Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Seeking to be extraordinary and trimming the hedge : 2016-01-27

Yesterday evening, travelling home after spending two truly uplifting days in London at the World Visible Learning Conference, a colleague and I mused on the distinction between extraordinary and ordinary. To lead an extraordinary life? To make an extraordinary contribution? To create an extraordinary school? To encourage our students to be extraordinary?

Professor John Hattie, Professor Mick Waters, Professor David Hopkins, Professor Andy Hargreaves, Professor Guy Claxton… Extraordinary people, leading extraordinary lives, making extraordinary contributions. Five professors, along with many more leaders in the world of educational research and practice sharing their life work, with an absence of ego, in a grounded, intensely passionate and quite brilliant way. Now, the purpose of this is not simply to pour praise on the extraordinary people we lucky attendees rubbed shoulders with over the past two days, although their brilliant endeavours should be recognised time and again. Rather, I would like to indulge myself by taking an hour out of the day to pour my initial thoughts down on two unforgettable days of learning.

Andy Hargreaves challenged us to ask ourselves two questions. Is the way I lead consistent with the values we aspire to hold for our students? Am I inclusive with adults? He reminded us that our profession is about working together to achieve important goals. He urged us to focus on uplifting those we serve by uplifting those who serve them. David Hopkins emphasised how challenging it is to improve learning and teaching at scale; that it is technically simple (we know what works best) but socially complex. Further, he says that if we are truly driven by moral purpose then you have to work at scale. David offered the concept of Circles of Competence as a way of understanding insecurity. He says that we need to expand our colleagues’ confidence, both physically and psychologically. I love and appreciate the fact that one of the strongest messages coming through across the two days was that teacher wellbeing really does matter, that “it is not just about the kids”. After all, doesn’t Michael Fullan name ‘Love your employees’ as the first of his ‘six secrets’?

I attended a great session led by Kristin Anderson, a discussion on Trust. Kristin highlighted the importance in good leadership of clarity, the practising of consistency (people trust you when you follow through), creation of a safe place to fail and the fostering of contribution. Interesting that Professor Hattie himself, in talking about his current work and his want to share those projects, if offered the opportunity to return and do so (Yes please John!), noted that he would not be sharing the many pieces of work that “didn’t work”. I always find myself returning to Sarah Martin’s saying that learning is a messy business, and that is why all Stonefields’ teams have “messy” large-scale thinking books. As do Bader’s now, I have to say. Thank you Stonefields! Professor Hattie repeated the message time and again that it is the way that teachers think and not what they do that makes the difference. Oh for a scan at John’s messy thinking books! Or should I say his team’s messy thinking books, for he made sure to acknowledge their work, brilliantly led, where Cognition is concerned, by Deb Masters. Which takes me to another fantastic session that I attended, led by Dr Peter de Witt, discussing School Voice. Peter made me stop and think when he challenged us to ask ourselves if we walked into staff meetings with an idea and walked out with the same one. Worse still, are we ‘negotiators’, carrying an agenda into a meeting and convincing others of its wisdom? Peter suggested that true collaborators learn something through the process. Just as an aside, Peter dropped in something that I have taken away as my number one to do thing. He described his effective use, when a school principle, of ‘flipped’ parent meetings. Essentially, in looking to further engage parents he sent out a video message through the school on-line platform and then invited parents in to discuss its content. Come the day, “Standing room only”, Peter said! Brilliant! Love it! Doing it next week at Bader!

So much food for thought. I really must return to the day job now and pay the price of taking two days out! A final word… Professor Hattie, in his simply brilliant and awe inspiring final ‘I have a dream’ address said “I want a system that helps children exceed what they think their potential is.” Hear hear! To that, I would add that, at Bader, I want a team that exceeds what they think their potential is. A team that is extraordinary. A team that encourages our students to be extraordinary. A team that offers the ‘Plus’ in Professor Claxton’s 3 A*s and a Plus. Guy is so right, as skilfully stated in Educating Ruby, lauded by Professor Hattie, that preparing our young people for the world they will inhabit requires us to think hard about what that Plus is and should be.

