Working Together for Change
Last Term we carried out our usual annual satisfaction survey for all pupils, parents and staff. We wanted to ensure that the information people gave could be used to shape future action planning. We therefore used the principles of the process “Working Together for Change” http://www.helensandersonassociates.co.uk/training-and-consultancy/our-courses/working-together-for-change.aspx – and started by asking everyone 3 specific questions in relation to being part of the school community:
- What is working well for you?
- What is not working well for you?
- What is important for the future?
From the information given by people, we were able to provide feedback to everyone about the themes that emerged. There were some great themes that were common to pupils, parents and staff in terms of what works including the positive, happy atmosphere of the school; the emphasis placed on daily reading groups and the introduction of “Quest” weeks where the whole school comes together to learn though a particular problem solving activity. Knowing what’s working for people is just as important as knowing about what isn’t working – it reminds us to keep doing what we are doing!
There were also clear themes that emerged in relation to areas not working so well. Some could be rectified straight away for example, the way children go into and out of school. For others, it was important to us that we start to co-produce solutions and actions. As part of our feedback to the school community on the results of the survey, we therefore invited parents to join staff and governors in a planning together session.
This session happened a few weeks ago and was a great success. 20 of us came together to look at two of the identified themes: communication and celebrating success. We started the session in true positive and productive style with each of us saying something we like about the school. This set us on a path for exploring in groups, issues and possibilities in relation to the two themes.
The strength of bringing together people with different perspectives but all with the same passion for making the school the best it possibly can be resulted in a diverse range of creative ideas for improving communication and celebrating success. Ideas ranged from giving pupils “loyalty cards” to record rewards to using text messages to keep parents up to date on school news.
The session culminated in a bit of dot voting on all the ideas to prioritise a way forward for action. The plans that arose out of the session will now be shared with the whole school and we plan to keep holding these sessions to develop our approach to co-production further.