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Thinking about our vision, values and mission

Found in: Leadership Blog

Our vision is where we are going: what are we here for and what are we on about. What does success look like for us?
Our mission is how we get there, what action or steps do we take.

Have you ever heard of a SIP? (no it isn’t a step down from a GULP) Every school has one and is developing one.
SIP: School Improvement Plan.

The first step in considering the process of refining and redefining our SIP, is taking a look our vision and mission and this is what I’d like you to take a part in.

Below, in italics are documents we are currently using. They reference Swan Christian Education Association documents. They are currently a bit too wordy. Vision and Mission, if they are part of our shared understanding have meaning. If they’re just documents that are part of educational compliance they are completely useless. (Maybe I’m getting old, but I don’t want to be completely useless just yet).

Here is the current wordy vision and mission:
Mission Statement
Mundaring Christian College operates within the scope of the Swan Christian Education Association. The SCEA vision states its purpose is “To establish and maintain Schools which will provide an education which treats all aspects of the curriculum in the light of God’s Word, and in which students are encouraged to develop as fully as possible the abilities which God has given them.”
The mission of Mundaring Christian College is to challenge hearts and minds which inspire students to personally embrace the lordship of Jesus Christ and as part of an inclusive community to build foundations for faithful lives of wisdom and purpose.
• To embrace the complexities of contemporary society in an informed and relevant manner in order to provide education which is, innovative and effective in producing excellence, confidence and creativity in students and responds to their inherent gifts and individual capacities.
• To have a perspective of student development that is holistic; acknowledging the interdependence of their physical, emotional, intellectual, social and spiritual nature.
• To create a supportive culture for teachers, in which they can confidently meet the learning needs of our C21st students in ways that will make us a preferred school of choice for our community.
• To provide experiences that build empathy, understanding, courage, joy and a sense of adventure and habits of lifelong learning in our community.
• To inform and engage students to be good stewards of creation, incorporating an understanding of the care of their physical environment and the health and well-being of themselves and others.

I like the words and the intent, just not the wordiness.
When I speak to parents about our college and what we are doing, I often speak about three essential elements to prepare students for their future lives:
1) Capacity: learning is not about content, that will change dramatically in the years to come. Learning is about developing the capacity to learn which will be essential for this generation for all of their lives.
2) Creativity: No workplace or relationship operates effectively if you just wait and “Do what you’re told” (hope my wife isn’t reading this). Creativity needs to be a life skill. Hence us encouraging a school that builds artisanship and uses the design process in art as well as learning.
3) Character: in a world of ever changing values where trusted institutions and expectations are being redefined and changed, it is character that will be a stabilising and defining element of your life. We want students to develop empathy, respect, faith, love and hope not just be talking about it, but by practice.

Throwing some thoughts out there, please give me some comment and feedback. We value your ideas. rodm@scea.wa.edu.au

Mr Rod McNeill