The appointment of Hugo Vaughan as Team Leader for the Global Principal Team for OneSchool is an essential step in the development and formation of a global school. Measured by the distance between pan-global campuses (@40,000km), or the difference in curricula (@12), it’s a significant leadership role. But as Hugo explains, mindset is what makes the difference.

“I have been a teacher for many years and in many contexts and I understand what difficult looks like. I focus on problemsolving, and share what’s been helpful for me. I’m open to learning, and learn a lot from the Community and from my colleagues. I stand in awe of the people I am working with.”

Hugo’s journey to the role has involved the “hard yards”. He began his teaching career in South Africa, in the Technology discipline. He emigrated to New Zealand in 1998 and was Deputy Principal at a large regional state secondary school for 17 years. He came to OneSchool as Regional Principal for the New Zealand Southern Region in 2015 and worked hard with colleagues to continue and refine the journey of Learning to Learn.

“The most important attribute I bring to the role is a passion for seeing young people succeed and the desire to inspire staff to be the best they can be. I believe that is the role of an educational leader. When doing the hard yards in teaching you learn how to motivate, engage and inspire.”

Hugo says a priority for him is to build trust and confidence among all stakeholders, and to bring action into alignment with the vision of the school. The vision is for students to be Self-Directed, Life-long Learners. When you walk into a learning centre in any of our campuses across North America, the Caribbean, UK, Europe, Australia, Argentina or New Zealand, you can expect students to:

  • Use a common language of learning and be able to articulate where they are at on their learning journey, where they are going, and the steps they need to take to get there.
  • Take ownership of their learning – to be Self Directed at all times thus having the ability to interact with their learning content, their learning coach and their own learning schedule in a way that best suits their learning needs and priorities.
  • Access learning online at any time through a variety of sources and be able to discern the valuable from the irrelevant.
  • Work with teachers as their learning coaches or guides on the side, rather than teachers being the deliverers of content. 

A key learning of the journey so far is that to facilitate the vision of Self-Directed Learning, a transformation of structure and culture is crucial.  “Structure facilitates the vision,” Hugo says. “It’s not SDL if a student moves from period to period, and classroom to classroom, picking up packages of content. Therefore we change the timetable structure to a 2 x 2 or 3 x 2 model to allow opportunity for students to be Self Directed.”

The key structural elements would certainly be our pedagogy as described above, the school timetable and also our physical buildings. These three structural elements must facilitate the fulfilment of our vision and cannot work against the vision.

“I see my role as leading a team of exceptional professional staff that will inspire and equip teachers to be exceptional leaders of learning. In doing so, we provide the young people of OneSchool to have the best possible opportunity to be successful in all that they aspire to.”

The Vision is the driver, the structure is the vehicle and the culture is the fuel, Hugo says. Developing a culture where sustained excellence is inherent, is crucial.

“Culture is what will sustain us … taking us from capacity to capability.

“OneSchool is uniquely positioned to facilitate a change in what is known as traditional teaching and learning. Our Teacher Academies around the globe facilitate this transformation to a model where the focus is no longer on what we teach but rather on what students are learning.

“As educators at OneSchool we have the opportunity to shape a future where our students will surpass our greatest achievements. Therefore we need to ensure we place no limits on their learning.”

“It’s an inspirational place to be.”