I love my metaphors, so bear with me. A school can be compared to a ship with the children as the passengers and the teachers and support staff as the crew. We each have our roles: some work in the engine room, others the galley or as deckhands. Keeping the ship sailing is a demanding task, and there is always work to be done. But, every once in a while, we need to get out of the engine room and up onto the bridge, put our eye to the telescope and see where we have come from and check that we are still on the right course.
Our senior leadership team (SLT) took time away from school last week to participate in a leadership retreat. We reflected on our accomplishments in the last year, took stock of where we are now, reviewed the recommendations of the CIS/NEASC, IB and DSIB reports and started planning ahead. We identified some of the barriers to progress and where the overlaps and gaps are, which led to a review of roles and responsibilities. It was valuable to have a Andrew Mitchell and Peter Fremaux, our new Heads of School, present in addition to some of the new members of the SLT, and for them to be able to start planning with their respective leadership teams. Our focus for next year will be to continue to improve the quality of teaching and learning, to raise assessment standards by tracking progress and giving quality feedback and, thirdly, to use the information we have on our students more effectively, to set stretching targets for each student. With high expectations and high support, we want to bring out the best in each and every child.
Heraclitus, the ancient Greek philosopher said, “You cannot step into the same river twice, for the waters are continually flowing on.” That was as true in Athens in 500 BC as it is today: the pace and rate of change is certainly quicker. The river never stands still. As the crew of the ship ‘Greenfield’ we are committed to not only keeping it on course, but to sailing it proudly and well. All of us involved in the leadership and teaching teams in our school share a vision to take it forward and to leave it in a better place than when we arrived. This is a great responsibility and, if we get it right, joy.
Our vision remains unchanged: Greenfield Community School is committed to building an inclusive world class IB Continuum School, recognised for rigour and excellent quality of teaching and learning. We embrace our international and cultural diversity and strong sense of community.