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Our world of words.

School communication is ‘for the birds’

To round off her week of work experience, 44’s intern Charlotte considers how to improve communication at school, with a little help from JK Rowling.

Every day, you communicate with dozens, if not hundreds, of people: teachers, friends, family and strangers. Even if you exchange only one or two words as you pass in the street, or while you’re buying a bar of chocolate, you’re still communicating.

As someone still in the world of education, my time at 44 got me thinking about how people communicate at school.

School is like a tower of playing cards (which hopefully won’t be blown over by a strong gust of wind). The base of this structure is the communication system, supporting the rest of the cards – the students, teachers, support staff and parents.

How people communicate

We all know how irritating it is when you turn up to netball practice only to find out it has been cancelled, but nobody told you. You walk to the bus – still irritated by having to carry around your kit needlessly all day – only to then realise you’ve missed the bus home and have to wait an hour for another one (I’m not bitter, honestly)!

That aside, a lack of strong communication systems in any organisation, like a school, which by its nature sends messages all day long, can add up to a serious problem, with lots of room for at least one messaging mishap.

My school has put a few good systems in place for communication, like the duty pupil who delivers any notes around the school. And of course, with the amount of technology available today, there are always emails bouncing back and forth between teachers, tracking down the same child with the wrong shoes – again.

This is all great, but what happens when notes get lost? When emails won’t send? And when parents don’t receive your big, annual school report because you opened it in advance and strategically deposited your disappointing write-up in the neighbour’s hedge on the journey home?

We need another solution. So I present to you… Messaging Owls!

For those who haven’t read the Harry Potter books (and please do, they’re a magical read), every morning majestic owls swoop into the buildings clutching letters in their beaks and talons, dropping them at the feet of the recipients.

And aside from the mess of feathers and rogue birds (but we won’t discuss that) it’s foolproof!

Quick, efficient and reliable

Owls are very intelligent, easily trainable creatures, making them perfect for the job. In JK Rowling’s world, they provide quick, efficient and reliable post delivery services, boosting the school’s communication process because, undeniably, owls will be faster than people (mainly due to the absence of large wings protruding out of the backs of 13-year-olds). Sorry duty pupils!

Although our headteacher is no Albus Dumbledore, the Messaging Owl scheme would be brilliant for improving our school. So, with the training of owls steadily increasing, let’s cast a little magic to make that tower of cards a little sturdier.

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