Creating a strong culture At Oasis in London Waterloo.
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…inspiring, accountable, motivated, energetic, holistic, inclusive, intentional, excellent, long-term commitment, focused, passionate, transformative, respect for diversity, clear and high expectations
Some of the words / phrases that come immediately to mind following a visit to the Oasis Hub, Waterloo –with a church, coffee shop, community library, a health care and debt advice service, farm, foodbank, play and stay centre, primary and high school – all within one square mile at the heart of London, SE1.
LEARNING TO TRANSFORM LIVES
Founded by Steve Chalke in 1985, Oasis – the organisation – have been consistently, ‘dedicated to positively transforming lives, learning and the communities they serve’. It is one of the reasons Phil elected to spend two years with Oasis in the mid-90’s training as a youth and community worker.
CHARACTER / CULTURE = ETHOS + HABITS
In order to be positively dedicated to learning, serving and transforming, Oasis have developed a strong culture. They describe their ‘character’ – who they are and the lens through which they work – through five ethos statements of inclusion, equality, healthy relationships, hope and perseverance, which are developed and expressed practically as the nine habits of compassion, humility, patience, joyfulness, honesty, hopefulness, consideration, forgiveness and self-control, by staff and students at the schools.
Thus far, we would have described our ‘ethos’ – the culture we would like to create – through 5 value statements: excellence, inclusivity, leadership, affordability and learning. Through visiting Oasis – especially the insightful conversations with Oasis’ Director of Ethos and Formation, and various staff at two of Oasis’ 49 schools – raises questions about which habits would best support and encourage any future staff and the children that attend Game Changers schools to actively practice and participate in the culture?