A week in…

Hi, a slower week night so I thought a blog post-et i.e. brief? Well Wed. and Thur. last week were staff training days and then I started to meet pupils on Friday. Tomorrow marks the end of my first full week in a new department, new role and my fifth school.

I have returned to my love of Geography and am now Head of Geography at The Albany School, Havering. I have 4 staff working in the department.

My first commitment to myself- until the new GCSE specs appear! stick and maybe tweak the current scheme of work. Do not rush in and reinvent the wheel as it were. Great idea and I am sticking on the GCSE plan currently. However, a muddled search for matching resources and sow at Key Stage 3 means that this week a new team have started to deliver and develop a new Key stage 3 course that will integrate the old and new National Curriculum specification for Geography.

A non specialist, who has been grateful for being supported at last – why would you not support non specialists in your area? Two new staff, one from the Republic of Ireland and one from Australia and myself.

David E. Rogers, Priory Geography and other departments that I have admired previously I have achieved that aim – I have a fresh team, open to idea, enthusiastic, a range of experiences and a school that supports us innovating – as long as we deliver on the dotted line – and fair enough.

So initiatives, we are a Solo Taxonomy department and have been from day one, we are using it across KS3 and GCSE classes. We are looking to develop a curriculum that draws from the teaching and travel experience within the team. We will move away from a text based course to one where co-operative learning challenges attainment. Work by Ron Berger (An Ethic of Excellence) and Carol Dweck (Growth Mindset) will be used to challenge and extend. A new in school club: Explore – will combine looking at geography from an inquisitive, enquiry and Guerilla approach and also link curriculum support to assist or extend pupils who seek that.

We have a duty in a school with a 13% EAL cohort to learn more about our school population’s cultures. To celebrate those cultural differences and entwine that into our geographical education. We will look outside to new ideas like the proposed Greater London National Park City. We will build on my extensive PLN to develop links with schools globally. Our first international visitor is provisionally booked for December from New Zealand. An aspiration includes a linked school visit to New Zealand for 2016.

I want to lead an outstanding department within two years. I believe I have the foundations to do that and I hope to blog about our journey as a new phase and pathway in the Mishmashlearning process. Thanks for reading. As always your comments are welcomed.



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