When asked why he had started his own school in 1948, David Black (founder of Cowan House) answered ‘I am going to open my own school and make it interesting, make it fun. I am going to make them (the pupils) want to learn so you can’t stop them. I want them to get so excited about learning that they don’t want to stop.’ The corridors of Cowan House still resonate with the values instilled by the school’s founding principal – echoing a sense of fun, curiosity and discovery.
In a world where the status quo is constantly challenged, Thinking Skills are central to learning at Cowan House; we do not focus on teaching our pupils what to learn, rather on HOW to learn. A meaningful academic curriculum cannot be static and as an Independent School we enjoy the freedom of choice in our curriculum. It is designed to evolve and adapt in order to develop our pupils’ ability to think individually, collectively, analytically and creatively. To be successful in the future, in a world that we do not yet fully grasp, we encourage our pupils to come out of their comfort zone …to not be afraid, to be curious, express their ideas, try new ways of doings things and, to allow for mistakes… How else would the light bulb have been invented if Thomas Eddison didn’t find 10 000 ways that wouldn’t work!
The academic facilities on our 47-acre campus – which include the Innovation Centre (home to the Science Lab and Art Studio), Design and Technology Studio, Computer Lab, Media Centre and classrooms all equipped with interactive white boards – are used creatively in order to provide a flexible learning environment. Consider driving a car: how well would you perform behind the wheel if your car seat was not adjustable? Classrooms are no different, they need to have the ability to be adjusted to each child’s individual learning needs in order for them to perform at the best of their ability.
Beyond the classroom, the Creative Arts are an integral part of the Cowan House curriculum and are particularly important for developing confidence, critical-thinking, sensory and emotional intelligence. Equally, Prep School sport is an essential component in the development of any child and team sports are compulsory. We believe in participation, developing skills and most of all, fostering the enjoyment of sport. Our sporting facilities include an indoor centre, a heated swimming pool, tennis courts, an impressive 3km cross-country track and five sports fields which include a turf cricket pitch.