As we drive forward as a team, drawing on all of the expertise that is around us, I repeat what I stated at the end of the presentation that my colleague Marc and I shared at the conference. As the second part of our presentation, Marc had shared, with great clarity and honesty, his leading on one of our chosen focus areas, learning dispositions. I said to our audience that others in school are working in the same way. Further, that I could see the day when I would be trimming the school perimeter hedge and tending the gardens, with all of these fine people leaving me in their wake. Is that what John Hattie means by individuals exceeding their potential, I wonder? I will settle for that!

My learning? If this is to happen then I must:

    1. Lead in a way that is consistent with the values we aspire to hold for our students.
    2. Be inclusive with adults.
    3. Focus on uplifting those we serve by uplifting those who serve them.
    4. Expand my colleagues’ confidence, both physically and psychologically.
    5. Fully appreciate that learning is messy.
    6. Not walk into staff meetings with an idea and walk out with the same one, nor carry an agenda into the meeting, seeking to convince others of its wisdom.
    7. Buy a really good pair of hedge trimmers.

A final word… thank you for all of the gracious and positive feedback from those that attended our session. Thank you to all of the extraordinary people who shared their life work with us fortunate enough to be present, and thank you to Osiris, Stephen Cox and his team for putting on such an amazing learning extravaganza!

Feedback from parents and carers : 2015-11-27

In looking to capture deep and meaningful data around pupil, parent and carer, and teacher voice we are using the full suite of truly excellent Quaglia School Voice surveys, accessed through Corwin in the US.

The Parent Voice Survey assesses parents’ perceptions of their child and his or her experience in the school environment by asking questions based on each of the 8 Conditions. By asking parents how they perceive the culture of their child’s school, Parent Voice provides educators with a powerful tool for understanding both what motivates and inspires students to achieve and how well parents believe their school is meeting those objectives.

The 8 conditions are framed around three Guiding Principles: Self-Worth, Engagement, and Purpose.
The 8 Conditions are: 1. Belonging, 2. Heroes, 3. Sense of Accomplishment, 4. Fun and Excitement, 5. Curiosity & Creativity, 6. Spirit of Adventure, 7. Leadership & Responsibility, and 8. Confidence to Take Action.

We opened up access to the survey, for all parents, last Friday evening. By the close of the weekend 104 respondents had completed the 64 question survey.

Some of the headlines (the figure given is the percentage of respondents agreeing with the statement):

I feel welcome in my child’s school (92.3%)
I am proud of my child’s school (89.3%)
I feel comfortable going to teacher-parent/guardian meetings (89.2%)
My input and opinions are valued at my child’s school (84.2%)
My child has a teacher who is a positive role model (91.3%)
If my child has a problem, there is a teacher he/she can talk to (86.3%)
If I have a problem with my child’s school, someone at school is available to help me (90.2%)
Teachers let me know what my child does well in school (81.4%)
My child is encouraged to practice good citizenship at school (90.4%)
My child gives up when schoolwork is difficult (16.5%)
My child enjoys being at school (91.3%)
Teachers at my child’s school make it exciting to learn (99.2%)
My child is bored in school (3.9%)
My child enjoys learning new things (100%)
Events/meetings for parents/guardians are worth attending (94%)
School inspires my child to learn (92.2%)
Teachers help my child learn from mistakes (88.3%)
My child wants to do his/her best at school (96.1%)
My child likes challenging tasks (86.3%)
School is preparing my child well for the future (93.2%)

Margin for improvement, certainly, and we will be discussing how we might do just that, improve. At Bader, we are all about getting better at getting better. The Quaglia School Voice suite of surveys is just one pool of data that we work with as we seek to reliably and validly measure the impact we are having by the work we do. And, as Michael Fullan says, Learning is the work.

Nicole: from becoming her own teacher to becoming her mother’s teacher! : 2015-11-27

Encouraging our learners to become their own teacher is one thing. When they go home and teach their own mother’s, through discussing their own work, that is really quite something! Nicole has done just that. How do we know? We know because Nicole’s mother has kindly taken the time to give us feedback on the experience she shared with her daughter. Thank you Nicole + thank you Mrs Glasgow! P.S. We won’t tell Nicole about the prize. Keep it a secret, fellow Tweeters! 🙂



Shifting ‘Performance Management’ from the personal to a more collegiate responsibility at Bader : 2015-10-04

I must say that I have thoroughly enjoyed thinking on and contemplating how to approach School Improvement Planning and Performance Management (Teacher Appraisal) at Bader. That exercise has led me to delve into and take key messages from a number of useful works, that including:

