Client feedback on…

Facilitation

Some client feedback for bringing teams together and vision planning:

Vision and Values Days:

I knew that I wanted to get my staff together so that we could formally agree our common vision. I was finding it challenging to plan the day where I was part of the discussion and leading the day too. We commissioned Noothinking Ltd and that problem was solved. Due to the high quality and sensitive facilitation skills provided, we had an excellent day; productive in terms of consensus for direction, but also for team building and making staff feel valued.

In addition to the day workshop, we instructed Noothinking to collate all of our discussion points. Very quickly, we received easy to follow documents that we could directly feed into action planning.

Well worth it.

General Manager, Stanley Halls

We are a relatively new organisation that has grown quickly. We needed to really get a grip on our strategic direction. Our board is a group of highly skilled and diverse trustees.

At the end of our Vision and Values day, we had a clear and agreed sense of direction. Feedback on the day from the trustees included:

  • “We all got a chance to talk through things in depth, without it taking hours and hours”
  • “The activities that we were given, really helped focus our thinking and keep the discussion flowing”
  • “The quality of the facilitation helped move us on and make significant progress in our decision making”

After our day, our discussion points were given to us in a clearly, collated document that I could use with the board for next step planning in future board meetings.

Chair of Board of Trustees, Stanley Halls

GDPR:

“The training was excellent and clear. It was broken down so that it was not (too) overwhelming. I am now very clear about what my part is in GDPR journey.

Finance and HR, Recruitment Agency

Nicole provided a comprehensive GDPR service for the PJs Community Service. Her systematic and methodical approach allowed us to work in a timely manner. In addition, Nicole provided in- depth training on work practices and a step by step practical guide to implementation. Nicole’s unique style, passion and knowledge is engaging, she has the ability to link learning to organisational context which my team found very helpful.

Claudine Reid MBE, director of PJs Community Services

Project management:

I was a parent governor, Vice Chair of Governors and Chair of Personnel Committee for a ten-year period when Nicole was headteacher. As a Human Resources Director, I am closely involved in change projects on a day-to-day basis, and I was impressed with Nicole’s management of  projects. Managing a school is in itself an intense and demanding role, particularly in London where diverse pupil needs, staffing and budget challenges mean that the job is multi-faceted. Three things in particular impressed me about Nicole.
1) Her vision and high ambition for her organisation. Nicole was never content to settle with the status quo, and would push herself and others in pursuit of opportunities that would contribute to a stronger and better future. Sometimes this was hard for others, including staff and parents, to recognise and accept, and so she would need to bring this vision to life, and describe how it would benefit both those in the immediate school environment, and the wider community, with the children always at the heart of any change. This involved resilience and a degree of managed risk that are key requirements for a successful change leader.
2) Her ability to collaborate with others and bring people with her. This included managing her team in a supportive way, empowering her leadership team to take responsibility and make decisions, and helping team members who might find change difficult or confusing. She demonstrated good emotional intelligence and is a natural communicator who interacts easily with those around her. Members of her team feel supported and enjoy being part of her team, working in an environment which is open and good humoured. Where there were difficult messages to convey, or conversations to be had, Nicole would not shy away from these, and would encourage open and honest dialogue. She is also strong at coaching her team, and helped them to adjust and take on new roles and skills. Her approach helped to secure agreement to key decisions and to make change happen in a positive and supportive way.
3) Successful project delivery. Once agreements were reached, Nicole would follow her ideas through to implementation using project management tools and techniques. As a governor I was reassured that implementation plans would be well executed, and that Nicole would bring progress reports, along with key issues or sticking points back to governors for further consideration and agreement. She genuinely valued the support of others, and used the professional support of those who were integral to project delivery, particularly those outside the teaching profession. She maintained a clear focus on delivering expected outcomes and achieving the best possible value for money. Once changes were implemented, Nicole continued to scan the horizon for future opportunities and external factors, and was ready to grasp and lead further change, as evidenced by the change in purpose of the Children’s centre to ensure sustainability.
Taken collectively, these qualities equipped Nicole to lead and manage change strategically, collaboratively and proficiently.
Jackie Hart 

