Module 1

Swansea5-by-Alex-Baker-PhotographyModule 1 – The bigger picture

Please note – there is now a version of Thinking Governance for non-Church schools. To download the non-Church version click here; for Church schools, please see below.

This first module is foundational to the other three. It provides the governing body with the chance to consider their really big goals for the school, and to develop a fully-strategic plan for how these can be achieved.

Module 1 focuses on the question ‘what do we want our school to be known for?’.

The process centres around creating a strategic picture for the school, actually starting with a blank sheet of paper.

The outcome is a set of goals for the school, agreed by governors, which together answer the question ‘what do we want our school to be known for?’.

The module also helps governors identify which activities and outcomes of various groups connected with the school (including governors themselves) are critical in getting these goals delivered successfully.

You’ll need:

  • Enough flipchart sheets to tape together to cover the tables (those sheets become your ‘blank sheet of paper’)
  • A set of cards (contained within the module’s download package)
  • Flipchart pens
  • A way of playing back the video clips (also within the download package)
  • A way of taking an image of your completed strategic picture(a phone, iPad or similar)
  • Printouts of the various documents contained in the zip file download, as required (see below)

The most important thing is to read carefully through the Facilitator Guide – that gives you all the guidance you need to make the session work well.


If you’re a Church school, you need to download this zip file (if you’re not a Church school, download this zip file).

The zip file download contains the following files:

  • pdf – this file must be printed in colour and in full
  • Governor handout.pdf
  • Session notes.pdf
  • Setup notes.pdf
  • Facilitator Guide.pdf
  • The Patchwork Quilt (video, .mp4 format, 73MB)
  • The Feedback Loop (video, .mp4 format, 35MB)
  • Agreeing outcomes for governors (video, .mp4 format, 41MB)
  • Agreeing outcomes for children (video, .mp4 format, 70MB)

Note – the .mp4 video files should run on any current computer


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