What is the Essence of Your School?

Thanks Jo for this image from #EdJourney by Grant Lichtman

Thanks Jo for this image from #EdJourney by Grant Lichtman

In #EdJourney, Grant Lichtman discusses schools’ value proposition. That is, what your school offers compared to other schools. Each school sets out their vision – implemented to different levels by different schools, some completely through all staff members, some just believed by Senior Leadership. The Value Proposition, as I understand it, is about what you actually do compared to what you say you will do (much like Espoused Theory vs Theory in Use by Chris Argyris). It essentially says that the practices of a school tells their community they really value. If we asked parents what their son or daughter gains by going to your school rather than the one down the road, this is the Value Proposition.

This reminded me of a challenge from Ewan McIntosh at the end of last year to capture the essence of what our school was all about in just 1 sentence.

That 1 sentence should tell people what your school offers that is unique compared to all the other schools out there.

For us at Hobsonville Point Secondary School, our vision and values are:

But to me, our Value Proposition/1 sentence is:

At Hobsonville Point Secondary School learning is based upon Powerful Partnerships.

I recently blogged an example of these Powerful Partnerships but with 7 minutes of my time limit left here are some of the Powerful Partnerships within our school:

  • Module Partnerships between Learning Areas to amplify learning opportunities
  • Learning Hub Partnerships between students, parents and Learning Coaches
  • Big Project Partnerships between students and community groups
  • Warm and Demanding Partnerships between Critical Friends – (for me this was Maurie Abraham last year and is Claire Amos this year).
  • Our special partnership with Hobsonville Point Primary School and our developing relationships with all our Contributing Schools.

Now of course, I could go on in depth about each of these but the core is in that one magic sentence: At Hobsonville Point Secondary School, learning is based upon Powerful Partnerships. Now we just have to make sure that our whole school community also have this same belief.

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4 thoughts on “What is the Essence of Your School?

  1. I particularly like that in the HBSS Vision and Values you define what those words mean. Those same words show up in a lot of vision/philosophy statements, but it turns out the school community does not know or agree what the words mean!

  2. Pingback: Aligning the Scenius | Steve Mouldey

  3. Pingback: School Leadership | Pearltrees

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