HR Director, International Trade and Investment at Department for International Trade (DIT)

 

We are architects and are lucky enough to work with clients who are highly committed to the process of creating public spaces that benefit their communities. Nicole, in her role as head teacher of Cypress Primary School, stands out, however, for her ability to embrace innovation, offer clear and calm guidance and full-blooded commitment to achieving the best outcome for her school. We thank Nicole for her enlightened and brave patronage. Our client/ architect relationship was the result of an architecture competition, specifically open to young, start-up architecture practices. Throughout the project, from her ambitious project brief, regaling the assembled architects with speaking clouds at the briefing day, enabling us to understand the ethos of her school, her guidance was always clear, her embrace of the project firm and her love for design quality passionate. The Royal Institute of British Architects clearly agreed with our enthusiasm for working with Nicole by nominating her for the RIBA Client of the Year Award. We wish Nicole the very best in her new endeavours and know that she will dedicate the same amazing set of skills and dedication to all her clients.

Barbara Kaucky & Susanne Tutsch Directors Erect Architecture

 

I was chair of governors at the Cypress Schools during the premises redesign of the infant school. 
Nicole was extremely imaginative about the development of the Children’s Centre. She really pushed for a creative approach; she led strongly on developing a vision for the Children’s Centre but enabled staff and parents to get fully engaged. She managed the project from start to finish and was extremely effective in dealing with changing parameters thrown up by the complexity of the site. She is very effective at project delivery.
Nicole is always thinking her way round a problem but takes her staff team with her.

School merger:
Nicole was appointed to head both the infant and junior schools at Cypress and the Children’s Centre, bring all of them under a single leadership. At the time, the Junior School had a very large budget deficit, run up by the two previous heads. Nicole re-structured the schools to create efficiencies from the merger and improve effectiveness, eliminating duplication of roles and exercising strict control over expenditure to get rid of the deficit.
Kathy Bee, Ex Chair of Cypress Governing Body

In regards to project  of Teaching Assistant Staffing Restructure, this was, at the time, the best and most beneficial restructure I had seen. It continues to espouse the concept of pedagogical benefit when conducting reorganisations as a model of good practice.
Gordon Mackenzie
HR office

For bringing teams together for review and evaluation:

SLT Weekend, Away Event:

Nicole was a supportive, insightful and motivating facilitator. She listened carefully to our concerns and barriers to progress without projecting her own view or judgements.

She took the hard work out of planning and delivery enabling senior leaders just to be part of the process.

Very effective.

Principal Paxton Sports and Science Academy

For bringing teams together for Review, evaluation and leadership development:

Well planned and organised programme. An opportunity to reflect on practice and spend time with the team. Nicky made it feel very welcoming, was supportive and gave constructive feedback.

Assistant headteacher

Thank you for making us stop and reflect on what is important.

Deputy headteacher

Your experiences and knowledge were invaluable. It refocused me

Middle Manager

Supporting Governors:

Nicole, from Noo Thinking Ltd, recently supported governors through the Headteacher’s Performance Review process. We found her to be sensitive, perceptive and constructive. She had a very friendly manner and quickly grasped the complexity of the school’s set up. She really helped us to reflect on the positives, to review the previous year and to focus on Smart objectives for the forthcoming year.

I would happily recommend Nicole to fellow governing bodies seeking support.

Governor

INSET Days …

The training was of a high quality and delivered with professional insight and awareness of how academic research impacts in the classroom. A very enjoyable and engaging style.

Principal Primary School

The day met all the outlines mentioned in the beginning of the morning. The trainer was very engaging and encouraged a lot of reflective thinking! Makes you reflect on things you know but need some refreshing. Lovely examples of how you might approach tasks differently.

KS1 Class Teacher

The trainer engaged attendees through interaction in terms of what’s good practice. Interested in our own thoughts. The day was interesting,  learnt more on what makes a good teacher as well as, with refection, what not to do and how to evolve yourself.

KS1 Teaching Assistant

I liked being part of practical activities that we can use in our teaching. The day was definitely interesting and thought provoking. Lots to think about in my own teaching.

