Every Voice Matters

IMG 4319Last night Blue Coat held its first vision setting meeting in recent memory. This essential part of the consultation process saw a healthy turnout of around 60 parents and members of the wider school community who were personally invited to attend. Also in attendance were teachers, school governors, PTA members and the school's leadership team who hosted the event. 

The hall was set up into 10 discussion groups where a staff member facilitated discussion and scribed for the group as they went about a series of thought-provoking tasks. A brief plenary of the ground covered:

  • 'What is a vision statement? Who has ownership of it? Who is responsible for its achievement?'
  • De Bono's' Red Hat' Thinking time: 'What are your hopes and fears (the threats and opportunities) for your child(ren) in the future?'
  • 'What do current and predicted national and global trends predict for the future? How will these impact on aspects of our children's lives i.e. lifestyles, careers, relationships, lifelong learning, citizenship, spirituality etc.' Stakeholders engaged with the 2012 version of the 'Shift Happens' presentation.
  • 'In preparing our children to cope and thrive within this very different future, what does Blue Coat need to be focusing on now and in the medium to long term to prepare them? Which skills, attitudes and behaviours should we be developing in our learners?'
  • 'Are our recorded thoughts, ideas and aspirations at odds with the children's vision for Blue Coat?' The School Council's vision video was premiered for our community...and met with a loud round of applause!
  • Christian values will be key in underpinning the school's success of achieving a vision for the future... but 'which ones will be most important to the children in their primary school years so as to best prepare them?'
  • Parents engaged in a 'diamond ranking' exercise of identifying the 9 Christian values they felt would be most relevant at this stage in the children's lives. An order of importance was determined...by most groups who could reach a consensus! (This was no mean feat for the groups!)

The consultation process has now been brought to a close as the views of our children, staff, school governors, parents and wider commuity have been elicited. We now have the daunting task of drawing out common themes across the stakeholder groups and then distil these into a concise, powerful vision statement that is understood and memorable for everyone!

Wish us luck and watch this space...

Many thanks to all members of our community who turned up to engage in the process. Also, thank you to the staff members and school governors who gave up their time to show their support. Last but not least, a big 'thank you' to the school's omnipresent PTA for welcoming our parents at the event by serving hot drinks  with a smile.



~Group records of stakeholder hopes and fears for the children's futures with annotations of what the school should do to address these in terms of developing skills, attitudes and behaviours.

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~(Below) Group records of stakeholder 'diamond ranking' of the Christian Values that they deem to be most important in underpinning the school's vision for the future.

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