At Churchdown we know that successful organisations rely on the individuals who operate within it. Schools are no different. It is not the buildings, or the policies which make a school great. It is people.
People are the lifeblood of a school.
From those that commit themselves to delivering exceptional lessons, to those who dedicate their efforts to making the building run smoothly, to those that lead others, it is the character and the energy of each individual member of an organisation which makes it thrive.
Therefore, we put our people first.
We passionately believe in supporting each of those individuals. Whether it be through connecting them with goals and aspirations which motivate them and supporting them on their journey of career development or helping them realise their full potential in their current role. Either way, we are determined to help every member of our team.
Our school motto is “Achieving Success for All” and we don’t think that is just for the students. At Churchdown we work towards supporting everyone to be the best that they can be. Coaching is one of the ways that we do this.
What is coaching?
Coaching is a form of learning, where a person (a coach) supports someone else (sometimes called a coachee) to make progress in some way. Progress might include reaching a goal, solving problems, or creating learning and change. Coaching is normally a conversation, or series of conversations, that one person has with another. The coach works to create a conversation that will benefit the other person, in a way that relates to their objectives. Coaching conversations might happen in different ways, and in different environments, for example, in person, by telephone, over Zoom, etc.
How does coaching work?
An effective coach blends the skills of questioning, listening, observation and feedback to create a conversation rich in insight and learning. The coachee experiences a focus and attention on their own circumstances that helps them develop greater awareness and understanding. In addition, they'll also learn fresh ways to resolve issues, produce better results and achieve their goals more effectively.
Common benefits people experience from coaching include:
- improved sense of direction and focus
- accelerated learning around a distinct topic, such as managing people, relationship, influence
- improved performance in a distinct area, such as professionally, health, finances, etc.
- increased knowledge of self/self-awareness
- improved personal effectiveness, such as focused effort on priorities
- increased motivation or sense of personal engagement
- increased resourcefulness/resilience, such as ability to handle change.
What coaching is not
Coaching is none of the following:
Structured training -- e.g. classroom learning
Structured training relates to a fixed agenda of learning, and a prepared approach to make learning happen. For example, if you are being trained in a classroom to use a computer, the trainer would use a planned approach to ensure you learned a certain amount of information within a certain time frame.
Coaching follows a more flexible format, according to someone's objectives. Both the individual and the coach influence the direction and content of sessions. Coaching also places responsibility for learning on the individual and encourages learning to continue after the session, such as through an agreed set of actions.
Therapy, psychoanalysis, psychotherapy
Some issues are best handled by someone trained to support a specific issue with a specific set of skills, principles and approaches. For example, addiction or mental health issues (depression, compulsive disorders, etc.) are best supported by someone trained to deal with them specifically.
While coaching is not therapy, and is not viewed as therapy, it does provide a viable alternative to people who may have previously considered some form of counselling to resolve a situation. For example, milder forms of anxiety, crises of confidence or self-doubt might all be effectively supported by a qualified and experienced coach. This is because coaching promotes a greater self-awareness and fuller appreciation of our own situations and circumstances. Sometimes, we know our own answers and simply need support to implement our own solutions.
A way of someone else solving your problems for you
Coaching assumes that an individual is ultimately responsible for the results they create. While you may argue that this is not always true, it is normally a more effective idea to operate from. If we acknowledge that we are responsible for something, it follows that we have power and influence over it. For example, if you're not getting the results at work that you want, a coach might encourage you to:
- understand the situation more clearly
- develop new ideas or approaches for those situations
- take constructive action that gets you the results you want.
What an effective coach will not do is instruct you to do something specific, or go and do it for you. If they did, the coach would be taking responsibility (and so power) away from you. An effective coach aims to empower you by supporting you to act, rather than acting on your behalf.
What types of coaching do we offer?
Coaching is such a versatile tool. It can be used in so many situations and contexts. Here are some of the ways that we use coaching at Churchdown:
What do people say about coaching?
Coaching works. We know because we see the impact of it every day. Those who have benefited from coaching will have felt its impact in a myriad ways. However, they are probably united in their proactive and positive approach to their work. Coaching creates energy! But don’t take our word for it. Click here to take a look at what some of our colleagues have said about their experience of coaching.
Who are our coaches?
Our coaches are experienced middle and senior leaders who are trained in coaching and qualified through the Institute of Leadership and Management. More importantly, they have extensive experience of coaching a range of colleagues both within Churchdown and across the region, from Senior Leaders and Head Teachers to Classroom Teachers, Support Staff and Middle Leaders.
How could coaching work for you?
If you are interested in one of the programmes we currently offer or would like to find out more about how coaching can support you or your school, please get in touch through firstname.lastname@example.org or phone the school and speak to Andrew Coates, Assistant Headteacher.