Wednesday, 31 March 2021

Vision & Core Values 3 Years After Inception

How do you respond when a school parent sends you an email and states This is not reflective of the St Patrick’s vision statement or policies ?

Towards the end of 2020, during the unprecedented challenges of COVID and when the students were back onsite, I received such an email.

Clearly there was a concern, however, direct reference to and a quote taken from our school vision statement were a joy to behold. We received "open and honest" feedback (one of our core values) aligned to our school wide vision. A member of the community was indicating that they related to our vision and were holding fast to it come what may.

Where did our vision narrative, core values and mental model originate from ? In preparation for a day of reflection with the staff, let me put our vision and core values into context ; three years on from commencing the Schools That Deliver professional learning process.

 Students become the leaders of the future through internally driven change 21 Nov 2017



Empowerment, passion and unified purpose  (staff feedback about the process) 16 April 2018

Staff Generate Future Focussed Vision & Core Values for ALL Learners (27 April 2018) Summary of shared vision and values.

Disruption, Creativity: Innovate 2 flourish 22 July 2018 

Active participation and deep reflection stimulated by the Edward's and Martin Delivering Innovation Conference (June, 2018) led to the creation of a video. The personal challenge was to succinctly capture two full days of powerful learning in a three minute animated video to share with others.
This sums up the approach we are taking as part of the Schools That Deliver Process.


2020 Covid ?   Disruption? Comfort zones ? Creativity ? Innovation ?

Conference to reality ; shift happens together  17 Aug 2018 4 Research teams and practice fields

Practice Fields Lead to Quick Wins for Learners 11 Nov 2018. Shared outcomes of Practice Fields


Reflection of Phase 1 - Outcomes of staff research and recommendations during the first year lead to draft long term plan going forward.

Specific Focus Review Through a Core Values Lens  2 May 2019
Using the core values as a focus for the School Review. How will we gather evidence for our review ?
We will use the core values as the lens through which we gather data for the review. The values were chosen by staff in 2018 as the five key ways to treat each other at our school. The values link to the CEM Horizons of Hope curriculum with a clear focus on honouring the sacred dignity of the human person. If we concentrate on the human element, we will build a sense of belonging and increase student wellbeing data whilst contributing to a natural lift in academic standards.

Archaeological Dig Unearths Invaluable Treasures. 7 Sep 2019

Recommendations from the review led to a new leadership model that encourages everyone to take ownership and contribute collectively. It is a team based approach to growing leadership capacity and capability across our staff and was implemented at the start of 2020. 
The team based approach is a shift from silos of learning led by independent leaders to collaborative learning teams. Every staff member is part of an equitable team and together take responsibility within three areas agreed on by staff: Faith and Community; Faith, Wellbeing and Diversity; Faith and Curriculum.
Just as all schools include Child Safety on every meeting agenda, we agreed to include the word "faith" in all of our teams. We want to ensure that the Catholicity of our school is kept at the forefront of all that we do.
The first sentence of our shared school vision states: St Patrick's is a school where our Catholic identity underpins all we do. Our new School Improvement Plan reflects this innovative approach. Once a week after school, two POL leaders from within each team work alongside staff to achieve the annual actions developed by teams from the School Improvement Plan.

Twelve months on from the review and during the first week back onsite for our staff and children following on from the 100 day COVID lockdown, the leadership team met with Maree Homes (Regional Leadership Consultant), Brittany Ford (Religious Education Consultant) and Donna Anderson (Learning Consultant School Effectiveness). We had a forty five minute conversation in which all leaders contributed. Here is 3 minute excerpt of the feedback given to us by the MACS ( Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools) leaders from the Southern Regional Office.

All of the COVID posts during 2020 focused on our core values. "Throughout the challenges of the pandemic, holding tight to our core values with faith filled hearts enables our community to thrive".

Our core values are now aligned to the House Awards (daily) and Assembly Awards (weekly) and we continue to embed them in all that we do. 
Our values are a way of living and working together and our agreed mental models remind us of what is important to us in our work as we realise our vision.

Our Mental Models
  • Source evidence based research.

  • Work in practice fields and trial innovations and interventions.

  • Action authentic cycles of deep inquiry. 

  • The knowledge is in us all.

  • Slower is faster and less is more.

  • Move forward and deeply through powerful questions. 

  • Listen, listen and listen.

  • Be outward facing through active participation in the following networks and collectives: RE Network, RE Collective, STEM Network, SWIF (School wide Improvement)

Strengthened and enriched as a committed staff team, we will continue to propel our school forward with renewed energy, quality, passion and purpose to ensure "learners leave St Patrick's self motivated ready to make a positive impact on their world".

Action without vision is only passing time, vision without action is merely daydreaming, but vision with action can change the world (Mandela & Barker, 2013)


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