Compass for Life: The school a proud to be a Compass for Life school, each pupil studies Compass lessons weekly. The aims of these lesson are to encourage pupils to develop their own purpose of goals not only for school but beyond. They provide a strong framework for character education, raise aspirations and encourage pupils to take responsibility for their own direction. Each pupil develops their own Super North Star and a strategy to achieving their goal. They learn to develop their warrior spirit, understand what their ethos is and plan their own pathway and strategy.
Compass For Life is a unique approach that provides a framework for students that empowers them to take responsibility for their own learning and to achieve their ambitions in partnership with their teachers. It also helps the teachers develop their own compass as they journey with their students to higher levels of performance.
The Super North Star: Your purpose, your dream. A job, skill, or ambition that requires hard work and commitment to achieve. This Super North Star sits on the horizon and no matter the obstacle keeps drawing you forward. This is the adventurer side of you.
Your values and behaviours are critical to achieving your purpose. If your ethos is ethical and authentic you are on the correct path. Then you must establish the team code of conduct this ensure that the teams behaviours are aligned in order to ensure that the team result comes first.
You need to be a strategist, to have a clear plan derived from facts and analysis with realistic milestones and contingencies in place. To be patient, and communicate your strategy in all mediums to those who have to deliver it. To be ego-free and ethical.
Your warrior spirit is about your strength of character, your desire to step into the pressure zone and fight for what you believe. It is where you have the appropriate skill sets, mental and physical resilience, you are courageous, committed and determined to succeed. You are a decision maker and team player where necessary. You ensure you get to each milestone no matter what.
What does Compass mean for the pupils and staff at GKCS?
Compass provides the thread that runs through the curriculum for the pupils at Great Kingshill, the rich opportunities provided for the pupils with the experiences and curriculum serve the core purpose of enabling the pupils to be the best they can be and to make them realise that anything in possible.
The pupils and staff are encouraged to dream, to set their goals actively pursue them.
What does this mean in practice?
Compass was launched in school during the academic year 2017-2018, it began with the whole staff team attending a full training day to enable them to understand what Compass for Life meant and to allow them the time to create their own maps, many of these maps are still displayed in school and the staff team openly share them with their pupils.
Floyd Woodrow and Matthew Whitfield visited GKCS on 2 days in March 2018 where they worked with pupil from Year 1 – 6 taking them through the programme and helping them to create their maps. During the two days the teachers and pupils discovered many things about each other and the pupils committed to their “Super North Star.”
This was just the start of the programme, throughout the summer term the staff reviewed their timetables and took decisions to enable to curriculum timetables to create space to teach pupils Compass for Life lessons. These lessons take place on a fortnightly basis.
What have we learnt so far?
Compass has changed the language we use with our pupils, it has focused our conversations, it enables us to use the curriculum to focus pupils and gives them a purpose to their time at school. It helps to raise aspirations in our pupils and opens their eyes to what is possible. It values each pupils as an individual.