I am currently writing a policy around guidelines for reviewing our mission, vision and values statements, collectively known as our Guiding Statement (GS). Like many things in education, the lens with which we view what is important has refocussed and this includes the emphasis on our guiding statement.
We all probably went to a school with a motto, or some sort of statement that was associated with our institution. I wonder though, how many of us remember what it was, or, if you do, why do you remember it? The GS for schools, certainly for Bradbury, has moved in focus from being simply a statement underneath the school logo, to something that we live, to being the ideals and standards to which we hold ourselves accountable and strive for.
As the professional leader of Bradbury, I often reflect on how well I am enabling the ideals of 'inspiring learners, inquiring together and enhancing our world' in our school. One way of doing this is to listen to what other people are saying about education. Sir Ken Robinson is well known for his non conventional views on education and I very much enjoy having my own ideas challenged by him. I have just watched a clip of one of his presentations entitled 'Changing Education Paradigms'. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDZFcDGpL4U)
In this, Sir Ken presents some convincing arguments around why and how we should change our current models of not just the structure of schools, but even the way we think about intellect and how we measure it. He says that because of our current education model "many brilliant people think they are not". This is because they do not fit comfortably into our current understanding of what 'school' and 'education' is and he challenges us to change our understandings and perceptions of these concepts.
I do believe that our concept driven curriculum and emphasis on collaboration, global citizenship and responsibility is a key change to education and a move in the right direction toward changing the paradigm of education. Are we there yet? No, I don't believe so but with a sound GS that truly reflects our beliefs, ideals, aims,aspirations and that are used as a measure for every decision made in our school, we are on our way!
Today, thinking about 'enhancing our world', we had presenters come to speak to some of the Year 6 students from across all ESF schools from 'Plastic Free Seas'. Our students were presented with scary facts around the harm, danger and pollution discarding plastic in the sea causes to marine life and the purity of the ocean. The 'plastic bag monster' in the photo below is wearing a costume made out of the 500 plastic shopping bags that the average person uses in one year. From now on, I am packing a folding shopping bag in my handbag so I can reduce my plastic bag usage and help enhance the world!