I’ve been asked a number of times about the company name. Boundless is very much the way I feel about learning. Learning should not be confined by a building or construct. We learn from the moment we begin life and continue to do so. Every adaptation. we make in our lives is as a result of information and decisions we make in relation to how we perceive this. I am passionate about ensuring everyone has an opportunity to learn and that they are inspired to learn beyond any boundaries they may perceive. I also believe learning is an integral part of life, therefore the best learning experiences are rooted in real life terms, or relevant terms and should fuel a joy in continuous and Boundless learning.
In addition to this, a huge reason for the name Boundless comes from my core values of fairness, that everyone has the right to learning without boundaries. This can be taken in a simple idealistic statement, but when we delve into it, the complexities of this can lead us down many paths.
Shakespeare’s use of the word, Boundless attracted my attention, encapsulating the concept of the vast potential of learning, that it is, in fact, immeasurable, infinite and unlimited.
So many people have debated the ways in which we ‘measure’ learning.. It strikes me this could be our hamartia (the fatal flaw leading to the downfall of a tragic hero, or heroine). Certainly we want to be able to celebrate the impact of learning, but an over- focus on the minutiae of data in isolation can lead us down rabbit holes. A clear sense of what we are measuring and why and what matters in broad terms is a key consideration. Deep, meaningful learning is so much more than a measure and generally takes us beyond the boundaries of our expectations.
Joy in discovery, cultivating curiosity and a love of life full of rich experiences, building capacity and the skills to respond to challenges and take risks to push beyond our own boundaries are so important. Surely these are our ultimate goals?
I shared a clip today of a college student who received a pair of glasses that enabled him to see colours.
Firstly, I was inspired by the kindness and compassion of his peers and the positive relationships in that group, but I started to ponder. How about we all heightened our sights on the rich experiences of learning and opportunities, we brought colour to our world? How about we reach beyond the boundaries of core skills and knowledge? How much richer would the learning and lives of our students and staff be?
I’m not saying we don’t need core skills and knowledge-in fact, what I am suggesting is a no limits approach to learning and using them in rich way beyond the bounds of our accountability glasses.
In the last few years, so much has come to bear on our decision-making in terms of prioritisation. Here’s just a few:
- Data and accountability systems
- Ofsted frameworks
- Pupil premium and inequalities of access
- SEND Frameworks
- EYFS Framework
- Neuroscience and impact on pedagogical discussion
- Mastery and the pedagogy of deepening understanding
- PSHE/RSE legislation
- Diversity and Equality
- Well being: staff and families
- Mental health: all stakeholders
- Working hours and flexible working
- Recruitment and retention
I’m sure this list could extend many times. Then we met Covid.
For the last year, like no other, we have adapted in the shifting sands and planes of the unbelievable. All glasses and lenses were removed and the Covid lenses of survival and relationships were firmly fixed around our plans. This is not a loss.
We now have a chance to ask the questions in light of what we now know, a chance to learn beyond our own boundaries:
- What do we know? What matters?
- What, are our dreams for the future?
- So what next?
- How will we do this?
I’m guessing no one has answered that with a narrow view. We all want the world for our learners. Well that brings me back to Boundless Learning.
I want the world for you and yours. I have a breadth of specialisms and experiences and have tousled with requests of me to define my path. The fact is I can develop bespoke support for a range of areas. I am passionate about examining with you the boundaries or challenges you face, and empowering you to develop solutions, training, coaching and targeted support. This can be individual, irrespective of age or role, group, or as a whole organisation. I want to help you put the joy back firmly where it belongs, at the heart of learning to inspire a journey with no bounds.
It may also be possible to find a unique approach to answering more than one question-learning is not contained in separate pots so synthesis of ideas and approaches , developing clarity and a shared sense of purpose, founded in research and development underpins all of my work. What we do to engage all learners should impact on whole school well-being. If we truly organise our curriculum in the widest sense of all we offer to reflect our values, then we will impact positively on all learners – and families and staff.
If we attend to our own wellbeing and values, we will impact on that of others.
More on this another time. For now, ours is a Boundless opportunity-I’m not ignoring the challenges, in fact I want to help you use them.
Let’s investigate and inspire!