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Book Scrutiny of Pupils' Books by SMT

Discussion in 'Primary' started by ProfHarry, Jun 19, 2011.

  1. I have spent the whole weekend planning, preparing for assessments of my Year 3 class and have been emailed by my Headteacher that a selection of Literacy books are to be scrutinised by the SMT after school on Monday.
    Do other colleaguse have their books scrutinised in this way? It will be the third time in 2 terms. I would appreciate your thoughts on the topic of Book Scrutiny at your school. Thanks
     
  2. I have spent the whole weekend planning, preparing for assessments of my Year 3 class and have been emailed by my Headteacher that a selection of Literacy books are to be scrutinised by the SMT after school on Monday.
    Do other colleaguse have their books scrutinised in this way? It will be the third time in 2 terms. I would appreciate your thoughts on the topic of Book Scrutiny at your school. Thanks
     
  3. Happens at least once a term at my school.
     
  4. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Yes we do, though usually with a little more notice.

    Drives me nuts and I see no earthly use in it as SMT have not seen the lesson so have no context for the written work.
     
  5. CarrieV

    CarrieV Senior commenter

    Yes, all literacy and numeracy books twice a year and after each lesson observation a sample from each group are collected in and compared to the lesson plan objectives.
     
  6. slippeddisc

    slippeddisc New commenter

    Core subjects every half term (sometimes more depending on how they feel). This includes looking at planning and seeing if the books reflect the planning.

    Foundation subjects 1-2 times per year.
     
  7. 3 books and planning every week. 1st week literacy, 2nd week numeracy and 3rd week foundation subjects.
     
  8. Yes I have just looked the literacy / writing books in my school. I find it useful as you can see progression, what is happening in the same year group across two classes etc etc. Also give you a bench mark to see if school policy is being used correctly
     
  9. Same here. But as we have Ofsted any day it has been stepped up in the last 2 weeks to ALL books each week!!
     
  10. flickaz

    flickaz New commenter

    We have regular book and planning scrutiny with both verbal and written feedback.
     
  11. About once every half term here. Core subjects and topic. Verbal and written feedbackgiven.
     
  12. About once every half term here. Core and topic, written and verbal feedback.
     
  13. Totally appalling forum entry this one. What on earth happened to teacher professional autonomy? What on earth is going on here 'to check if school policies are being adhered to..?' 'to see if lesson plan objectives are being carried out'. I wonder if I am the only reader on here who finds this the stuff of nightmares, the world of Kafka, or an Orwellian future.

    I ask you - does it matter one jot if the policies are not adhered to or the lesson plan not followed? It is the learning agenda that is important not the teaching agenda, neither its implimentation, its oversight nor its correction. We are here in a land in which the teacher's hands have been tied and in which masquerading as excellence and equality is a fear of OFSTEd, and a totalitarian obsequity that is beyond belief.

    Have none of us heard that in Finnish schools (to where the political masters are supposedly looking) teachers have non of these levels of imposition, or lack of trust. THere is a belief that they are trained and are professional enough to get on with the job.

    If a teacher wants to take the lesson in the direction which he or she feels fit that is not only their perrogative, it is their professional obligation. It does not need to be written down in detail before hand to get permission, nor written up in detail afterwards to prove that it was worthwhile. A teacher knows that - it is their job.

    A headteacher- which is really the only role in the SMT that is necessary in teaching terms- should be able to see and guage that in an instant, walking around the school; sentient, open, in a responsive dialogue with teachers and children. ALL the rest is unecessary bureaucracy imposed from without and the sooner we see that the sooner we shall be able to allow ourselves the right to be individual teachers again
    .
    If the school policy is about anything other than furtherng the learning of children - be that in out-of-the-box, unplanned spontaneous ways then that is their professional domain and a policy which does not protect and nourish that is flawed and should not be followed (in fact cannot be followed without the heart growing heavy and tired with cynicism). The SMT should confine itself to supporting teachers in their reflective enquiries to be better teachers- not to huffing and puffing in pompous businees about nothing other than their own importance. Issuing paper -or in this case electronic paper- (emails)- writs from the emperor.

    If we have to have SMTs and it seems we are stuck with them, then maybe they should focus on nothing more than their obligation to help teachers to become more sentient human beings, more skilled professionals increasingly sensitive to their own deepening awareness of childhood in general and to the particular circumstances of each and every individual child in their class.To take risks and to adventure down a road of shared experience, open enquiry with their children and not a walk down a disused railway line albeit with still functioning signals and the semblance of life at the stations - but a walk from which no-one leaves the lines.


    As the years pass those teachers of long expereince, especially those who choose to stay on the classroom should be able to diffuse their own experience with their colleagues. They should not have to live with someone checking they have tied their shoelaces or combed their hair or as in most cases fastened the pyjama buttons of their lesson plans before they went to bed the night before - which is what in reality so much of this detailed planning amounts to!. Cocoa with stress -written up as differentiated planning.

    to the orignal poster I would say reach out. Look around in the world of education and do not let this world of school reduce you to the tiny dimensions by which it would measure you. You are more than a sample of books, your children are more than they put on paper. YOur 3 dimensional lessons and your teaching heart can never be put into a 2 dimensional paper cage. Rage rage against the dying of the light which guides the teacher through our darkest times. The attempts to trap this splendid birthright of eah of us within a crystal lamp, to be owned, waved or extinguished in the hands of those who are blinded by the dazzle which comes from looking at so much white paper.

    Breathe deep and look for light. It is there.

