Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Individual culture & context drives the vision process

Shared visioning process NZCPPA. Learn more at this link.
In preparation for the visioning session with the St Patrick's Murrumbeena staff, it's important to develop the probe questions.
These questions need to connect with school documentation to provide a valuable starting point based on the existing school culture. The open ended nature of the probe questions will allow room for new growth and development beyond the current school context. The vision is a picture of the future we want to create together to enable everyone to flourish.

These are four probe questions that are based on the existing school vision and strategic plan documents and are the starting point for our process.
Note: The word community will be used below to include children, parents, staff and parish

1. What are the most effective ways to strengthen and integrate the Catholic faith within the lives of our community ?
2. How can we develop the unique potential of every individual in readiness for 21st Century learning and life ?
3. What are the most effective ways to engage our community into learning and the life of our
school ?
4. In what ways can we best enable our children to become resilient and confident learners ?

Allow for approximately twenty-five to thirty staff. Move into about five or six groups of five with a mixture of year groups for the Classic Brainstorming and 10/4 Voting process for about 15 minutes for each of the four probes.
                                 Teresa Edwards describes the Classic Brainstorming & 10/4 process
3:45 Welcome, prayer and introduction to the process
3:50 Round 1
4:05 Round 2
4:20 Refreshment break while top two responses from each group are collated onto a master page for each probe for questions 1 and 2.
4:30 Round 3
4:45 Round 4
5:00 Refreshment break while top two responses from each group are collated onto a master page for each probe for questions 3 and 4.
5:10 Individuals review responses and make ten private votes.
5:20 Review top responses as a group and conclude.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Connect & collaborate, change 2 flourish

Prolific frond growth on a tree fern in Whitehorse Road, Balwyn.
While I was enjoying the sunshine on an early morning walk, I came across some beautiful tree ferns. There were fresh new fronds emerging prolifically from the heart of the ferns. Seeing these fern fronds was very coincidental. I have spent quite some time working on this redesigned blog site with the image of a fern frond as part of the change 2 flourish logo.
Change has always been a constant in both my personal and professional life. For some of us sometimes, change can be daunting. But just as the fern fronds unfurl and flourish, embracing change can help us to open our lives to imminent new possibilities, as we strive to be the best we can be, and live our lives to the fullest.

"The unfurling frond of the Koru (Maori for spiral) fern, symbolizes the spirit of peace, hope, growth and a return to your beginnings, and the way in which life both change and rejuvenates, while the inner coil of one's beginnings, stays the same". Rosemary Burke spoke these words in front of a congregation of students, families, colleagues, friends and parishioners, as she presented me with a pounamu (Maori name for greenstone) carved pendant at my farewell mass in New Zealand. The Koru fern is representative of change in the living world. Change in nature appears natural, simple and uncomplicated. Change is necessary for survival (Wheatley, 2006).
Rosemary Burke and Fr Wayne Healey presenting me with the pounamu pendant.
My taonga (Maori for treasure).
I am about to start a new principalship in Melbourne. This means change for me and also change for the children, staff and families at St Patrick's Primary School in Murrumbeena. I am looking forward to supporting the community, as we revisit the school's vision and collaboratively develop a plan for our future actions to enable all of us to continue to grow and flourish.

Our St Patrick's visioning session will follow a similar approach to the OSCPPA Visioning Day and the NZCPPA Visioning Days. You can learn more by going to the links.

This session is a one hundred minute opportunity for all staff to reflect and contribute to future plans for their school. Student, parents and parish community members will also get a chance to contribute during the coming weeks.
It's important to take a little time before we meet to read and reflect on some valuable documents that will guide our thinking.
Documents to consider as we move forward :
- Existing St Patrick's Vision Statement. You can read at this link.
- School Improvement Plan 2016-2019. You can read at this link.
- 2016 Annual Action Plan. You can read at this link.

I am looking forward with anticipation and eagerness to working with the St Patrick's community.

The unfurling frond of the Koru fern symbolises creation and the way in which life both changes and stays the same. We have a great capacity for change and working with change can help us become more of who we want to be (Wheatley, 2016).

Developing this shared site to support the growth of collaborative and connected leadership for change will connect leadership to vision and enable change 2 flourish.