A HOWL-ing end to the year!

A quick Christmas message from me!

I’ve chosen this photo from Christmas Jumper day to be our Official Crew Christmas Card.

(Can I just point out that no students were harmed during the taking of this photo, despite the look on Ali’s face haha!!)

Before I update you all on what we’ve been up to in Crew, I just wanted to give my personal thanks to all my Crew Parents for your unwavering support of myself and the school.  I’ve really missed not being able to catch up with you face-to-face during SLCs or Presentations of Learning, but it’s so reassuring to know that whenever I phone you or send you an email, you’re always 100% behind what we do.

Thank you for being part of our Crew – I certainly couldn’t do this without you 🙂

I know Christmas is going to look and feel very different for a lot of us this year, but I’m sending you the sincerest of best wishes and hope you all have a restful break.

HOWLs and Academic Progress

There has always been some element of excitement during data drop time… OK, not quite up to ‘opening presents on Christmas morning’ or ‘last day of term’ levels of excitement but, nonetheless, Crew Finch are always eager to see how they’ve been assessed against their Habits of Work and Learning as well as seeing if their academic progress is on track.

Here’s a snapshot of what Crew Finch’s first HOWLs data drop of this academic year looks like:


We noticed that:

  • Our Crew average for Work Hard, Get Smart and Be Kind is on target for the minimum expectation of 3.5.
  • The majority of our grades fall into the Great category, and we’re really pleased that some students have edged into the Awesome category!

We wondered why:

  • Some of our Crew grades had fallen into the Concern category.

We questioned:

  • What we needed to do to in order to move out of the OK and Concern categories.

We agreed that:

  • We should all be aiming for Great and pushing for Awesome!

This term, we’ve ramped up our usual analysis of our Crew data by spending the past few Thoughtful Thursday sessions reflecting not just on what we need to do as individuals to improve, but also what we can do together to improve the whole Crew averages.

Interestingly, as we delved deeper into the data, Crew noticed ta direct link between their HOWLs data and their Academic Progress grade.  So, those students who are hitting 3.5 and above in their HOWLs are also meeting, or exceeding, their minimum expectation in their AP grades.

So, in order to create our own Crew Narrative for Success we have all set pledges which are now effectively part of our ‘improvement roadmap.’

Have a look at some of the pledges made:






We have also worked collaboratively to create our own Crew Pledges to ensure that we are all working as hard as we should be. After all, we are only as strong as our weakest link so we can only succeed if we work together. Here’s our action plan, outlining our intentions:

Here’s an example of our plan in action:

We had a Crew discussion about Bryn’s HOWLs data because, even though he works incredibly hard in most subjects, some of his grades had fallen into the ‘serious concern’ category.

Bryn showed great courage and maturity as he listened to feedback from his fellow Explorer classmates, and gave a honest reflection on his behaviour and focus in certain sessions, admitting that he can cause low level disruption usually when he is finding the work set challenging.

I was really proud at how Crew (especially Bryn) handled this discussion.  We spoke about how we could all support Bryn in lessons, and decided to implement a Buddy Review strategy, whereby Crew members would respectively challenge Bryn’s behaviour in class if needed, help him to focus and asses him against his HOWLs at the end of each session.

I’m delighted to see that this is already having a positive impact on his behaviours and focus in class.  For reference, Bryn has pledged to hit a minimum of 3.0 in Work Hard, Get Smart and Be Kind across all sessions. As you can see, he is absolutely smashing it!

Yet another example of ‘If we get Crew right, we get everything right.’