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HODs - first meeting back after six week hols, what do you do?

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by scentless_apprentice, Aug 30, 2011.

  1. Being still pretty green to the HOD game (one year under my belt) I'm interested in what fellow HODs do at the start of a new year.
    I want to use my first meeting back as a time to reflect on last year, but also I'm conscious that I don't want to beat staff with the stick that was our pretty unimpressive results. Obviously I don't want to ignore what went well and what didn't, but I also want to look forward to the coming year.
    Any thoughts?
  2. Cakes.

    Given that you want to have a discussion, a great idea by the way, it may still need some direction. Maybe ask everyone before the meeting to bring along two things. The first is something that went badly. The second is something that went well. Have a stopwatch and give them 1 minute to mention the bad thing, without interrupting them, and not going over the time limit. I think this would get everyone's moan out of the way early on. Then go over the good things, maybe without such a strict time limit.
    For the HOD part. I would still mention something bad. But when it cam to the good stuff I would make sure I mentioned something that everyone was a part of, or at least mentioned a pupil who'd done well, and make sure that every teacher had a pupil mentioned. So praise the A* pupil taught by Mr X, but also mention pupil who got a G (but was predicted less) taught by Mr Y.
  3. and try to finish quickly so people have time to sort out rooms etc.
    Maybe arrange a date for Xmas meal? or one before halfterm?
  4. maths126

    maths126 New commenter

    We always began with a 'round the table' catch-up on news from the holidays - where people went, who got married etc. Tea, cake and biscuits are good accompaniments for this!
    The next item on the Agenda was to agree a date for the Maths Dept Christmas Meal at the end of term.
    Summer results, having been duplicated and circulated already, were then open for discussion - what went well? Remembering of course, that the success of any particular class was as much down to the teachers of previous years as the teacher who had them in their exam year.
    Each Key Stage Co-Ordinator (KS3, KS4, KS5) then presented a quick review of the previous year (which may or not include the exam results analysis of which mathematicians never tire). Upcoming themes and dates (all the year's exam dates are already available of course by this stage) are then simply handed out to the team. Updates to schemes of work etc are also circulated at this stage, along with reminders for accessing relevant resources such as MyMaths, 10Ticks, MathsWatch, AutoGraph etc.
    HOD checks that everyone is clear about their timetable and class lists, and the first fortnight is gone over in detail with each year group in turn, particularly for the benefit of new staff. Questions about Dept policies (eg rewards, sanctions, homework) can be addressed here too. New supplies are handed out if this has not already been done, including planners and diaries as well as consumables for the classroom. People are then free to sort out their own paperwork and classrooms.
    HOD needs to be available to be around for any questions about any aspect of the new term.
  5. trinity0097

    trinity0097 New commenter

    For me my agenda will be
    1. Any relevant items from HOD meetings to pass on (all the HODs have a group meeting with the SMT the day before where things are raised that might need to be passed on)
    2. New planning format (showing them how to use the modern hyperlinks and my expectation that I want to them add in detail of page numbers in books!)
    3. Set Lists (finalising the sets for this year)
    4. Sharing good practice (a standing item on my agendas)
    5. AOB
  6. Show holiday pictures.
  7. googolplex

    googolplex Occasional commenter

    First meeting of the year is for
    <ol>[*]making sure they all have everything they need to set up their classes for the beginning of the year books, textbooks, equipment, schemes of work, etc.[*]You to set the tone of the year, point out/reinforce the developmental goals of the department, and remind them of their roles within that. </ol>I would make some references to exam results - headlines - but I wouldn't give chapter and verse at this point - that comes later in the term, when you've had a proper chance to analyse them. Even if you have analysed them already, this is the story I would follow - some of them need a chance to look at the results themselves.
    I wouldn't go in for any navel gazing, neither would I encourage too much by way of reflecting on last year. Look forwards, not back.
    In terms of the way I have structured my department, all the looking back/reflection was done last term in gained time when KS4/5 left. We used this to decide on our priorities, so my talk in (2) above will contain nothing that is new - however, it is important to set the tone of the year. If you want them to share in your goals/aspirations, then be ready to talk about them as often as possible.


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