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Leadership Strategies and Approaches 

PiXL is a leadership organisation, using leadership strategies and approaches to enable change to happen. Our approach takes some of the evidence and research from across the world of business, as well as education, and blends this with a practical approach alongside accompanying resources. Our strategies all focus on improving outcomes and life chances for young people so, whether it is working with leaders on Wildly Important Goals or on the development of a culture of reading, all of it is about giving leaders the strategies to use to make the most impact.

There are many PiXL strategies that can be adapted and used for different contexts.

Some examples of our most popular leadership strategies can be read in the sections below. 

Wildly Important Goals and Lead Measures

Adapted from the work of Sean Covey et al., the concept of The Wildly Important Goal (WIG) has been part of PiXL since almost the very beginning. Leaders identify a WIG, that is the most important thing that needs to be achieved in school within a timeframe. They express this as an equation: ‘Verb XXX from X to X by when’. We collect the WIGs across our network so that we can provide bespoke support and networking opportunities to support schools in achieving them. Identifying the lead measures that will enable the WIG to be realised is the next part of the process and enables people to know the often small, but regular things, they need to do to make success more likely. We provide strategies and resources related to this area and around how school leaders can enable buy in with stakeholders.

Pre-Mortem

This approach is one of the central PiXL leadership approaches and follows the setting of the Wildly Important Goal. Once the WIG is set, we encourage the ‘pre-mortem process’: looking to the following year and imagining that the WIG has not been realised, then tracking back to identify the things that prevented it. Once identified, leaders separate the list into those things they can control, and those things they cannot, and start to plan for the things that can be influenced. PiXL supports leaders through collecting the most common pre-mortem issues and using national conferences to suggest how some of these things can be overcome. 

Horsforth Quadrant

Adapted from one of our PiXL Schools, the Horsforth Quadrant has taken on a life of its own. It is a very simple way of cross-checking students’ effort against their progress and identifying barriers to improvements in both areas. Using a very simple effort vs progress matrix, school leaders can see very clearly where students are thriving or where they need some additional support. Resources are provided to link with each of the quadrants, as well as some ideas about how to motivate and engage learners. The aim of the Horsforth Quadrant is to ensure each young person is able to get the right level of support.

Diagnosis, Therapy, Testing, Revisit (DTTR)

This is the original PiXL model and is still the centre of all we do. Our PiXL model of Diagnosis, Therapy, Testing and Re-visiting ensures that we identify the problem, that the issues are being addressed, checks that the improvement we expect has happened, and then we continue to re-visit on a regular basis to make sure we are seeing lasting change. This model is used in whole school teaching and learning, in work with individual students and in leadership.

 

 

Checklists

Adapted from the Covey approach, and further developed using some of the work of Atul Gawande, checklists are a crucial part of the PiXL approach. Whether it is a Personalised Learning Checklist, a Compelling Scoreboard linked to WIGs, a whole-class checklist or a leadership one, we believe it is important to identify the things that are the most important and can often be forgotten or overlooked. Checklists help identify where things may be missed, can be motivational and compelling and can chart change in real time. Once areas of weakness or focus are identified and diagnosed, then PiXL also provide some of the resources and strategies to help, whether this is something for students, class teachers, middle leaders or leaders.

  • PiXL’s work is truly remarkable and has been a saviour and sanctuary of common sense and really useful strategies at a time of madness!

    Headteacher, PiXL Secondary school

  • For me, PiXL is a community of like-minded learners who have a moral imperative to raise standards and support children and schools to be better – who wouldn't want to be in PiXL?

    Executive Headteacher, PiXL Primary school

  • PiXL provides a reassuring touchstone, and never more has that been so important to school leaders. PiXL is populated with like-minded and motivated colleagues who give due thought and consideration about how to best approach the myriad of decisions school leaders take every day. I've worked with PiXL for 8 years now and every meeting leaves me inspired to try new ideas, reassured about things my school is doing well and resolved to continually do better for the young people in my school.

    Headteacher, PiXL Secondary school

  • Post-16 support and resources are top quality — the adaptability of resources makes tailoring them to your students straightforward. The PiXL team are always open to suggestions and strive to ensure hard-working and innovative staff have a support base. They inspire teachers of all levels of experience.

    Senior Leader, PiXL Post 16 school

  • I can honestly say this has been one of the instrumental factors in our success story. The ideas, resources and expertise, which has been so willingly shared by the whole PiXL team, has enabled our Sixth Form to continually change and radically improve. Every single meeting has been packed with fresh ideas and practical tips to help students thrive, both academically and also as a well-rounded individual.

    Headteacher, PiXL Post 16 school

  • PiXL is more than just a network of schools; it is a welcoming organisation, with highly experienced people, offering unparalleled professional support and CPD. PiXL will continue to improve the education system and culture of the schools, Sixth Forms and colleges who introduce and embed their strategies, as it has already.

    Senior Leader, PiXL Post 16 school

  • We have used PiXL in our personal development package, in our interventions, in whole school teaching and learning CPD and with our staff through PiXL Change. My respect for PiXL has grown and grown.

    Senior Leader, PiXL Post 16 school

  • PiXL has been a huge support network for our academies during these challenging times and has guided us, assisted us and provided us with resources to support our leaders, teachers and pupils. The PiXL team listen to us, take on feedback, ask us what we need and adapt their research and provision in order to suit all of our school’s different needs.

    Executive Headteacher, PiXL Primary school

  • As a member, PiXL provides our school with a wealth of professional development opportunities and high-quality resources for all areas of the core curriculum. Their approach of diagnosis, therapy, testing and revisiting enables us to easily identify children’s next steps on a one-to-one, small group and whole-class basis and then tailor our interventions and whole-class teaching to fill their gaps.

    Executive Headteacher, PiXL Primary school

  • The opportunity to work with such a strong, supportive, diverse team of highly–skilled professionals from across the country, as a PiXL family, has been a very valuable experience in developing the breadth and depth of my knowledge and skill–set, both as a teacher and a leader. Schools, staff and children lie at the heart of everything they do. The question on everyone’s lips is always: ‘What do schools need?’

    Executive Headteacher, PiXL Primary school

  • The beauty of PiXL is that you can pick and mix what you need and make it work for your school; you can be as PiXL as you want to be – it's a continuum.

    Headteacher, PiXL Secondary school

  • I trust my leaders with PiXL, PiXL leadership moves with the times and develops all tiers of leaders, ranging from my new middle leaders to my most experienced Heads of School. It has inspired them to question and challenge themselves, whilst holding their hand and supporting their next steps.

    Headteacher, PiXL Post 16 school

  • In a world of uncertainty, PiXL continues to show its true worth to schools across the nation. The integrity and humility with which the organisation works are quite unique in the world of education support and their drive to focus on the best for our young people is indubitable. Constantly offering support in key areas where the need is greatest, PiXL continues to be the greatest source of support imaginable.

    Headteacher, PiXL Secondary school

  • PiXL is completely driven by its values and moral purpose, acting solely in the interests of the young people in our schools by helping and supporting staff to choose the most appropriate, evidence-informed strategies and resources for their students. PiXL is an incredibly agile organisation in which the exceptional team is able to provide whatever support schools need in the interests of their students.

    Senior Leader, PiXL Post 16 school