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What is success?

As a school we are always thinking about success and what that looks like for our children, staff, parents and governors. Throughout our daily practice we talk to children about being successful learners and developing their personal best across the curriculum and it is always so interesting to gather different individuals thoughts on what  “success” is. We often think of success as something we see as an end product or achievement of a specific goal, which are clearly markers of success, but what interests me is the daily successes that happen in each and ever classroom, in the playground, down the corridors and in the hall throughout each and everyday.

For me success is about the development of learning, however small or large. Its about the engagement in dialogue between children and adults about what it is to be not just a great learner, but a great facilitator of learning. Education is an ever changing world and rightly so, when we think of the fact that our youngest children will probably have jobs or careers in things that haven’t been invented yet. Success comes from feeling safe, comfortable, valued and believed in. Through developing a curriculum that engages our children, sparks their imaginations and creates memorable experiences, our children are provided with an environment in which they can thrive as learners.

This week we have had a large number of different visitors to our school, who have helped us to think about a range of different successes. Two Head teacher’s from different schools in Bury spent a great deal of time visiting classrooms, talking to children, looking at books, looking at displays and walking around our school. They spent time talking with staff and governors  to really unpick what we have developed and to give us their views on our school. They saw success everywhere they went in how our whole community demonstrated through their actions, words and attitudes our school vision of “Together We Build Understanding”

A range of teachers from across both primary and secondary schools in Bury, who have been working with myself and another Deputy Head teacher from Tottington Primary on “The Outstanding Teacher Programme” had their final session as a group and considered what it takes to be a really successful classroom practitioner. We invited some of our children along to give their opinions about what a great teacher is and it was a privilege to sit and listen to pupils from year 4 talk with such confidence about what they look for from the adults that work alongside them.

In my blog last week I talked about “Listening to Learners” and it is so important that we all see ourselves as learners. There is always something new to be learnt and the groups of teachers I have been working with demonstrated how through listening to others and making small changes to the way we do things, success is guaranteed.

Success is so much more than a simple outcome. It’s the feeling of pride and sense of achievement that comes from how we develop our thinking. This week, we have had some fantastic feedback about our school. As a school, we enjoy opportunities to open ourselves up and share where we are up to. There are always things to develop and areas we need to focus on, but for me success is recognising the fact that each and everyday the community at Unsworth shares the same belief in being committed to doing the best for our children. This is reflected in the words that visitors say about how they feel when they visit Unsworth and talk to our children.

“Wow Unsworth Primary. Your school makes visitors feel really welcome! Your focus on bringing out the best in every pupil and your honesty is refreshing. Big THANKS to Asghar for his explanation of the writing route map. Truly inspirational”

“Thank you for helping us fill in the characteristics of being a good teacher. After you left, it gave us so much to talk about. You are so polite and confident; a credit to your school! 2 house points”

1 reply on “What is success?”

Think it’s great how, as a staff, you take the time to stop and listen to the children’s views and then take their opinions on board as you reflect on your own teaching.
Success isn’t always easily measurable. Literacy & numeracy skills are important but school life can also play an important part in developing a child’s confidence, self-esteem, social skills, attitude & enjoyment of learning etc. I like the way that Unsworth don’t lose sight of this with all the constant pressures you are up against due to OFSTED’s/government’s obsession with SATs results & league tables. You are still sticking to what you believe in and developing the child as a whole – not teaching them just to pass tests. Well done Unsworth – I think you are successful in the work you do!

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