29/06/2015

What a performance!

Just a couple of weeks ago I blogged about the spirit of creativity which characterises this phase of the school year.

Far from a weary crawl towards the end of term, these are weeks that reverberate with creative energy. They are enlivened and enriched by high performance.

performance graphic

It's therefore my theme this week. And we've seen it in a number of different areas of school life over the last five days...

It was a week which has just ended with one of the performance highlights of the year. For the last twelve years, in fact.

Quantum Leap XII

Saturday afternoon and evening saw Quantum Leap XII. A previous 'Blame it on the boogie' blog explained a little bit of the background to this annual festival of dance, which this year involved no fewer than thirty-nine fantastic group and individual performances which moved and inspired in equal measure:

Creativity, passion, commitment and the highest quality of performance combined in almost three hours of grace and power.  

High energy. High performance.

It was a week that began with a team of three Year 9 students - Laurence Bu-Rashid, Connor Humphreys and Jack Hygate - competing in the National Final of the TeenTech Competition at the Royal Society. It's a competition which tests not only the conceptual brilliance of the application of technology to an issue or problem, but also the team's ability to present to panel of judges; to perform under pressure.

Park House win at TeenTech

And how they performed! The boys so successfully presented their idea of an app-based water purification system to the judges that they won their category of the competition and can now look forward to a presentation at Buckingham Palace in the Autumn!

And it wasn't just about the Year 9's competitive performance skills on show. Head Boy and Girl Duncan Shelton and Kaye Oubridge-Eagan did a magnificent job compering the whole event for an audience which included celebrities such as James May and Dr. Christian Jessen!

Park House TeenTech Comperes

High pressure. High performance.

So it was a week to reflect a little more on what shapes high performance.

Regular blog followers will be well aware of my long-held interest in both learning from and applying the lessons of high performance in sport to education.

It's an interest that goes back to my own initial experience of success in school and is also reflected in blogs about Mike Brearley's  psychology of leadership...

And Sir Clive Woodward's TCUP when it comes to exams.

But I for a while I've also wanted to go a bit deeper. Rather than simply - and generically - using these sports-themed coaching concepts as analogies and metaphors, I wanted to find out more about the specific behaviours that drive high performance and whether they really are transferable; to genuinely begin to understand and, if appropriate, translate them into a school-based learning programme.

So on Friday we began that process. Working with Planet K2, a consultancy company which have previously worked with businesses to help them perform like elite athletes, we are stating to explore what this can mean for our students...

Here's their 'performance pie'!

performance pie

And it's very exciting. What does exactly make a high performance Mathematician, Geographer or Historian...?

We're looking forward to working together with students to find out...

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