As I start this, one of my first education blog posts, I consider the key elements required to take a new or developing school to a sustainable high standard of excellence.
These thoughts have been prompted by three vastly different schools (located in two countries and two provinces) which I have recently visited.
The first is a new and developing primary school in South Africa. The school funded and driven by an established business group plans to open its doors in January 2015 with classes from grade 1 to 12. As I sat and chatted with the headmaster, amidst building renovations, we spoke about the need for affordable quality education and the vision of the Group to meet this need with not just one but several private schools in the coming years.
The second school is a small independent primary school established to educate children of its employees. Members of the School Governing Body spoke of school vision and the desire to place the school on the map.
The third is a small independent church run school which seeks to preach the gospel while serving as an English medium primary school to the local community.
Although each have different primary objectives and have varying degrees of funding and resources each strives for excellence. What is the key element that will take these schools and others like it to beyond mediocrity? Will sufficient funding to build state of the art facilities be enough? Will demanding more from the teachers bring change? Will lesson observation or student entrance tests? Will developing, writing and displaying a school mission statement promote excellence?
Maintaining a standard of excellence is a daily decision. Every interaction, every response, every lesson plan, every fundraising venture and every report comment one of excellence.
Every word– an #excellent word. Every action-an action of #excellence. Every decision made with #excellence as the goal.
All these little factors combined make for a school of excellence. When each small decision is an excellent decision the big decisions are excellent too.