It is always helpful for your perspective to be challenged. Yesterday I was asked about this blog, specifically the four defining words below “WELCOME” on the landing page. “Why ‘belong?'” and “Why does it feature first?”
Many, if not most schools share defining taglines, others choose words, some both, few neither. Search “schools” AND “your postcode.” See you what you get.
Where care, cooperation and challenge count. – North Baddesley Junior School: Home
In addition, there is an ethos, vision and aims statements.
Care Opportunity Quality – WIldern School
After numerous conversations exploring the contributions of such words, whether it should be three or four words, or include a tagline, I initially went for only “RESPECT – ASPIRE – ACHIEVE.” It just felt like a good idea and a sign post to what you might find on the blog. After a short while however, it felt incomplete. Can a school without positive relationships, where students feel a sense of belonging, safety, really do their best work? Is it not the same within a classroom? Do we not want our students to feel part of our school?
Setting aside Hattie’s reported mammoth effect size for “student-relationships”, I added belong. It felt more assertive than belonging. It is presented first, as I sense that belonging underpins respect, respect encourages students to aspire, presenting the conditions for achievement? The – “you must first reach before you grasp,” outlook.
Possibly, more likely if you subscribe to Maya Angelou viewpoint.
I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. – Maya Angelou
We the blog, or a school or a classroom loose much if these words were absent?
I am not sure we gain much by reducing education to just three words, four words or a tagline, if at all. I am not exactly sure if those four words add much to this blog, they do however, remind me to hold myself accountable for the leadership approached I adopt.