September 2016 – The Phoenix Rises
Our session facilitator Sophie Hunter reflects on what's been a challenging time for the latest Quality Principles group – but there's magic in there too…
Google tells me that a large group of phoenixes is called an odyssey, and a small group of phoenixes is called a venture.
One month on, our Quality Principles group comes together again: keen to see how each other's projects have been cooking and developing over the time we have been apart.
Today is the day that we plan to investigate each project's progress and change, and what that means – how do we really know we are making a difference, and who are we making a difference to?
Reality hits as we check in at the beginning of the 3-hour session. Every single project around the table has been mashed or derailed in some way by the world around us; through funding cuts, redundancies or just simple over work. None of the projects are where we thought they would be. Nothing is as planned.
Wanting to pull out the positives in this series of increasingly dire situations, we use the session to return to our fundamentals. This is what the Quality Principles are – a series of principles or touchstones upon which we can agree good quality work (with children and young people) is founded. Little by little some clarity emerges from the rubble of our proposed projects: simplicity & refinement are key, keeping things easy, knowing why we are doing what we plan to do. There's an odd and exquisite purity to it.
A flutter of phoenixes arising from the ashes. We venture forth into month three.