John Hattie (2015) What Works Best in Education: The Politics of Collaborative Expertise
Sir Michael Barber (2010) Deliverology 101: A Field Guide for Educational Leaders
Jenni Donohoo (2013) Collaborative Inquiry for Educators: A Facilitators Guide to School Improvement
Anthony Bryk et. al (2015) Learning to Improve: How America’s Schools Can Get Better at Getting Better
Guy Claxton et. al (2011) The Learning Powered School: Pioneering 21st Century Education
Andy Hargreaves (2014) Uplifting Leadership: How Organisations, Teams, and Communities Raise Performance
Lyle Kirtman (2013) Leadership and Teams: The Missing Piece of the Educational Reform Puzzle
Michael Fullan (2014) The Principal: Three Keys to Maximising Impact
Richard Dufour and Michael Fullan (2013) Cultures Built to Last: Systemic Plcs at Work

For me, Professor Hattie’s words ring so true:

“If we truly want to improve student learning, it is vital that we shift our narrative about teaching and learning. We need to build the critical work of building up collaborative expertise in our schools and education systems.”

At Bader, how can we build a sustainable improvement culture? One in which quality improvement is not seen as a project but as an ongoing function?

Much reflection, fed by the reading listed above + learning conversations had with #VLNetworkUK colleagues and Sarah Martin, Founding Principal @StonefieldsSch , led me to decide upon the following as a way forward for keying a collaborative approach to school improvement into school’s performance management regime.

All teachers will be involved in two collaborative inquiry cycles. The first cycle will be completed by Spring half-term, with a second cycle begun and completed by the end of Summer term. We have adopted the collaborative inquiry framework suggested by Jenni Donohoo, using the four stage process:

    1. Determining a Meaningful Focus
    2. Collecting Evidence
    3. Analysing Evidence
    4. Documenting, Celebrating and Sharing


In line with Bryk’s six improvement principles drawn from the field of improvement science, the model encourages a ‘co-development orientation’, engaging key participants as problem definers and problem solvers. For example, our Early Years team, in determining their focus, have decided upon the following:

Shared Vision
Early Years learners demonstrate good progress in their development of learner characteristics and their application in the Early Years setting.

Student Learning Need
Our Early Years learners are not very accepting of challenge and show little independence.

Problem Framed
The purpose of this inquiry is to determine how to best develop learner characteristics in the Early Years whilst delivering the EYFS curriculum.

Inquiry Question
How effectively can we apply the concept of split-screen teaching to the designing of learning in Early Years?

Theory of Action
If split-screen teaching is adopted and developed successfully then Early Years learners will develop learner characteristics successfully, whilst making good or better progress against early learning goals.

One of the strengths of Donohoo’s model is that impact measurement is something that inquiry teams fathom and design for themselves, based on identified desirable outcomes. I feel that this will allow us, as a team, to ‘get better at getting better’, to use Bryk’s term. The model also allows participants to ‘see the system that produces the current outcomes’ (Bryk’s Improvement Principle: No. 3), for it is hard to improve a system if you do not fully understand how it currently operates to produce its results.

I anticipate that shifting performance management from the personal to a more collegiate responsibility will create a culture that cements the sixth of Bryk’s improvement principles, ensuring the total breakdown of silos of practice, enlivening a belief that we can accomplish more together than even the best of us can accomplish alone.

Performance Management Objective 3 (1 & 2 being the two collaborative inquiry cycles) is Leadership, with all teachers recognising that they are leaders of learning. PM 3 will continue to be driven by Sir Michael Barber’s Deliverology process:

  1. Develop a foundation for delivery
  2. Understand the delivery challenge
  3. Plan for delivery
  4. Drive delivery
  5. Create an irreversible delivery culture

Senior leaders in school have all taken on responsibility for key school improvement strands, being:

  • Learning Dispositions
  • Teacher Mindframes
  • Assessment & Feedback
  • Digital Learning
  • Communication & Collaboration
  • Growth Mindset
  • Parental Engagement
  • Pupil Voice

All teachers in school are members of guiding coalitions. Performance Management Obj. 3 defines individual roles.

