“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere’s Fan.
I note that I have, once again, failed to make the Harvard Business Review, list of the Top 100 CEOs in the world. Not that I ever thought it would actually happen!
Does that mean I lack the appropriate level of aspiration to achieve success?
There is no doubt that aiming high can make a difference.
“Average goals will always lead to mediocre results. Effort is going to follow your goal. Average goal – average effort. In order to reach the levels of success that we all dream of, you need to be willing to set your goals high. Maybe even higher than you believe you could achieve.”
Our school is unashamedly aspirational in terms of our goal to provide our community with the very best in education and our focus on offering the greatest possible opportunities for learning and growth in our students.
The aim of St Columba Anglican School is to be the most outstanding regional school in New South Wales. It is the product of the vision of a community – to build a school with access to all who want their children to achieve the highest standards of education and behaviour. St Columba Anglican School is founded on faith. The Christian ethos is present in its caring philosophy and its concern to produce educated leadership. The School is a community school in the sense that its doors are open to all, so long as they are sympathetic to and support the School’s Christian foundations. (St Columba Anglican School Vision Statement)
In a land that once almost prided itself on being the home of the “Tall Poppy Syndrome”, it is both inspiring and reassuring to see the members of our educational community striving to not only be the best they can be but using their energies and talents to better their communities.
Being aspirational sometimes means not accepting the assumptions that are placed on schools and students like us.
A recent report in The Guardian and Sydney Morning Herald compared regional schools with those in the city and found that:
- regional students were on average eight months behind at school,
- although there were obvious benefits to improving education outcomes, there were no guidelines in place on how to achieve them,
- one of the largest factors in school performance was the quality of teaching staff,
- school governance, the classroom environment and resources were also major factors,
- better education outcomes meant students would have better chances of getting good jobs which pay well, both of which would benefit the economy.
At St Columba:
- we reject the idea that because we are a regional school, we cannot do as well for our students as those in the city,
- we acknowledge that providing students with a great education is one of the keys to a lifetime of achievements and opportunity,
- we agree that the quality of our teachers is one of the main drivers of the School and our students’ success,
- we agree that the way the school is governed and the atmosphere and resources are key drivers of educational success.
As a school and as individuals we acknowledge that aiming high doesn’t necessarily mean that we will achieve everything we are hoping for. But we know we will definitely achieve more than we would if you simply settled for mediocrity and “more of the same”. By keeping our expectations high and our goals ambitious, we will constantly work to achieve the very best. We will never accept, “Good enough” as an appraisal of our efforts.
Mr Terry Muldoon
Principal, St Columba Anglican School