit of Excellence in Education" award by the Hon. Minister, Chief Officer and other Ministry staff. The sculpture of a Cayman Cat Boat, carved entirely out of Caymanite (including the sail), it really is a unique piece which will always remain very special to me. (Caymanite is a local stone found only in the Cayman Islands - its colours are amazing).
I have written before that the reason that so much has been achieved in the transformation of the education service in Cayman has been down to the totally committed and energetic and excellence of the team. We all needed and supported each other. I genuinely do feel amazed being presented with such a special and fantastic item.
I will remain in touch with everyone and continue to support them in every way I can, albeit from the U.K. Thanks guys (and Sir)!

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Gareth joins FNI's group of Associates

As I leave the Cayman Islands and once again focus as a freelance worker in the UK (as, and already apparently mostly booked for the next year, I am very honoured to have been asked to join the group of associates linked to Fielding Nair International as a freelance senior education consultant.

Whilst I am almost certainly primarily contracted to a UK multi national construction company as an educationalist working on BSF (Building Schools of the Future), FNI will potentially offer a range of unique other opportunities around the world.

Prakash Nair and Randy Fielding, founders of FNI are amazing guys and FNI has become a team with a formidable reputation around the world. I look forward to working with some of the most forward thinking design professionals for new 21st century learning environments.

I am excited about the challenges that the future holds working on a range of very exciting projects, again from a totally different perspective. More on this later as arrangements are finalised! - Watch this space!

Saturday, 2 August 2008

More blogs soon.... as soon as they connect me!!

Having returned to the UK I have just discovered it is going to take almost 3 weeks to get connected..... I just assumed these things had got quicker.... This is really an amazing delay in the 21st century - it could almost start a whole series of posts about the connectivity issues today. If we really are to compete in the modern world - everyone should really have access all the time, when ever they want it!! I am already incredibly frustrated about having to 'borrow' internet when I need it.... I am totally used to 24/7 access!

More posts very soon - thanks for reading.