Well, I have not logged much or tweeted but what a busy return to school. Reading others tweets and blog posts as well as news stories this is another eventful term.
Demands – I find it frustrating how goalposts seem to be moving frequently and used to judge teachers’ value. My own school in preparation for Ofsted (which seems to have been in imminent for at least two terms) are now bringing in Lead inspectors so we can Experience what Ofsted offers but more frequently. Feedback gives us ideas which are valid but we can not realistically react to each new pronouncement unless we want to work staff into the ground. At the same time our small but faithful pedagogy group are meeting more frequently and sharing common practices across departments. Meetings / workshops promise to include more teachmeet style inputs once the pace slows slightly discussions between staff seem ever more focused.
So some positives and areas of concern more than negatives. So am I following the standard line? Nope, as I forge forward with SOLO in all of my Key stage 3 lessons to help pupils identify how to progress and this is combined currently. With a critique based homework- the first projects are coming in and some of the results are mind blowing with the creativity and commitment shown. Over the next week 8 classes will hand in their final pieces and I will review how they have developed work, has it shown progress? Was it challenging enough? What do they think? I am genuinely keen to read pupil feedback, I have had some verbally and a mixed set of responses so far. We also have a new marking scheme within our faculty that links work to individual targets so insufficient effort can be identified faster- it works but the workload is one that I am still trying to fit into a two week turnaround.
Open morning was on a Saturday this year- we will have time off in lieu, but is December a little too far away? It was nice to have visitors as sun streamed through the windows. In my room we offered a map quiz based on my UK wall map display, a new subject photo wall on the landing, examples of the critique homework project and how it was developing, SOLO hexagons with UK facts to match up – this kept other staff and ex pupils busier than visitors, an interactive app task for European capitals and countries that was popular and a chance to chat about our literacy mats on all desks – so yes, tiring but fulfilling, especially for parents and children seen during the week on daytime tours.
That’s enough to keep me busy, but of course there has also been new staff IT training sessions, Digital leaders meetings inc IWB training and developing a new mobile technologies group. An assistant form tutor (keen TA) who has brought in birthday cards, a Jenga competition and a fab new display that many stand and admire. …
So why this post? A release I think not my most eloquent yet a taster of the start of this school year.