Social Learning at the Senior Social

Mar 3, 2023

Last Friday evening, The ISF Academy Secondary School hosted its first social event for senior students in four years. Organized with meticulous detail by the Lingxiu student leadership team, the event attracted a large number of students from the upper grades. Held in Charles Kao Square and the Vibrant Inspirations Student Center on B2, the evening was memorable for a number of reasons, foremost of which was the opportunity it afforded for interaction between our senior students in a formal social setting. A formal dress code was imposed on all participants; strict behavioral expectations for the evening were also in place. Participants were also entertained by a program of excellent live music, performed with skill and passion by ISF student musicians.

I am pleased to report that our students rose to the occasion, despite their lack of ‘practice’ in recent years. The standard of dress on display by both genders was truly impressive, showing a wonderful and highly developed sense of taste and style. They handled themselves with the maturity and dignity we would expect in this social setting. An atmosphere of ‘formal’ fun pervaded.

During the years of mandated social distancing, one of the perhaps less obvious consequences for our older students has been the loss of opportunities to engage in formal ‘social learning’, which develop skills sorely needed in the adult world beyond school. Social occasions for adults demand a certain degree of understanding of, and compliance with, social norms governing dress and deportment. This kind of learning has a rich history, but it is rarely a part of the formal curriculum in the 21st century. It is typically acquired experientially by adolescents, as they take part in an increasingly diverse range of social events. With experience comes social maturity and understanding; through the experience of social interaction, our children learn how to deal with others, but they also learn a lot about themselves. Over time, our children will develop their own sense of aesthetics, which reflects both their individuality and their understanding of the social framework within which they live. It is an iterative process, full of trial and error, but it is an essential part of the curriculum of life that each child must experience.

We hope that many more opportunities for social learning will follow!


Dr. Malcolm Pritchard

Head of School