Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Towards a school vision

This is my first (and possibly last) attempt at sharing a post with others. Is there anything I have to share or contribute that others will find interesting or useful?? I usually tend to think not.

School blog

Previously, I've set up and pretty much managed a Primary school blog in the school (of my first Headship) that I left at Easter. That was pretty successful, with about 220k visits in 5 terms (from Sept 2012 to March 2014), around 3k a week. We were linked via Twitter and I 'pushed' to Facebook: we had around 170 followers/Likes on each. 

I posted something on most days there: lots of pics of kids in school, on trips, playing sport; other info for parents and things I wanted to push or promote, such as writing and 100wc.

Here is the blog: anything post-March isn't 'mine'. I may be able to help if anyone wants to set one up.
Prior to 2012, I never really knew what a blog was and wasn't on Twitter. I remember being at a conference with Tom Sherrington - also my son's Head up until now - who was at a similar stage to me - and look what's happened to @headguruteacher!

Having left St Mary's, I'm now going into interim roles - for the time being at least - and am starting (proper) as HT at Guildford in September (until around Feb half term or Easter).

People's ideas of 'vision' can be very different. I tend to think that they can be very nebulous, 'airy-fairy' constructs with very little that's concrete, although, to some degree, elements of that approach is necessary. The reason being is that other vision statements can be too concrete and/or people get caught up in too much detail (and dictats from above) and lose sight of the 'higher level', strategic purposes of education.

This vision document has elements of the two and might be something that some people find helpful to work from and amend to their own circumstances; perhaps, a starting point for discussion with their staff: 

What do we want to achieve here? 
What does that look like? 
How will we do it?

The afore-mentioned Mr Sherrington has also written excellently on the subject of vision, as well as many more things of great worth: http://headguruteacher.com//?s=vision 

Underpinning and necessarily supporting 'my' vision and approach is the creation of a culture around a desire to be the best that we can be and having all involved and responsible for finding the 'best', most effective ways. I may blog about that on another occasion.

You will notice in the doc that I make reference to 'standing out', as opposed to 'outstanding'. The OFSTED label for some such schools is not necessarily deserved, if you ask yourself: 
'(How) does this school 'stand out' and do things that others could usefully take away and learn from?'

The document
The structure - and some content - of this overview is based on the QCA 'Big Picture of the Curriculum'.
'Key Aspects of Teaching' is a headline overview which comes from a Focus Education approach.

The sections, 'What we want our children (and staff) to be' in the first section and 'Distinctive Content' in the second are both very similar and reflect some personal ideas for my previous school. I believe that these areas, in particular, may be different for schools, according to their circumstances.

If anyone has problems viewing or editing, let me know.

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