So what is it that, in one school, finds 5 members of the senior leadership team in the National Gallery at 4 o’clock on a Friday (following my second INSET of the week) swapping notes on their favourite artwork and trying to decipher the messages that this sends out about them; and in another finds at least 3 members of the team up a mountain (I think it was Ben Nevis – no doubt my friend and former colleague Tom will correct me at some point)?

Senior team bonding – discuss!

Is it a waste of time for us to be together for more than an hour without discussing school improvement? I don’t think so, especially if us being together will ultimately mean that we’re better able to lead and improve the school.

We’re still a relatively young team, 3 of us joined the school last September and although the new Assistant Head isn’t new to the school she is new to the team.

I actually think the most telling (and enjoyable) portion of the evening was the wine drinking in a local restaurant after our artistic temperaments had calmed down. You can tell a lot about somebody even by the way they hold their wine glass (am I over analyzing?).

On the train home I got to thinking about teams; when I was a newly appointed Head of Department I spent time in the summer holidays trying to get to know my team as individuals (partly, I now think, because I was a little apprehensive of getting them together too early in case they tried to gang up on me). When I look back now it might have been more revealing to see them all together to find out their different styles and roles within a team. 

We have three new subject leaders plus several new Heads of House at school, has anybody any ideas about the sorts of activities that could be useful? I’m not sure that suggesting a team-building trip to a Gallery would go down well with the Head of ICT although the Head of Art may feel differently. I know the Head of PE who’s also a new Head of House would be up for mountain climbing (if it wasn’t for her crutches!) but I’m not so sure about the other new pastoral leaders.

Our next outing has yet to be decided so I’m have a vested interest in a meaningful but fun team-building adventure.