Being part of a team is a vital and highly valued part of working life. Collaboration, developing the capacity to listen to others by interacting with a broad cross-section of society, enhancing one’s happiness and sense of self, all emerge from being part of a team.
The American Psychologist released The Science of Teamwork in 2020, a study of the evidence that working in a team can make you smarter, more creative and more successful.
A pivotal idea explored in the McKinsey and Company report is that teams made up of members from diverse backgrounds (gender, age, ethnicity) are more creative and perform better by up to 35%. When honest feedback, mutual respect and personal openness underpin a team, the members were 80% more likely to report higher emotional wellbeing, according to this study.
At Fintona, we are a small school community that creates wide-ranging opportunities for our girls to be part of a broad cross-section of teams, on the sporting field, through co-curricular endeavours and in the academic field.
We have a culture of getting involved, underpinned by a curiosity for trying something new — from joining the hockey team or a debating team, to putting up your hand to speak on behalf of the class. Our girls can all have a go at whatever they are interested in exploring. They are not on the sidelines cheering or observing, they are participating, learning the rules of the game, developing the necessary skills, and making an increasingly significant contribution as they evolve and mature.
Inclusivity is a strong thread in our whole school approach to being part of a team.
Olivia, a graduate of recent years, expressed it well when she spoke at an Assembly: ‘There is always room for one more. Don’t be afraid to put your hand up for a team.’
We embody a culture of girls supporting each other to build skills. Older girls are role models and mentors for younger girls; experienced team members offer guidance to those who are newcomers to a field. This process of collaboration means creating space for girls who begin with only limited experience, but through commitment and the mentoring guidance of their teammates, grow into competent and skilful team members.
Through their participation in a broad range of teams, Fintona girls are honing their skills physically, intellectually and emotionally, so that they emerge as thoughtful, capable and confident young women who know themselves and their peers deeply. They are expressing their individual personalities whilst contributing to the purpose of the team, but most importantly of all, they are having fun in a team environment and stretching themselves to embrace new opportunities.