The truly exciting thing in all of this is how respective guiding coalitions are growing, expanding beyond our school community. If we are to pursue excellence then how far will we go? Well, how about this for an answer… the other side of the World! Marc Hayes and Samantha King are about to expand their respective guiding coalitions for Learning Dispositions and Digital Learning to incorporate the brilliant team at Stonefields School in New Zealand. Marc and Sam are about to embark on a learning adventure that will see them spend two weeks in Stonefields. Their learning blogs will be followed keenly by all Bader staff members as we look to get better at getting better.

Collaboration and Reciprocity in a Y4 Maths Classroom : 2015-09-24

All of our Bader learners have been exercising their learning muscles, encouraged to develop their learning dispositions, as they work towards becoming self-regulating learners and, ultimately, become their own teachers. Lexie, Saul, Georgia and Harry (4 of our Y4 pupils) explain here how things are going for them, through their ingenious use of an iPad App that they identified as being particularly useful during a Maths lesson this morning.

Checklists, getting better at getting better, and ‘visible learning inside’ : 2015-08-25

Checklists, getting better at getting better, and ‘visible learning inside’

The acclaimed surgeon and writer, Atul Gawande, highlights the need for a different strategy; one that is ‘ridiculous in its simplicity’. This strategy, he says, builds on experience and takes advantage of the knowledge people have but also makes up for our ‘inevitable human inadequacies’. It is a checklist!

In his brilliant work, The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right, Gawande details the power of such checklists, charting their use in the airline industry, their translation into the medical domain, and beyond medicine into other fields, from disaster response to investment banking, sky scraper construction and businesses of all kinds. Gawande gives a fascinating account of his innovative work with the World Health Organisation and a global program aimed at reducing avoidable deaths and harm from surgery. Gawande says that:

It’s ludicrous… to suppose that checklists are going to do away with the need for courage, wits, and improvisation. The work of medicine is too intricate and individual for that: good clinicians will not be able to dispense with expert audacity. Yet we should also be ready to accept the virtues of regimentation.

I was particularly intrigued by Gawande’s findings so far as the building industry is concerned. He found that the use of checklists redistributed power, as opposed to what checklists are usually about – dictating instructions to the workers below to ensure they do things the way we want. Gawande describes how, on the particular large-scale building project he was exploring, that when confronted with complex, non-routine problems, the philosophy was to push the power of decision making out to the periphery and away from the centre. You give people the room to adapt, based on their experience and expertise. All you ask is that they talk to one another and take responsibility. That is what works. A democratic strategy.

After reading and thinking on Atul Gawande’s brilliant work I returned to the piece of work that has held my attention for several months now, something that keeps drawing me back: Bryk et al’s Learning to Improve: How America’s Schools can Get Better at Getting Better. It was, indeed, this work that had signposted me to Gawande’s in the first place. It was this particular citation that compelled me.

Making systems work is the great task of my generation of physicians and scientists. But I would go further and say that making systems work – whether in health care, education, climate change, making a pathway out of poverty – is the great task of our generation as a whole.

Bryk and colleagues use ideas from improvement science to show how ‘a process of disciplined inquiry can be combined with the use of networks to identify, adapt, and successfully scale up promising interventions in education’. Interestingly, Bryk, highlights Gawande’s warning that the use of great components, even evidence-based components, does not assure that quality outcomes will result. ‘Making all of the pieces fit together is a formidable and quite distinctive improvement task.’
I like the fact that the discipline of improvement science directs us to step back before we move forward; before looking to improve the current system, seek to fully understand it first.

Further, Bryk and colleagues are adamant that rather than “implementing fast and learning slow,” educators should adopt a more rigorous approach to improvement that allows the field to “learn fast to implement well”. The authors describe themselves as “analogical scavangers”. That, because they are constantly looking to other fields that share a concern about improving practices and that have made some significant progress. I love the idea of being an “analogical scavenger” and ‘getting better at getting better’!

An improvement culture puts learning to improve at its centre and challenges everyone to put failure to work toward valued goals. This kind of culture encourages people to report when things don’t go according to plan. It makes people feel safe because they know that failure means that their team is testing its theories and bettering the work of the organisation. Part of the genius in the quality improvement logic of starting small and aiming to learn fast is that the costs of early failure are reduced and the dangers of confirmation bias – seeing only what we want to see – also lessened. In this regard starting small eases the path toward subsequent success.

In summary, the authors concisely recount their six improvement principles:

1. Make the work problem-specific and user-centered. Quality improvement starts with a single question: “What specifically is the problem we are trying to solve?” It enlivens a co-development orientation. Engage key participants as problem definers and problem solvers from the earliest phases of development through large-scale implementation.

