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English books VS learning journals/curriculum books

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by CharlotteColeman, Jul 18, 2018.


English books vs curriculum books/ learning journals

Poll closed Aug 1, 2018.
  1. English books

    10 vote(s)
  2. Curriculum books/ learning journals

    4 vote(s)
  1. CharlotteColeman

    CharlotteColeman New commenter

    I have fairly recently moved schools and at my new school they use learning journals where all work apart from maths goes into one book. To me this isn’t the best way of working as English in particular gets lost within everything else and it’s harder to show continuity and progression. Therefore I am trying to persuade the headteacher to change the approach. Is there any data out there to support my view? Has research been done in this area? What are other people’s thoughts?
  2. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Hope this isn't your real name.
    Laphroig, BetterNow and BioEm like this.
  3. Flanks

    Flanks Senior commenter

    Part of the issue both maths and English have is the insistence on then being taught completely separately.

    We know learning is associative, a learning journal which supports such associations being made, seems to me to be an excellent way of avoiding the main issue of arguing with teachers to try and make them work more collaboratively between subjects.

    Obviously some teachers here do this. I am sure you realise you are in a minority, please do not take offense.
  4. ralphee11

    ralphee11 New commenter

    I'm quite torn on this. I think it completely depends on a schools approach. Will you be teaching a topic to focus all work around? Or will you have separate topics for each subject?

    If it's all going to be focused on the same subject then actually I think this approach is nicer as it all joins together and is a great way to show learning across the whole curriculum. If however it's all different topics then it's going to look very jumbled up and a bit of a mess for when the big O arrive.
    agathamorse likes this.

    ROSIEGIRL Lead commenter

    You could also post this on the Primary forum.
  6. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    We moved to having everything in one book a couple of years ago. It's fab and I'd hate to go back to having 96 zillion different books.
    Marking is dead easy, only one heap of books to carry about
    Links between subjects are clear
    Saves having half a dozen half filled books at the end of the year
    Progress is really obvious

    I would tell you no if I was your new head.
    Why not try it for a term or two before you refuse to join in with the new school?
  7. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    I'm trying to sift out your motivation for wanting the change, and I cannot see that it is learning based.
    You talk of "showing" continuity and progression. You don't talk of the children experiencing it. You also talk of evidencing the worth of it in terms of data, which we all know is edu speak for "how to get your own way" rather than "how to prove it's good for the kids"
    Therefore I'm wondering whether it relates to a particular remit you have eg a possible pm target, or a distinct role you have in the school.
    If so, why not suggest that there is a separate "showcase" book for the kids's English, in which selected pieces appear? This could work in many ways-a book per kid, a book per class, a book per room.
    You don't need to sell an idea with data-tell your HT that it will provide valuable and accessible evidence of what the school does. Tell your HT that there can be a reward system based around it, or that parents can come and look at them. Whatever.

    Trying to prove it's better for the kids when somebody has already made that decision is tricky if you're only new...
  8. kjh498

    kjh498 Occasional commenter

    I totally agree with the poster. that sounds odd. how do you decide which teacher is taking home the books to mark? what if you flick back to your last piece of work to peer assess it and there's a ton of other work in between. who keeps hold of the books? I assume the kids- bet they get lost a lot.
  9. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    I assume it is a primary school so all work is marked by the one class teacher.
  10. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    One book. Less to lose. Less to go astray. Less for the child to have to worry about.

    And very important for all the teachers to see if there's much variation in the standard. In case they show a significant dip in one curriculum area. That'd be a worry.
    agathamorse likes this.
  11. CharlotteColeman

    CharlotteColeman New commenter

    Just a fan of the actress.
  12. CharlotteColeman

    CharlotteColeman New commenter

    Your post made me laugh because there is an element if truth in what you say. However, I think it’s easier to take children on an exciting journey when they remember where they have been and
  13. CharlotteColeman

    CharlotteColeman New commenter

    Your post made me laugh because there is an element of truth in what you say, in the sense that I want to get my own way. (Who doesn’t] However, I think it’s easier to take children on an exciting journey when they remember where they have been and the work is easy to refer to. I honestly think English books are better for raising standards and editing work. Children also feel greater pride when can see a whole piece of work. I am focused on the children's learning.

    There us no ulterior motive here. I have no target relating to this. I think we could be better at what we do, as a school, and I wanted to hear other opinions.

    Sorry about the disjointed reply- I got timed out of the post!
  14. CharlotteColeman

    CharlotteColeman New commenter

    There is one over arching topic but as with most themes it doesn't fit every subject so not everything can be linked.
  15. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    We still have a few different books, but no written marking...
  16. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    I wonder if it might be practicable to use those little post-it notes (the page marker ones) to indicate English work or maths etc? It wouldn't work for KS1, but for older pupils it might. But then they would fall off and get everywhere... No, bad idea, I suspect!
    agathamorse likes this.
  17. becky70

    becky70 Occasional commenter

    There are pros and cons to both. Unless you are joining the school as a member of SLT and/or English subject leader your head is unlikely to listen to your views on the subject. Are the school happy with how English is going at present? Are results good?
    We have separate books for English and always have. We are wrestling with the dilemma of improving links with other subjects!
    agathamorse likes this.

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