Thursday, May 22, 2014

Nothing is ever as simple as it seems (Murphy's laws)

Time in my inquiry to explore the school’s intangibles (core values, philosophy, ideology)?

The core values (desirable qualities), philosophy (key guiding principles), ideology (beliefs) of the school are set out in a number of ways in a number of places (staff handbook, school prospectus, web site, senior course information booklet, an Educational Positioning Survey (EPS), the hall banners, dining hall posters, classroom posters, are some).

Core values - there are purpose and vision statements: extraordinary learning; extraordinary school -  extraordinary women; guiding values uses words like: aim high, inclusive, collaborative, culture of excellence, respect, integrity, honesty, trust, service to others; our core values - Attitude, Family and Heritage (school website).

Ideology - there is a school maxim: challenge the future, embrace the present, cherish the past; and a school mottonow is the acceptable time.

Philosophy - a special character statement outlines the school as a caring and secure Christian environment. The founding Principal’s holistic philosophy was that “the hand, body and brain must be trained and developed together” (school prospectus). E raka te maui, e raka te katau (a community can use all the skills of its people) (senior course booklet). The concept of four cornerstones; sporting, cultural, academic and spiritual (Principal’s message in the prospectus) is spoken of regularly. The four have been extrapolated from the eleven points made in the special character statement.

It's also interesting to think about the results from an Educational Positioning Survey (EPS) that indicates the perception of Woodford House from the students, parents and staff perspective.

Words like Family, Fun, Friendly, Friendships, Excellence, and Environment were used to describe 'the Woodford Experience'. 

With all this in mind my next task is to analyse the current organisational culture in the school.

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