Our School As A Box ThumbThis year staff at ICHK Secondary started the school year with a great PD session lead by one of our new team members, Phil Morgan. A deep thinker around creativity and education, Phil brought us up to speed on some ideas around creative thinking, and then challenged us to decorate a box that could be used to sell our school. Divided into groups, every member of staff became obsessively engaged in the task, with the allocated hour’s working time disappearing in no time.

The 6 resulting items were a wonder to behold, and incorporated a huge range of bizarre styles, ideas, tricks and features, including one with a mobile phone installed inside, so you could capture your image and become part of the product.

In the end, we were asked to vote for our favourite, a process that everyone was so invested in that we elected to skip our coffee break. Much to my surprise, my lovely group (including Veronica, Jimmy, Erin and Hannah), ended up winning, with the design below.

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The box is now in a display case in school, accompanied by the text below:

ICHK. Our box is, like our school, brightly presented, precisely formed with attention to detail, and the result of a collaborative team effort. It’s bright colours, bold lettering and green adornment reflect an intentionally small school with unique aims, nestled in Hong Kong’s verdant North.
 
As a small, personal school, we look to educate students as individuals: one at a time. Our box seeks to represent this individual learning journey as a ladder, which a student is climbing, supported from below by each and every member of the teaching team. The student, stating “I can’t do it…yet” is aware that learning is tough, but that with perseverance, effort, support and a growth mindset, he too can “make it”.
 
The “it” to which the student aims is the goal of Learning Together, Thoughtfully, to which our Head of School cheerfully exhorts us from his cutout in the side of the box. He is within the box, at its heart, but also looking outwards as he charts the way forward. Yet, and this is key, he is also on the front of the box, guiding the thriving student as part of the team.
 
On the side and back of the box we see a list of Ingredients and a Nutrition Guide. These show a school formed of Thriving Students, Best Possible Teachers, an Environment For Living and Learning and much more. They suggest a serving size of 1 (child at a time), with a total number of servings of 278 (students in the school). The sum total of the box offers nutrition in the form of appropriate quantities of Attitudes, Skills and Knowledge, and a 100% RDI of Direction-Alignment-Commitment.
 
Ultimately, box and school are both so much more than the sum of their parts.

In closing up the session, Phil introduced us to a number of interesting books around creativity, including the one from which the box activity is drawn: Game Storming. Overall this was one of the best PD and team building sessions I have ever attended.