Britain’s Strictest School


Have a read of this article.  There I was thinking my old school was the strictest school in Britain!  What an interesting read do you think:

Of the behaviour guidelines?  Of the learning (style)?  Of the Principal’s comments of other schools?  Of the grape?!

Will this school be successful?  How does the Principal see success?



Sooo….room for improvement!!

OK.  Admittedly, posting twice in a year is probably not the most effective use of  a blog.  And not sharing it with anyone doesn’t help either (to add a bit of positive pressure!).  So right now I am writing to an audience of myself!  That will change – time to use this as I intended – a forum for learning.  Hopefully more than just mine but even that makes it worth the trouble.

Relationships, relationships, relationships

The value of human connection.  Every teacher needs to see his.  Every leader needs to see this.  One of my absolutely favourite clips on effective teaching.

Why?  Because teaching is all about relationships, leading is all about relationships.  That does not mean rose-tinted glasses and everything is beautiful.  It means dignity, respect, trust and belief.  As Covey said, perhaps we need to seek to understand before we try being understood.

Would you want your child in this teacher’s class? Of course.  As would I.  Because you know that she will believe that your child will achieve great things.

To the child who scored 2/20 – ‘you are on the right road’.  Love it.

Simon Sinek – Golden Circle

Again, not a new vid (from 2009) but one that, at the time, made me really think about the why.  Simon repeats several times ‘people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it’.

Why is this relevant in education?  How often do we explore the why?  How effectively could your staff articulate why they do what they do?  It sounds so simple and yet so vital.

Do we do this enough, when launching new projects/initiatives/the next silver bullet in education?

Vision and Mission statements can be found in every school, perhaps even most organisations.  Does your staff know them?  Do them buy into them? How do you know they do?

Those with children will be able to relate to the constant ‘why-ing ‘ of toddlers.  But do we do it enough as adults?  And of course my final question….why not?


Another Sir Ken vid – still used

Although this was recorded in 2010, I still use this video when presenting to parents about contemporary learning.  The section from 1:46 to 3:35 is spot on.   It normally leads into a conversation about the sort of education parents were exposed to,each one filled with content which was then regurgitated weekly, termly or each Semester through a variety of tests or exams, with the prize going to the child who could regurgitate the most information.  Clearly, with the arrival of the internet, this system had to change.

Ten/twenty years on how much has it changed?  Has it changed enough?  I guess it is back to my previous post, everything takes time in education…..picking up on a theme yet??!

An oldie but a goodie – Sir Ken

Although I have not watched this video for a number of years, I still remember the effect that it had on me.  It made sense.  Parts of it eloquently summed up my own thinking about education and where we were heading.  Apart from Sir Ken being a funny man he raised some great points, remembering, of course, that these were made back in 2006.  What is education for?  Why is it still designed to fulfil the requirements of the industrial era?   Who succeeds?

His point about creativity (the process of having original ideas that add value) almost being educated out of children certainly struck a chord. Perhaps, 10 years later, this is changing. Slowly.

Another line that has always stayed with me was about how much we allow children to make mistakes.  To be wrong.  Or to even teach them to be prepared to be wrong.  Resilience – now there is a 21st Century issue.

Reflecting back on this video does serve as a reminder of how slow the pace of (real) change is in education.  I believe that it is changing; it just takes a long time.  A very long time.

Why blog? Why now?

Good question(s).

Mostly for me.  I have so many resources here and there without a place to gather them all.  Or reflect on them.  I feel at a place now where I am comfortable to share my reflections digitally.  Perhaps it will help to form views or further/future thinking.   Maybe it might help others reflect on their own leadership development.  However, the main aim with this blog is not to reach the masses and become a blogger extraordinaire; it is to simply put down some thoughts and reflections digitally that may help me to become a better leader/educator/Catholic/human being.  If it helps others along the way then that is, of course, great.

Starting at a new school as Principal is also a great time to commit to this blog.  It being the 1st Jan is another good reason.  Basically I think that I have run out of excuses not to blog!