What an amazing first week back for Crew Finch, perfectly summed up in this photo… but more about this later!
I for one was happy to return to school after the Christmas break, ready to get back into a routine and eager to start our new expeditions. There were a few tired faces in the circle during Monday morning’s check-in, which prompted a conversation about night-time routines and getting quality sleep.
Our students are used to hearing the staff telling them that we don’t wind down during the last week of term; we wind up! Equally, we are all expected to come back to school after every break fully prepared to start learning, from the very first session on the very first day.
This message was reinforced during the first community meeting of the term, where Mr Portman introduced the Guiding Question for Crew:
How can I hit the ground running during the first week back?
This GQ coincided with the release of the Habits of Work and Learning Crew league tables. Unfortunately, we were shocked (and a little bit embarrassed) to see that Crew Finch were at the bottom in every category! On the flip side, we were very proud to see some of our Crew recognised for achieving or smashing their MEGs, so well done to Nicole, Tom, Thomas, Dakota, Noah, Alanis and Megan.
This got us thinking: if over half of our Crew achieved or surpassed their MEGs – which surely shows that they are working hard and getting smart – then why are we not performing as well as we should be in our HOWLs as a whole Crew?
We spent the rest of the week really focussing on the HOWLs and discussing not only how we can hit the ground running, but also what we need to do as a Crew to make sure that we are all working hard, getting smart and being kind. We have already made academic and HOWLs pledges after our latest SLCs so it was a good time to revisit and check-in with those, too.
We looked at the relationship between getting high grades on our HOWLs and achieving or smashing our subject specific MEGs. We also broke down what the HOWLs actually mean and who in Crew were letting us down by not always being as focussed on these as they should be. I think Dakota hit the nail on the head when she said:
We’re not just responsible for our own learning. We’re responsible for each other’s, too.
On Wednesday, Crew shared how they had hit the ground running so far. For example, Tom told us how he was making an effort to get smarter by taking notes in Humanities, and Noah shared that he had been on the Get Smart board twice already for his focus, and that he’s making a concerted effort to manage his distractions in class.
I’m really pleased with how my Crew have reacted to the league tables and turned a negative into a positive challenge. They have really pulled together this week to reflect on their performance, and I honestly believe we will see a vast improvement in their individual and combined HOWL scores at the next data drop. We’ll continue to check-in on performance and progress 🙂
So, back to the picture at the start of this post (and well done if you’ve got this far!)
On Thursday, we took part in the Inter Crew Basketball Competition, where we won all three of our games to be crowned champions – that’s another one for the trophy cabinet, after winning the Badminton competition last year! Just look at the skills and sportsmanship on display here:
A big appreciation to Mr Portman for recognising our Crew’s achievements on the praise form. I’ll end this post with his lovely words which provide the perfect summary of our first week back:
Great to see Crew Finch win the basketball tournament as I know that they have taken their HOWLs league table performance very seriously. However, I’ve been more impressed with their mature discussions about hitting the ground running this week, as apart from a few blips I’m delighted with their determination to put things right. What. A. Crew.