‘You need to play to your strengths’ is probably a saying mainly associated with a coach or a captain summarising the team approach on the sporting field. The coach’s message to the team would be to look at what they have, to use it to their advantage to help achieve a winning outcome.

In the Junior School, ‘play to your strengths’ has begun to take on new meaning. The phrase points to encouraging everyone to understand what they really enjoy doing. This started by the staff and children being encouraged to put a drop into someone’s bucket – give another person a compliment about something which is special about that person. This process started to alert people about things that they might naturally do well – their Strengths.

This focus on Strengths has developed from the School’s relationship with Gallup. This journey started with all Arden Staff completing an on-line questionnaire which identified a list of each person’s Strengths. This has given everyone a better understanding of how they can better approach more difficult tasks, as well as realising why they really enjoy doing certain aspects of their role.

The students in Year 5 and Year 6 have completed a similar on-line survey. The children have been provided with a modified version of
their Strengths. I was excited to hear children proudly letting me know that they has ‘Relator’, ‘Competition’, ‘Arranger’ etc. in their top three Strengths. Every student was clearly proud of their Strengths. Every
student had a sense of worth and an appreciation of themselves being each uniquely special.

I look forward to the staff and children of Arden continuing to ‘play to their strengths’ – to look at what they have, to use it to their advantage to help develop their own winning outcomes.

Mr David Watkins
Head of Junior School