David Jenkins was appointed to his first headship as Head of Ysgol Ty Coch, a school catering for children with severe learning difficulties and Autistic Spectrum Disorders. Naturally, David wanted to hit the ground running with the staff and start both the role and academic year with a bang. He set two INSET days for early January, giving himself a fighting chance of familiarising himself with the school.
An experiential workshop for over 100 staff members, from TAs to caretakers, was designed to inject the staff with a new sense of purpose, improve interpersonal relationships, realise individual value alongside the collective, and aid David in engaging with his staff. Everyone was introduced to the Insights Discovery model and given the chance to reflect on the importance of adapting working styles to better meet others’ needs. In addition, the team discussed the Values that mattered most to them in their working environment and found a great deal of common ground.
David and his team of staff described their shared values as ‘Our Recipe for Excellence’ and this supported their existing Mission Statement based on “learning together”. Underpinning this recipe was an acknowledgement by all the staff that teamwork is so very important, and new commitments were made to embed these principles as the school moved forward.