Justin James

Justin James

Justin James

Chief Executive Officer

Lion Academy Trust (UK)

Justin James

How would you describe the dynamic change in the education sector within KSA, owing to the accelerated pace of digital transformation, technology and innovation?

The pace of change in KSA shares much in common with ambitious education systems the world over. Firstly, there is the need to prepare young people for life beyond formal education where the rules and structures are constantly under scrutiny and pressures from emerging social forces – some positive and developmental, others with less certain outcomes. Secondly, there is always the challenge of sourcing professionals to work in nurseries, schools and colleges to lead on delivery of learning – where tools, technologies and content are evolving at a furious pace. Finally, there is the engagement with new and emerging technologies – and how these are harnessed for the benefit of pupils and students. Countries that seek to harness and channel the opportunities of these new dynamics, whilst retaining clear sight of core values which are inimical to societal wellbeing, will be the leading lights in education going forward. Critical to this is how we evolve with these changes but maintain our values based educational system and still ensure our children develop their independence and critical thinking in an ever changing digital landscape.

Do you think future strategies will engage in a culture wide change which can be measured and analysed.

“Culture-wide change” is a broad concept and at the Lion Academy Trust, we focus on setting a culture that is ambitious, respectful and community focussed. Irrespective of where pupils or students start from, we see this as a key requirement for our schools – to support and foster a set of values that promote cultural and social morals and attitudes that add to the wider wellbeing of society. How that is measured; how that allows for trends and positive change to be assessed outside of our schools, ties directly to the successful transitions our pupils make from the primary phase and into secondary and tertiary phases – and how they contribute to their communities as productive adults.

According to you which strategies will reap the remarkable change inclining to the improving standards of education and meet the desired outcome? – explain.

  • Innovative Learning and Teaching Techniques
  • Use of Latest technologies and
  • Curriculum adaption
  • Academic Accreditation Process
  • Teacher Skill Management and Training
  • Leadership Models

No one element will provide the answer in isolation. Without skilled and focussed leadership and management, no positive outcomes can be secured. Our focus for this event is on the sequenced, differentiated and richly curated Lion Pathways Curriculum – which takes 11 subjects in the primary phase and maps them in a way which supports all levels of teaching professionals to confidently lead on teaching and learning in these areas. This is delivered through a pedagogical approach that still maintains and focuses on a child centred and collaborative model that ensures children develop problem solving, critical thought and the ability to engage with varied content and knowledge but to do it in a way that promotes depth of thinking and independence of thought. This in turn, affords more time for leaders and practitioners to engage in targeted professional review and development and for new technologies to be trialled in a secure environment – as the overall structure of the Pathways Curriculum affords greater innovation in practice – given the confidence teachers gain from knowing they are working to a proven delivery model.

How do you think classroom management strategies will enhance education standards and impact school at large?

Managing behaviour is one key aspect of successfully transforming standards and impacting on school performance generally. Pupils and students who are engaged in their learning and for whom the curriculum has been pitched at the right level – and differentiated to meet their needs – are more likely to be attentive, responsive and want to do well. Pedagogical engagement with exciting and motivating content plus a collaborative approach means children are immersed in their learning in every lesson. By focussing on those children who are doing well and meeting the agreed standards of behaviour, instead of constantly paying attention to those who are not able to meet the required behaviours, we see positive reinforcement, supported by a culture of pupils leading on their own learning, as key foundations to running successful classes and schools more generally. Get the behaviours for learning right – from the very first instance of attending nurseries or childcare – and a pupil’s journey through their formal education will be more rewarding.

How do you think participants will benefit by attending Saudi Education Summit 2023?

The opportunity to meet leaders and organisations working at the forefront of innovation across the education sector and to network with peers and colleagues from a broad spectrum of regions and schools is the main benefit from attending this Summit. Seeing amazing products and services first-hand – like the Lion Learning Pathways is definitely also a key benefit!