Looking to the Future: Developing a School Vision Statement

An effective school vision is clear, punchy, and reflects the ambitions of the whole-school community. It can bring a school together and ensure everyone is moving in the right direction and pulling towards the same goals. In addition, with an up-to-date school vision statement, school improvement planning is much easier and more meaningful.

Involving the views of the wider school community is one of the key indicators of a successful school vision. A new pack of resources breaks down this process for you and is easily personalized to your school, so you can effectively maximize outcomes and potentials within your learning environment.

What Is a School Vision, and What Is it Not?

The school vision statement outlines where you are holistically heading as a school. It is a dream, a hope, an aspiration. It takes the school community’s strengths and projects to fully realize what you could eventually become. Therefore, it is your hope for the school, which ultimately embodies your hope for the future of all pupils and the outcomes they will be able to obtain.

It is important to note, though, the school vision statement is not a set of shared principles or beliefs: they are your values.

It is not your way forward from where you are now: that is your mission.

It is not the actions you will take: that is your strategy.

Before you start creating or refining your school vision statement, you must establish your school’s values. Once these are found across the board, making your vision can begin.

Step 1 – Involve the Wider Community

The wider community are the families that belong to your school, the governors, and possibly other organizations, such as the Diocese, multi-academy trust (MAT), or affiliated schools.

The school vision statement must incorporate the views of these groups: what they perceive as the school’s strengths, what they would like to see more of, and what they hope for each child as they progress along their journey through the school.

Moreover, this is also an opportunity to listen and learn more about your school than you knew before. One way of doing this is to invite members of the wider community to an open morning/evening. This gives you something specific and positive on which to base a survey – or even better, a focus group discussion. What did they see? What did they like? What would they want to see in an ideal world for their child’s school?

Step 2 – Pupil Voice

School vision statements are also for the pupils. So, with this in mind, it should outline your aims and objectives for how children experience their journey through school and what they take with them when they leave. It’s important to remember that your pupils experience this first-hand; the challenge is to help them to communicate their current experiences to you.

That’s where the Pupil Voice Classroom Activities and Pupil Focus Group Discussion Prompts come in. These activities are designed to be used in a whole-class lesson and can be adapted to different age groups. Use the outcomes of these activities alongside a more in-depth discussion with either the school council or a one-off focus group. These will help to form your school vision.

Step 3 – Staff Meeting

After you’ve collated the findings from your pupils and the wider community, it’s time to work as a whole staff to make sense of what you’ve learned and explore staff views. It’s about asking the right questions – and listening to the answers – and the Whole-School Vision Staff Share will lead you through this with hands-on activities for staff. This slideshow is fully editable and can be easily personalized with your school colors, logo, and values so that your presentation has the authenticity it needs

Step 4 – Writing Vision Statements for Schools

The best way to put the school vision into words is to choose three or four creative staff members and governors with varying roles and experiences, to work together as a writing group. Of course, as a headteacher or member

The School Vision Statement Writing Guidance gives expert advice for the writing group, including success criteria and examples; it inspires creativity. In the end, your vision may look like a picture, a poem, a story, a song, or a sentence, but it will encapsulate what your whole-school community has said matters to your school.

Step 5 – Share and Review

All that remains is to share the draft vision with members of the school community and listen to their feedback. The writing group, alongside the SLT, will then make any changes and produce the final vision.

Step 6 – Publish and Implement

This is perhaps the most important part of the process: what you do with it counts. To make your school vision work, it should be visible around the school, on your website, in the school improvement plan, and – most importantly – in everything you say and do.

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