Sunday, 28 August 2011

Week 17 progress report

We began the week shortlisting for our PA/Sectretary role. With over 80 applicants it was a big undertaking and took us a while but we have our shortlist to interview next week.
Our advert for teaching staff went into the Education Gazette print version on Monday and we have had over 100 requests for application packs for the various roles. We have our teacher information evening on 7 September at the National Library and are working on what we think prospective applicants will want to know as well as what they need to know before applying. If you have read the pack and browsed the blog and can see something is missing please let us know so that we can fully inform people of what we are all about, when you are immersed in a project it can be hard to see what you are not communicating well! Anyone who has not seen the ad and is interested can view the scale A positions online here and the leadership positions here.
We have been working with the establishment board on our vision, logo, motto etc and the weaving together of these elements to represent what we are about. One of the great responsibilities we have in establishing a new school is in creating the history and traditions of the school. We are not entering a place with traditions that have been there for 5, 15 or 50 years, but entering into a relationship with a school community to create those traditions and ways of being. There are no rules, no "we've always done that", no boxes to confine our thinking … each and every decision needs to be considered and challenged to check that it fits with the vision and fits the ethos of the school. Some of these decisions come from questions from parents around what we will have or do, some of them come from us asking why when faced with a decision to be made. There are, of course, legislative parameters we have to work within and we have spent a long time looking at policies and procedures to ensure that we are meeting our legislative requirements, while also holding true to the vision of the establishment board of trustees. In having a robust vision we will be able to link our mission and strategic planning clearly to our learning and ethos. The more clearly we can see the links the more embedded learning will be for our community.
In our visit to Albany Senior High School this week we were able to see how their vision has developed over the past 3 years to become an integral part of how and why they are as a school. The personalised learning and empowerment of students at the school is nurtured by the teachers and students alike and there is a sense of engaged purposefulness in the school. We are grateful to Mark Osborne for taking the time to show us around (again). As always we came away with questions on our own practice and inspiration from yours! Our schools may be at opposite ends of the motorway and catering for opposite ends of the age range but there are several parallels between them.
In building news this week; the final parts of the roof are due to go on and the learning studios are taking shape with windows and gib up and beams being painted. We are hoping to have a photo of the final roof installation this week!

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