Our new brand statement was received with great excitement and deep understanding by our students Prep-12 following the assemblies last week. My intention with this article is to encapsulate for parents the essence of the information conveyed to students and to provide some further information about our branding.
When we started work on the articulation of our brand, we began to understand that unless the essence of the brand came from within, and unless it truly reflected our learning aspirations for our students it would not feel or sound authentic. Slick promotional wizardry was not our aim. So we took a different approach and this has allowed us to question and tease out the behaviours, attitudes and personalities that make us uniquely ‘Westbourne’.
The process led us to mine deep into community beliefs about our school and encompassed a range of approaches including, surveys of current and prospective parents, extended conversations with staff and the School Board, and information gathered from current educational and business research and commentaries. In seeking to define who we really are the School extended its investigations of our current brand personality. What we discovered was that a combination of Joseph Campbell’s ideas of the hero’s journey with its triumph over adversity theme combined perfectly with the twelve personality characteristics that form the archetypal hero.
The results from the brand analysis established that we fell into three of the twelve components of the brand personality assessment. When contemplating these three traits: Hero, Sage and Creator, we decided the brand message that would best encapsulate Westbourne Grammar should in fact, be a combination of all three.
What followed was a dynamic call to action – one that invites every student to Think like A Hero.
In considering what it is that makes a hero we came up with these attributes: honourable, agile decisive, inspirational, ambitious, wise, original, brave, tenacious, focused, determined, visionary, honest.
At the same time, we also reflected on how we might identify a thinker and this is what emerged: relentless, innovative, alert, fair minded, ambitious, intuitive, logical, curious, courageous, inquisitive, a planner, a competitor.
By combining the two, Westbourne has created a strong, vibrant concept – one that every student can relate to in his or her own individual way and which is a perfect fit with our Growth Mindset and Mindfulness approach to learning. In embracing the principles of Growth Mindset and Mindfulness, students have no difficulty making connections to thinking like a hero.
It is in this context that I want to share with you a piece written last Thursday by Ruby, one of our Year 3 students. I’m sure you will agree that what Ruby offers is a most insightful reflection as to how she understands what it is to Think like a Hero:
Thinking like a hero to me is to be helpful and believe in other people and yourself. Heroes (not like superman and stuff like that) are open minded and always full of strategies. I am a hero at school since I am always in a growth mindset. I have freedom and independence and are always wanting to expand my learning. I am always in a growth mindset because I like to challenge myself by trying lots of new and exciting things, I have freedom and independence as I do not get upset if I am alone and am free to stretch my schedule, and I love to expand my learning because I am constantly asking my teacher if I can try harder things.
I AM A HERO!!!!
In launching our new Think like A Hero branding Westbourne Grammar recognises that heroes come in many shapes and sizes. They can be young and old, male and female, large and small. Heroes don’t have to go to war, or have superpowers or super strength. A hero can be someone who plants a tree for the environment, a person who stands up to a bully or speaks out. A hero is courageous and honourable, thoughtful and responsible – and many other things as well. In the end perhaps, a hero can be an ordinary person who does extraordinary things.