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An Active Pursuit Of Excellence
The Founder demanded the highest standards in each and every endeavour, especially in education. It was his recognition of shortcomings in secondary education that led him to establish the Academy. The Academy, like many schools, aspires to be A Centre of Excellence, but this would be a mere cliché as well as a sign of complacency if it were not for our active pursuit of excellence in every aspect of Academy life. The management of learning, pastoral care, sport and recreation, personal development of students..and staff - are all areas for reflection. Action begins by appreciating where we are, having a reasonably clear vision of where we want to go, and recognising the steps we can take both individually and as a community to get there. It is not in making elaborate plans, but in moving forward today that change occurs. Excellence is not solely about outcomes, but about processes, our commitment to quality and our readiness to learn. Our aim is to encourage students to develop a passion for life-long learning. We acknowledge a diversity of talents and aim to encourage each student to aspire to his/her own level of excellence through appropriate challenges and support.

The Nurture of Leadership Qualities
The Founder's vision gave the Academy a clear purpose in producing "Future Leaders". Not everyone can become Head of State, but the Academy exists to nurture the kind of 'leadership qualities' in its students that Malawi and developing countries in the region will need in its managers, administrators, producers and carers in the new millennium. The Prefect and Monitor system, International Award Scheme, and the variety of other academic, cultural and sporting activities, which form the holistic and inclusive curriculum at the Academy, afford each student with opportunities to develop leadership potential.

A Classical Education in a Modern World
The founder believed in the virtues of a ' classical education' for several reasons. Firstly, to provide a solid foundation for the understanding of syntax and grammar in language. Secondly, to enable students to gain a critical appreciation of some of the formative influences of western civilisation - its epic literature, moral codes and values, arts and society. Thirdly, to introduce students to the lessons of history - seeking to understand the past helps give us a frame of reference for a better understanding of the present. And finally, to provide an intellectual challenge to able students which will benefit their academic studies generally.

Stewardship of Our Environment

The Founder built the Academy using, as far as possiblr, materials that were available locally. He instructed that 'trees should be preserved' and the Academy aims not only to preserve the natural environment, but to conserve and nurture the flora and fauna which exist to make this 'A Garden of Learning'. The Chinese Vegetable Garden, the farm, the water dam and the Landscape department help improve self-sufficiency for the Academy and provide the wider community with fruit, vegetables, seedlings, and water. The Academy is a bird sanctuary for a wide variety of species. The Academy community has a responsibility for stewardship of this 'green oasis'.

Equality of Opportunity

The Founder believed firmly that 'educating a woman is educating a nation.' He intended girls to have the same opportunitites as boys and to follow an identical curriculum. The Academy is commited to empowering girls to develop career paths, which will help realise the under-utilised potential of women in Malawi. The original composition of the Academy gave a 2:1 ratio of boys to girls but since 1995 the number of girls has increased so that today the ratio is 1:1.
Development of Language and Communication Skills
The Founder emphasised the importance of the highest standards in communication both orally and in writing and recognised the importance of English as the international currency in business and diplomacy. The Academy is an English-speaking environment where students are prepared for public examinations as if English were their first language. In the normal course of the day staff and students communicate in English except where other languages are being taught within the curriculum, or where courtesy to visitors requires vernacular languages to be spoken. The global communications and information revolution demands increasing familiarity with ICT. Presentation and public speaking skills together with an awareness of the importance of non-verbal communication are to be distinguished features of Academy students.
Physical Culture & Team Spirit. The Founder provided facilities for sports, physical education and recreation that were to be 'second to none'. The curriculum includes physical education and games throughout the school to build up stamina, general fitness, and diverse skills appropriate to the age and physical development of students. A further aim is to nurture self-confidence, team spirit and correct attitude to competition and sporting endeavour. Promoting physical culture through the curriculum and the Activities Programme is an important feature of holistic education at the Academy.

Service to The Community
The Founder intended the Academy to be at the heart of a growing community at Mtunthama. The location of the Academy, close to the site where the Founder received his earliest education in the heart of rural Malawiis itself, symbolic of its ethos. It was from near here that the Founder took his first modest steps on a journey that culminated in his return to lead a sovereign nation state. The Academy is "A Community of Learners" imbued with a sense of service to the wider community of which it is a part. The privilege of our students is access to quality education at international standards, but the fruits of this should belong first to the people of Malawi. Activities such as the International Award Scheme encourage service to the community. The Academy encourages students to be outward looking and understanding their role in the global community, whilst embracing the traditional cultural values of family and village. An appreciation of indigenous cultural values is one of the foundations of our Personal, Social, Health and Civic Education (PSHCE) programme.

Commitment to Boarding and The House System
The Founder costructed hostels for boys and girls so students from districts throughout Malawi could live and learn together as a community. Boarding allows students to concentrate more affectively on their studies rather than be distracted. The House system fosters a sense of idenitity, team spirit, and co-operation as well as being the focus of the pastoral care system. Boarding can increase self reliance, tolerance and commitment to the aims and ibjectives of the school. Responsibility for each other and the development of positive role models within the student body is encouraged through the Prefect and Monitor system.

Spirituality and Personal Growth
The Founder built a chapel to be 'A beacon by night', floodlit and dominating the high ground near the entrance. The small orchard of trees and shrubs commemorate students and former members of staff who have passed away since the opening of the Academy. The Founder wanted voluntary attendance at chapel services and they are generally well attended on Sunday mornings and evenings. The design of the chapel refelcts the Founder's Presbyterian tradition, but worship is non-denominational. Roman Catholic Mass is celebrated regularly by visiting priests from Chipaso Mission in Kasungu and Seventh Day Adventists meet for services on Saturdays. The chaplain co-ordinates all religious activity at the Academy. There is a short period of voluntary Morning Prayer held in the Auditorium each day before school starts. The Academy welcomes staff and students practising Islam and other faiths. There is recognition that, 'man does not live by head alone' and that 'education of the whole person' is enriched through faith and belief in the power of spirit, however manifest. The Academy's PSHCE programme intends to challenge students to consider their personal response to ethical questions in an age of genetic engineering, cyberspace, increasing pressure on world resources and the devaluation of human life.

Professional Development & Accountability
The Founder extolled the virtues of traditional teaching methods and had a healthy scepticism for the 'new' methodologies of some educationalists. The Founder selected teachers carefully and according to fairly specific criteria. It was expected that they should exhibit high academic credentials, conducts themselves proffesionally, and deliver results as proof of their craft. The Academy is committed to effective teaching; appointment of staff on merit; continous review of professional values and competencies; accreditation of staff moderating IGCSE and AS/A2 level coursework; funding of further professional qualifications (in approved cases) and staff development.
The Founder's vision continues to inspire the Academy's progress and development. Financial independence had broadened our accountability as a 'flagship' of quality education, but the Founder's guiding principles continue to shape strategic development. The Academy has a responsibility to develop and adapt systems and procedures to meet the challenge of rising expectations of parents and students, educational institutions and future employers. The Academy is committed to developing its working partnership with the PTA, Alumni Association, its friends and sponsors at home and abroad, all of whom look to us to build upon the Founder's legacy.

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