A school is much like any other organisation. There are successful ones, and there are not-quite-so-successful ones.
So what separates the former from the latter, and what can the average school do to emulate the frontrunners? Let’s take a look at some of the factors that distinguish the high-performing schools.
Setting the bar high
Without the right expectations, neither students nor teachers are going to operate to their fullest potential. When mediocrity is tolerated, excellence becomes virtually impossible, even if the individuals in question have the potential to achieve great results. And mediocrity tends to be contagious – if one person begins to slack, then the others will quickly see that they’re able to put in less effort. In a school, this can extend to the small details, like untucked shirts and tardiness. If you want your school to do well, therefore, you’ll need to set high standards in every part of the organisation.
Systemic feedback collection
For a school to improve, it’ll need to know where it’s going wrong and take corrective action. And for this feedback to be consistent and useful, it’ll need to be collected and acted upon in a way that’s thorough and systemic. A student’s performance should be screened throughout their career at the school, and this assessment data should be reviewed periodically so that problem areas in the classroom can be identified.
Strong, visible leadership
Students perform better when they can see that the school is in good hands. An effective headteacher is one who’ll not only make decisions that effect the whole school, but who’ll be able to develop and communicate a worthwhile ethos. What goals does the school have? What does the future hold? A good headteacher will know the answers, and be able to get those answers across in a way that’s inspiring and sharp.
A fundamental attribute of any successful school is its ability to keep its students safe and secure. This might mean intervening in some students early, to prevent them from developing into problem cases. To do this effectively requires training, which is where empathetic staff and specialist social workers are invaluable.
When students don’t have the right foods and drinks, then their performance will inevitably suffer. As such, successful schools will take steps to promote healthy eating and living. This means plenty of options available at lunchtime, and plenty of education on non-academic, practical food-related matters.
Getting the right technology
Of course, a good teacher will be able to get the message across without resorting to expensive technology. But the world is filled with computers, and any school worthy of the name is going to need to expose its students to these devices.
A high-quality computer system provider can be an asset to any successful school, Synergy being one of the industry’s best examples. The right hardware and expertise will allow teachers to be free of technical obstacles, and to focus on what they do best: teaching.