    TEACHER

    I am the spirit of protection and love,
    I am the broad wing, the silver gill,
    I will not be lead by the bronze ring
    hooked through my nose
    by which you have supposed
    I would be lead contentedly.

    I am the trilling and the rilling
    of the high branched bird,
    I am the echo and the laughter
    in the far flung word,
    I am a river running to my sea:
    and you would dip a cup
    into my flow to measure me?

    Into that river children leap from a high rock,
    someone fishes, there is a sandy bank
    for dragonflies to dance, a chance to glance
    a sultan's stance of time,
    a pharaoh's pyrmaid of thought;
    this is the river run
    into your cup of quality?
    That you might guage my quantity?

    And I a river not a cup,
    a living leap and nothing less
    my outcome un-desired in tiny steps *
    do not address me by diminutive
    but exalt me in my name
    my struggle not to know, but be;
    not narrow but wide,
    not constricted but expanded,
    not small but immense.
     
  14. megsie

    megsie New commenter

    brilliant post, totally agree!
     
  15. I agree with the principle of trusting your teachers.
    Our books are looked at to assess the quality of our marking. Our planning, and whether we 'deliver planning' are not checked. The marking feedback has definitely led to teachers at my school taking more care and time over the marking they give. Don't know whether this would persist should the 'checks' stop - would like to think they would if the marking can be shown to have an impact on learning.
     
  16. What a brilliant response from you all. Thank you.
    I am not alone then in thinking that book scrutiny takes place and leaves us teachers feeling that we are not trusted to do our job properly. I will be getting a memo this morning to tell me which pupils' books to leave out and the SMT will go over them along with my Literacy planning with a fine tooth comb. As for feedback? If they're not happy it will be verbal feedback followed up with notes in a memo.But if it is to their satisfaction I'll just get a few notes on the original memo. Maybe.
     
  17. flickaz

    flickaz New commenter

    The way I see it is if you're doing your job properly then why should it matter who looks at your books or your planning or who comes and observes your lesson?
     
  18. We have regular book scrutinies. As far as I'm concerned if I'm doing the job properly I couldn't care less who comes and looks at my books and how often they want to look at them.
     
  19. How did it go prof harry?

    TO pink flip flops and others - you know if you are doing your job properly - the question is why are others being paid rather large (and inflated ) sums of money to oversee you. What right, training, experience, insight or deeper knowledge of the wider ins and outs of education do they have? DO they serve the children any better? CHildren who really need adult integrity, warmth and intellectual rigour to be liberally to be mixed in with their own burgeoning of the same.? At the talk face, not in the paper chase


    It is a distraction for us to say I don't care. I personally do care. I want to know why that person is considered apt a to do a taks (scrutinising) and to what values that person adheres, what is in their gut. how they treat children and how they see learning. WIthout that we cannot talk as equals and I did not go into teaching or spend lots of time reflecting on what I do and meeting children on their ground to have some formulaic monkey jumping up and down jabbing fingers at me or anyone else who does not sit on the same branch and contentedly eat the neatly packaged government bananas etc..

    You only need to look on these forums to see someone has sold us the lie that it is necessary and sense the cynicism and dimay in many teachers as they are caught up in a standards joke - that is't funny and that implies hours of work outside the classroom - hours that yes cut into family and social life, that cut into integrity and autonomy and that drain passion into a dank pool of resignation for what is an arguably smalll increase in 'achievement'. Saying that we accept it is tantamount to rolling over and playing dead. our teacher heart kaput, our inner compass disabled.

    what if as I said you chose to work out of the books and out or the box. Who is to say you are wrong? ONly your sense of professional integrity, your own search for answers and the childrens responses.

    .
     
  20. How did it go prof harry?

    TO pink flip flops and others - you know if you are doing your job properly - the question is why are others being paid rather large (and inflated ) sums of money to oversee you. What right, training, experience, insight or deeper knowledge of the wider ins and outs of education do they have? DO they serve the children any better? CHildren who really need adult integrity, warmth and intellectual rigour to be liberally to be mixed in with their own burgeoning of the same.? At the talk face, not in the paper chase


    It is a distraction for us to say I don't care. I personally do care. I want to know why that person is considered apt a to do a taks (scrutinising) and to what values that person adheres, what is in their gut. how they treat children and how they see learning. WIthout that we cannot talk as equals and I did not go into teaching or spend lots of time reflecting on what I do and meeting children on their ground to have some formulaic monkey jumping up and down jabbing fingers at me or anyone else who does not sit on the same branch and contentedly eat the neatly packaged government bananas etc..

    You only need to look on these forums to see someone has sold us the lie that it is necessary and sense the cynicism and dimay in many teachers as they are caught up in a standards joke - that is't funny and that implies hours of work outside the classroom - hours that yes cut into family and social life, that cut into integrity and autonomy and that drain passion into a dank pool of resignation for what is an arguably smalll increase in 'achievement'. Saying that we accept it is tantamount to rolling over and playing dead. our teacher heart kaput, our inner compass disabled.

    what if as I said you chose to work out of the books and out or the box. Who is to say you are wrong? ONly your sense of professional integrity, your own search for answers and the childrens responses.


    PS I scrutinise my onw books but books are not the learning. They are a small part of it. Engage in a reflective learning conversaion with a teacher as with a child and we are all equals -0 our fingers on the wonderful, rythmic pulse of life which is learning be that teacher or child. Anytihing less is not education its an official certificate to teacher seniltiy.



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