04/03/2013

'One Team. One Mission'

'One Team, One Mission' is the vision statement of UK Sport - the body responsible for co-ordinating elite performance across the different major sporting disciplines in this country.  Inspired by Chief Executive Sue Campbell, it is this vision to be truly World Class which has driven Team GB's rise from a lowly 36th place in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics medals table with a solitary Gold to the heights of 3rd place behind only China and the USA with a staggering 29 Golds at London 2012.  This vision for constant improvement has been translated into practice by a relentless focus on rigorous self-review of all aspects of the constituents of elite performance within each of the sports' governing bodies underpinned by a set of 'Core' Principles (Commitment, Ownership, Responsibility and Excellence) and forensic attention to detail.  This approach is nowhere better reflected in the rise of British Cycling, whose haul of Golds at London 2012 would incidentally have placed it 13th in the overall medal table if it were a country! Under Head Coach David Brailsford, a focus on 'marginal gains' - looking to do 100 small things 1% better - has had a transformational impact on overall performance.  I particularly like the approach adopted to beds and the Tour de France!  The team looked at every possible factor that could affect a cyclist's performance during the three weeks of the Tour, arguably the most demanding sporting event in the world.  They concluded that after hours of physical exertion in the saddle tackling some of the most challenging terrain in Europe what the cyclists most needed was a good night's sleep to recover for the next day's racing.  But of course that sleep would need to take place in unfamiliar beds in unfamiliar hotels for every night of the three weeks of the tour, hardly guaranteeing effective rest and recovery.  The solution?  Tailor make bespoke, portable mattress that exactly fit the carefully analysed, preferred sleeping positions of each of the Team's individual cyclists that can replace those in the bedrooms of each of the hotels during the Tour! The result? Bradley Wiggins becomes the first British Cyclist to win the Tour, with team-mate Chris Froome in third!  Marginal gains!
 
In my reflections on the transformational impact of 'One Team, One Mission' across UK Sport, I have recently looked to adopt aspects of this approach as part of a framework for our own drive to become a truly outstanding, 'world class' school here at Park House. As part of the process of self-review to generate improvement priorities for September 2013 and beyond we've started as a staff to look at the 'marginal gains' that we can make in each area of activity that determine    outstanding school performance. (In terms of the Ofsted framework this means achievement of students, quality of teaching, behaviour and safety and leadership and management).  But one team, one mission for me means that if we are to be successful in this aim of becoming truly great in everything that we do, we must engage all members of the school community - and critically students and parents - in the process, and genuinely work as a team.  And now we are.  Last Friday, we had a fantastic session with the Student Council, reviewing and reflecting on their ideas on what would make their learning at Park House genuinely and consistently great.  And on 14th March we'll be doing the same with patents at the first of our forum meetings, which I hope will develop and evolve as a regular 'think tank' body.  The key will then to be to share and bring collectively these ideas on our 'marginal gains, together as a coherent and cohesive school improvement and delivery plan.
 
So, 'One Team, One Mission' at Park House.  To be a truly great, world class school.

Archive: