What does it mean when we talk about Environment, Culture and Ethos and how does this impact on pedagogy and ultimately outcomes for children as learners?
It’s about a collective understanding. A togetherness…together in the shared vision that we have for our children. A united approach that puts children and their needs (and only the children and their needs) at the heart of everything that we do. At the heart of every decision that we make. We are all leaders – we lead our children on the right track. Their right track. We all believe it and we do it because it is right. The Environment has to be right. The Culture and Ethos have to be considered, consistent and right.
It is my core belief that whatever area of education you are working in (formal education, sports coaching, mentoring etc.) and whatever age of children you are leading, that the golden thread of Environment, Culture and Ethos is prevalent at all times. In my experience at Windmill Primary School, Raunds, England we have an unrelenting focus on every child as an individual. This can be onerous…hard work…even demoralising at times as it leads you to the core of each and every human being; and we don’t always get it right all of the time. Yet. But we will.
Our drive to secure the best Environment, Culture and Ethos within our school and curriculum at Windmill provides the foundation for our success. Getting the Environment right for the children to learn, flourish and be successful as individuals; promoting a Culture of ambition, respect and resilience and pushing an Ethos of success, celebration and overall awesomeness!
The day-to-day life in a school can be and often is a challenge. We are good at what we do because we are emotive, sensitive, personable…we are good at what we do because we care. Your biggest attribute as a teacher isn’t about how to develop a child’s mathematical understanding through a mastery approach. Yes – this is of course important. Crucial in fact. But your biggest attribute is the fact that you want to work tirelessly to be a champion for each child. When they walk into your classroom each day, view the children as little people who hang on your every word. Try not to get bogged down by your lesson plans…rushing them into the next part of a lesson because that’s what your plan says. Again – really important stuff, but relationships have to and must come first.
Brendan Rodgers (former Liverpool FC and current Celtic manager) said that every football player wants to feel loved and that it is a manager’s job to make that happen. Likewise, every child has 4 words written on their foreheads. Actually, every adult in your team has the very same 4 words written…