I liked watching examples of others teaching and I enjoyed listening to Nicky.

KS1 Class Teacher

The trainer showed a very good understanding of learning and clear strategies. She was very engaging and thorough, good paperwork related to the learning. The content was very interesting with many interesting ideas and information to work on. The training was very challenging, to the point and showed good awareness of our roles. I enjoyed the visual activities, the videos. There were very good ideas to further my role.

KS1 Teaching Assistant

The day allowed us to see what is good practice and consolidate our own good practice. The day was interesting with lots of practical elements and sharing of ideas.. She (the trainer) gave us lots of reflection time matched with whole group discussions. Moving on, I will use my notes to help when it comes to planning and teaching. I will feedback to the children more.”

KS1 Class Teacher

I have gained more knowledge. It was a brilliant experience!. The day was interesting and rewarding through the new outcomes learned. Moving on , I will take more time preparing my lessons as I have now gained more confidence. Thank you. Very good.

KS1 Teaching Assistant

I think the day was beneficial and helped me to reflect on my practice. It was engaging and fun. It made me re-evaluate why I teach. My thinking was challenged, moved on and consolidated.

Thank you for the re-affirmation of my practice.

KS1 Class  2 teacher and English lead, Primary School

I was happy with the day as we got all that was outlined at the start. I think the trainer got us engaged from the very beginning. I found the day very interesting and helpful for my practice. The methodology was very accurate for challenging our thinking. The training day has been very helpful for me in my practice and for teaching MFL. I am very grateful for the trainer and the INSET day.

Spanish Teacher

The day gave us lots of different ways to look at our teaching and the effects we have. The trainer was very friendly and the content was interesting. The day made me open my eyes to areas I had never thought of before.

KS2 Teaching Assistant

The trainer had excellent experience of pedagogy and practice and used throughout practical examples. The day was interesting and refreshing, allowing staff time to reflect. We were exposed to a lot of real , impacting scenarios which consolidated and challenged thinking.  It was a very useful  and relevant time for professional development.  A good modelling of theory into practice.

KS2 Class Teacher

The trainer engaged us through a range of activities, models, resources and time given to reflect on teaching. The content of the day was relevant, interesting and thought provoking.  Research information was given which backed up good practice done and introduced new ways of working.

It was a really, effective session thanks.

KS2 Class Teacher and Maths Lead, Primary School

The trainer used lots of different ways to engage staff; practical discussion, specific praise, modelling, her experience and studies. It was very interesting and thought provoking.  It challenged my thinking especially about how to engage children in their assessment. Great day.

KS2 Class Teacher

The day was brilliant, informative, hands on and thorough. The trainer was very engaging and had a lovely manner- a great atmosphere created. The day was thought provoking and I was able to reflect on my own practice. I was definitely challenged and it was great to work with colleagues.

The day was awesome and made me think more about how I can support my colleagues.

Deputy Headteacher, Primary School

Business Support

An objective viewpoint is something that  can be lost in a small business. So Nicole’s input has been EXTREMELY effective. We were struggling to stick to the targets we set, but with Nicole’s input we have managed to identify the key factors which have been responsible for not staying on target. Definitely worth every penny and looking forward to seeing the progress this venture will bring: Highly recommend this!!

Barry Kotei, co-director of BKleen Detailing

Nicole has been & continues to be such a great, understanding mentor. As a young, new business owner I have faced many challenges along the way. Many of which Nicole has supported me through, which has enabled me to develop myself and the business, in a way I would’ve struggled to do alone. I highly recommend the services of Noo thinking!

Katie Back director of Back 2 Back Studio

Full of energy and ideas but also good listener with empathy and sharp analysis. Not afraid to be a trailblazer and make projects happen.

Susanne Tutsch director Erect Architects 

Get in touch

If you would like to discuss any aspects of staff experience and engagement training, supporting individuals, targeted groups or facilitating developments, coaching or support for young people, why not book a free, initial consultation, and let us help you to help yourselves. Email: workingtogether@noothinking.co.uk