An Alternative ‘Good School’ Checklist…..

I stumbled across this thought provoking post on Twitter via @ThatIanGilbert who heads up the  education company ‘Independent Thinking’ who provide an exciting array of learning opportunities for teachers to put into practice in their daily practice through conferences, seminars & their ‘Little Book of…’ series.  These books are definitely worth investing in and can be purchased for around a fiver on Amazon.

Here is the list in full:

”Fed up with people/MPs/the Press saying ‘That’s a good school’ and basing their judgement entirely upon exam results? Here’s a 24-point (and counting) ‘good school’ checklist that focuses on a picture bigger than just the exam results.

  1. Do children enjoy going there?
  2. Do teachers enjoy working there?
  3. Are all children challenged by the work?
  4. Do the children develop competencies as well as grades?
  5. Do the children learn skills as well as facts?
  6. Are morals and values focused on and exhibited daily by all members of the school community?
  7. Is there an inclusive atmosphere where all children are valued for who they are and what they bring?
  8. Are key issues like bullying and other social and emotional aspects of school life discussed and addressed in a positive, open way?
  9. Is the ability to think for themselves encouraged and developed in all children?
  10. Does the school have a sense of fun?
  11. Are aspects like wonder, curiosity, adventure, bravery, resilience actively encouraged and celebrated?
  12. Are the teachers open to new ideas and keen to do things with – and not to – the learners?
  13. Does the school keep up to date with new advances in learning and technology?
  14. Are high expectations of the children matched by high expectations of the staff?
  15. Is the headteacher visible?
  16. Are children taught that being their best doesn’t have to involve being better than others?
  17. Is the unexpected welcomed?
  18. Do children get to think about, interact with and seek to change life outside of the school walls?
  19. Is the school aware that learning is something that children can do at any time, anywhere and only part of it needs to be within the school walls?
  20. Does the school community extend beyond the school walls?
  21. Do the lessons incorporate a variety of learning opportunities and possibilities?
  22. Do the children have the opportunity to be responsible for something and take decisions that make a difference?
  23. Does the lady on reception smile at visitors?
  24. Are the results sufficient enough to allow all children to go to the next stage of their life, whatever that may be?

What have we missed? What else would you add?”

It would be interesting to know your thoughts on this list.  I particularly like number 10: Does your school have a sense of fun?  I think it is easy to lose sight of this in the current climate of  government educational reform and the over reliance on examinations to measure student success.  We seem to forget that a single 2 hour exam could potentially shape a student’s future in a positive, or more worringly, negative way…….

Enjoy the read…


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