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24 November 2017

posted 23 Nov 2017, 17:24 by Carolyn Brett
If you have been in Assembly or came to the Wellbeing workshop, you will have no doubt come across the children discussing the concept of 'kaizen' in terms of goal setting. It can also be located in plenty of Blog posts and no doubt some Seesaw entries!

When we look at our school over time , we can see many examples of this incremental and ongoing improvement. I came across this example of kaizen being discussed recently by a company who design beautiful kitchen tools of all things!

"Do you feel your knife designs are always evolving?

The concept of ‘Kaizen’, continuous improvement, influences everything we do. Our goal is to make each knife as the best knife that we can make. In this way, we are constantly refining our knives and constantly evolving.

I don’t ever want to get to a place where I am perfectly happy with what we do, it will mean that I’ve lost the ability to push this craft to the next level."

I relayed this example to the staff as, although our 'craft' is most decidedly very different, we too are constantly refining our practices and constantly evolving.

The Transition Programme in Term 4 is a great example of this. If I look back a few years, this process was fairly quick and minimal. Teachers discussed children in detail with the following year's teachers, but the conversations were more hard data based - not necessarily focussed on the whole child.

We moved onto transition days, then weekly transition sessions which were mainly observing the social and emotional side - now it's very much focussed on the 'whole' and, this year, also including parents who are able to come and connect as well.

Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher of the late 6th century BC, of Ephesus (one of my favourite places!) said, "You cannot step into the same river, for fresh waters are flowing in upon you".

I love this, as this is exactly the way we need to respond to our learners' needs, fresh waters are definitely flowing as they grow and develop across their time with us. 

We had a Board member a few years ago who enjoyed using the word 'nimble' - I think of her every time I now say it - and agree - for this is what our children need the adults in their lives to be, especially as they transition into new spaces - agile, flexible and quick thinking!