2. Focus on variation in performance. A networked improvement community aims to advance efficacy reliably at scale. Identifying and addressing the sources of variability in outcomes is essential. Rather than documenting simply “what works,” as in estimating an on-average effect, aim to learn “what works, for whom, and under what set of conditions.” Develop the know-how to make innovations succeed for different students across varied educational contexts.

3. See the system that produces the current outcomes. It is hard to improve a system if you do not fully understand how it currently operates to produce its results. Seek to better understand how local conditions shape work processes and resulting outcomes. Use this analysis to explicate a working theory of improvement that can be tested against evidence and further developed from what is learned as you go.

4. We cannot improve at scale what we cannot measure. Measure outcomes, key drivers, and change ideas so you can continuously test the working theory and learn whether specific changes actually represent an improvement. Constantly ask: “Are the intended changes actually occurring? Do they link to changes in related drivers and to desired system outcomes?” Anticipate and measure for unintended consequences too.

5. Use disciplined inquiry to drive improvement. Common inquiry protocols and evidentiary standards guide the diverse efforts of NICs. Engage in systematic tests of change to learn fast, fail fast, and improve fast. Remember that failure is not a problem; not learning from failure is. Accumulate the practical knowledge that grows out of failure, and build on it systematically over time.

6. Accelerate learning through networked communities. NICs aim to break down silos of practice and research. They enliven a belief that we can accomplish more together than even the best of us can accomplish alone. A shared working theory, common measures, and communication mechanisms anchor collective problem solving. Organise as a NIC to innovate, test, and spread effective practices sooner and faster.

Adopting such an approach makes good sense to me. Through this reading, and more, I found that I was constantly able to make direct reference to the Visible Learning Framework that we, as a team at Bader Primary School, have embraced and are working with as a school improvement driver. In a previous post I have detailed how we have adopted Sir Michael Barber’s Deliverology model as we look to deliver on our shared aims and aspirations, namely:

All members of our school community are assessment-capable learners
• I know what to do when I don’t know what to do
• I Know where I am, how I am doing and where I am going next

All members of our school community are self-evaluators
• I know how I am doing, where I am going next and how I am going to get there
• I see assessment as feedback to me

All members of our school community are effective collaborators and communicators

All members of our school community have a growth mindset

This week, I returned to John Hattie’s Visible Learning for Teachers: Maximising Impact on Learning. Lo and behold – missed on earlier readings – there he is again… Atul Gawande, mentioned by John Hattie himself. Hattie points out how Gawande shows how checklists help to achieve the balance between specialised ability and group collaboration. Hattie moves on to Michael Scriven’s distinction between types of checklists, from the laundry list, the sequential list, flow charts, and the merit checklist. And then… hey presto!! Hattie directs us to the fact that contained within each chapter of Visible Learning for Teachers (and collated in Appendix A: Checklist for ‘visible learning inside’) is a set of criteria that can each be considered, with those reviewing the evidence making a decision about merit and worth. Such an approach, he says, offers flexibility in providing evidence and acting to ensure that a school is working towards making learning visible.

We have a ‘checklist’ to guide us in moving forward on our Visible Learning journey at Bader, and we shall adopt it on 1st September!! Now, sometimes it takes a while for the penny to drop with me, but I have thoroughly enjoyed indulging myself in the work of these great people. And how often do you find yourself going full circle when immersing yourself in great literature?!

A personal aspiration for me, now, is to get better at getting better and make it my task to make systems work at school in such a way that we may say that Bader Primary has ‘visible learning inside’.

What am I thinking on now? Based on the above, how might we make collaborative inquiry work at Bader, and incorporate individual engagement in that process in our performance management cycle? Watch this space!

Doing the right things + thinking time : 2015-06-04

For a number of years now I have framed any reporting to governors around Ofsted school inspection framework headlines: achievement, quality of teaching, behaviour and safety, leadership and management. In so doing I felt I was covering the need to have governors fully aware of school strategy, action and review around those areas that would be subject to scrutiny come the next visit.

