Do you know what your school values are?
How are they shared with the students?
And the parents?
Or the staff and governors?
After reading the “Schools with Soul” research completed by the RSA (http://www.thersa.org/action-research-centre/learning,-cognition-and-creativity/education/reports-and-events/reports/schools-with-soul) I started to think about these questions in the context of my current school and previous schools I have worked in. My current school, in my opinion, has a very clear view of the values it shares with all of its community. They are regularly talked about by the staff and shared with the students. In my opinion it is what is special about the place. But could we do more? Do we need to be more explicit about our values in our everyday work?
Recommendations 5 and 6 (below) have provided me with some ideas about how to start but I am also interested in reconfirming what we think we do to develop the well-being of our students. One of the school development points this year is to review our behaviour policy. I intend to ask staff and students to identify from a list like this http://www.stevepavlina.com/articles/list-of-values.htm what they think are values are to see if we are in agreement.
Schools with Soul – Recommendations 5 and 6
(5) School governing bodies should take full ownership of a school’s SMSC policy and where necessary, reshape a school’s overall purpose and ethos.
(6) School leaders should consider:
- building SMSC development into reporting systems for parents and students
- building SMSC into teachers’ performance management systems
- using pupil premium funding to support the development of SMSC outcomes, linked to strategies for closing attainment gaps
I think that reviewing what we do to deliver the SMSC element of our school curriculum will help provide a different conversation which isn’t just about examination results but will hopefully have an impact on our overall results.
For the record I think our 3 values are:
Schools with Soul – Recommendation 1 – remains my favourite.
Everyone involved in education in the UK should designate 2015-16 (the academic year after the next general election) as a “year of reflection” when:
- no schools-related policies are announced by the Department for Education (DfE) or any other agency
- no schools are forced to become academies
- no Ofsted inspections take place apart from re-inspections of those schools which have been judged inadequate, and inspections of new Free Schools and academies, and
- no organisations publish any new policy proposals for schools
I am hoping that (unlike some of the schools I have worked in) if more people adopt the ideas proposed in the RSA report than the values of their schools might be more than something which is just written in the school prospectus….