Harare International School –

A Boldly Diverse Learning Community that

Inspires Curiosity

Embraces Challenge

Nurtures Personal Growth

 

In October of 2018, we started asking ourselves – who are we as the HIS Community? What is our identity? We then embarked on an exciting journey of collecting input on multi-coloured stickie notes from our community: students, parents, teachers, staff – everyone! We held Focus Groups, we surveyed alumni, we collected chalk comments on blackboards at our Family Fun Day, and more, resulting in 2,000 pieces of data.

How do you go from more than 2,000 pieces of data collected from the HIS community over three months to 49 clusters to 22 themes to 13 words that capture the essence of what HIS is and what we do?

You invite volunteer students, parents, teachers, administrators, and Board members (33 people in all, including 18 incredible students) to spend Sunday and Monday together, doing fun and challenging things like:

  • Clustering and cluster-busting
  • Hexagonal story-telling
  • Applying the “5 whys”
  • Looking into the crystal ball

These might not make sense if you weren’t a participant in the Design Team over these two days, but the 33 people in the room would be happy to explain more if you ask them.

Next, the Board worked with our design thinking facilitator, Kasson Bratton, to turn all that creative thinking and reflection into a new mission statement for HIS:

Harare International School –

A Boldly Diverse Learning Community that

Inspires Curiosity

Embraces Challenge

Nurtures Personal Growth

Educators and students make about 3,000 learning decisions a day. Having these statements about HIS in our minds, how might these ideas help us refine our decisions and actions?

  • If we are a “boldly diverse learning community,” how might that affect the way teachers form working groups in the classroom or what kind of learning differences we accommodate at HIS?   How might we make decisions at the point of Admissions?
  • If we “inspire curiosity,” how might we use immersion experiences to introduce a unit?
  • If we “embrace challenge,” how might this influence the way we react to a disappointing grade, a new piece of music, or a misunderstanding with a friend?
  • If we “nurture personal growth,” how might we ensure that we meet learning needs where students are right now?

As a member of our community, please help us to continue filtering our daily “how might we” questions and decisions through the lens of our new Mission Statement!