Friday, 20 September 2013
BRILLIANT LEARNERS MATTER!
"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." W. B. Yeats
If you read the McKinsey Report, analyse the PISA data and listen to people like Ken Robinson it is increasingly obvious that, while recognising what has been achieved over the last ten to fifteen years, we need to do more to ignite and inspire our colleagues and our children to become brilliant learners. The challenge is how we do it and how we create passionate and compassionate learning places. Those of us who have seen it happen, and know how to do it, need to work together to share ideas and strategies and to continue to think team and to build co-operative, collaborative approaches that inspire young people to really understand what they are capable of, to dispel the nonsense about genius and to help them reach their extraordinary potential. I have visited so many brilliant schools across the country that have have transformed the learning landscape and achieved brilliant outcomes through the powerful use of collaborative school improvement approaches. Many have used brilliant programmes like Every Child a Reader, Every Child Counts, Musical Futures and Learning Futures but most importantly what these great schools have created is a culture of excellence built on passion, persistence, self-belief and determined, focused and deliberate practice and hard work. This is balanced by a focus on compassion, equity and a belief that every child can achieve and can be successful! Throughout my life people have told me that things are impossible and that we can't get every child to read and love number by the time they are seven or eight; that we can't get every child to be a brilliant little learner by the time they leave primary school; that we can't get every young person the equivalent of 5 good GCSEs including English and maths by the time they are sixteen. I simply don't believe it and I don't accept that every school can't be a great school and that we can't create great teams with the current people. Success doesn't come in can'ts, it comes in cans. We simply need to change the culture and focus on developing learning leadership, beautiful systems and intelligent accountability. And we must get people to believe; to believe in themselves and to believe in the extraordinary potential of our children and young people and our colleagues.