I particularly enjoyed reporting to governors last night on school development, for I have taken the decision to align my reporting to the school development aims we have identified in exercising the Deliverology process, namely: Learner Dispositions, Teacher Mindframes, Assessment & Feedback, Digital Learning, Collaborators & Communicators, Growth-Mindset, Learning Environment, and Parental Engagement. The decision to make that shift reminded me of some of the key messages of Will Ryan’s excellent work Leadership with a Moral Purpose: Turning Your School Inside Out. Ryan suggests that “managers do things right, but leaders do the right things”. He says that an ‘inside out school leader’ has the skill to create, articulate, disseminate and achieve their vision through four key stages:












As a community, we have agreed upon school vision and have identified and defined our aspirations. Those ambitions are underpinned by Visible Learning and Growth Mindset principles and they are the first things that visitors to school are met with on crossing the threshold.



  • All members of our school community are assessment capable learners.
    I know what to do when I don’t know what to do.
    I know where I am, how I am doing and where I am going next.


  • All members of our school community are self-evaluators.
    I know how I am doing, where I am going next and how I am going to get there.
    I see assessment as feedback to me.


  • All members of our school community are effective collaborators and communicators


  • All members of our school community have a growth mindset.


Whole school embracing of the said principles has both energised and liberated pupils, teachers, support staff and leaders in school. Reference to other important work in the field, such as Guy Claxton and Bill Lucas’ work on Expansive Education is a feature of learning conversations that happen around school now as a matter of course; early morning, mid-day, or at 6 p.m. when I am looking to lock up and get home! All with a view to growth; personal and professional, so far as individual teachers are concerned, and then expansion of understanding of the learning process, through the eyes of the learner, where learning design is concerned.

When I took up post here four years ago there was a need to address a hugely significant variation in practice around school. One of the measures we took was to strip walls bare and start again, thinking about a learning environment that would be truly supportive of learners and learning. Identification of a number of non-negotiables standardised, to a large degree, practice and environment; all enshrined in a revised Teaching & Learning policy. Returning to Ryan’s statement “managers do things right, but leaders do right things”, it is now dawning upon me that a phase where management took precedence is making way for the liberation that is leading on the doing of right things. What those right things are is subject to enquiry, exploration, trial and review. Bader Primary School is becoming a hotbed of those very things, with all teachers leaders of learning. And so, when, yesterday, two young teachers asked if they may design and then have made professionally a large-scale, laminated Learning Pit that pupils could readily annotate at any point in time and then wipe, I delighted in the conversation that followed. Their thinking was based on the fact that their pupils may well be able to place themselves against the stage they are at in their learning but they want a bit more than that in terms of feedback that would be useful to them; hence the need for annotation. I am left wondering if there is actually a place here now for a ‘Teaching and Learning policy’. The true joy in what is happening is that it is an evolving process that is indeed being driven by the open-minded and deep-thinking educators that make up the staff that I am fortunate enough to lead.

I enjoyed another fascinating learning conversation, via Skype, with the inspirational Sarah Martin, Principle of the amazing Stonefields School in New Zealand, last night. We talked about teachers having ‘thinking time’. Now there is a thing, Planning Preparation and Assessment time (the amount of non-contact to which teachers are entitled during the school day, in the UK) = ‘thinking time’? As a profession we must create the time and space for thinking. A thinking space situated in an environment where relational trust is valued and nurtured. As we seek to improve, let us pay heed to the wisdom posited by Anthony Bryk et al. in Learning to Improve: rather than “implementing fast and learning slow,” they believe educators should adopt a more rigorous approach to improvement that allows the field to “learn fast to implement well.”

Growth Mindset: Alive & Visible : 2015-03-20



Understanding our learners : 2015-03-19

In seeking to better understand our learners and where they are in terms of developing their learner dispositions we are taking several approaches. One of these approaches is the setting of a challenging task for small groups with teacher absent. The activity, along with pupil interaction and dialogue is recorded using the iRIS observation tool (video and audio). That recording is then viewed and analysed by teachers afterwards, and then shared further (critical incidents) at staff meetings.


Challenge accepted at Bader : 2015-03-19

We can proudly say that challenge is unreservedly accepted as integral to the learning process at Bader by every member of the school community; staff and children, all the same. We are delighted by the fact that our pupils actively seek challenge, endure being in the Pit, with the word “yet” in mind, and celebrate enthusiastically when breakthrough happens. Equally, staff meetings have now truly become learning conversations, with collaboration and acceptance of challenge in developing our capacity as facilitators and designers of learning accepted and fully embraced.