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New HOD - First meeting :/

Discussion in 'Heads of department' started by Geo_Marz, Jun 9, 2017.

  1. Geo_Marz

    Geo_Marz New commenter

    Hi everyone, I was hoping to get some advice from fellow HOD's. I am new to the role of HoD in a new school I will be starting in. I will be having my first Dept meeting (Geography) and feel a little nervous. I am not sure what I should cover, especially what information I should request from the school beforehand regarding my dept. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. There are 4 in total, 2 NQT's and an LP. Thank you.
     
  2. muso2

    muso2 Occasional commenter Community helper

    I think it's unusual to be asked to lead a meeting for a dept you're not yet leading (others may not think so?). I guess you need to find out about current SoW and exam courses, timetables, etc, but I'd personally feel happier having one-to-one meetings to speak to each of the members, esp as the NQTs will have less background about these. Can you speak to your new line manager and see if there's anything they would like you to cover? They must have some kind of agenda in mind to have asked you to do this.
     
  3. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Check everyone is happy with the long term plan and distribution of topics. It seems an ideal time to change them if you as a dept want to.
    Make sure everyone is crystal clear about these.
    Check any exam syllabuses are available and schemes from them are in place.
    Decide on behaviour support within the dept. Can the NQTs send naughties to you? (Hopefully yes is the answer!)

    Get from the school any whole school expectation of behaviour, homework, monitoring, etc and then discuss as a dept and decide what these will look like in practice.

    Sounds like a great opportunity to make the dept yours and build a fabulous team. Good luck.
     
    muso2 likes this.
  4. Trendy Art

    Trendy Art Star commenter

    Congratulations on your new post.

    I would advocate having 1:1 discussions with the team prior to the department meeting.

    Ask them what they see as their strengths or areas they would like to improve in their teaching/practice. Consider also what they think could be priorities for department improvement. Use the priorities as part of the agenda, identify any common themes for the meeting. Select those that make the most impact, presenting a vision that incorporates their ideas and your own.

    This way you connect with their concerns, have buy-in and shown you are a leader that listens to move that team forward.
     
  5. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    more than anything make the meeting useful time. Get things done rather than coming up with a long list for busy teachers to do later!
     
    crazypineapple likes this.
  6. Geo_Marz

    Geo_Marz New commenter

    They have asked me to come into school for a day this term to meet with the department and they have asked for the NQT's to come in also, so I assume I will be having a meeting with the department, maybe an informal one. Thanks for your reply.
     
  7. Geo_Marz

    Geo_Marz New commenter

    Thank you all for your input. You have given me some good ideas, especially about the 1:1, quite obvious but didn't cross my mind! It is exciting but also pretty daunting. Looking forward to working with the NQT's too.
     
  8. SundaeTrifle

    SundaeTrifle Occasional commenter

    All of the above. Think through in advance of what is really necessary for you and them to gain from this first meeting. Then prepare an agenda, I always find this step focuses my thoughts pre meeting and gives structure to the meeting. Then send them the agenda in advance, this is important for other participants then they can also mentally prepare for the meeting. Makes everyone feel secure and organised.
     
    crazypineapple and Geo_Marz like this.
  9. ScienceGuy

    ScienceGuy Occasional commenter

    You may find that part of your meeting agenda will be set by your SLT e.g. analysis of results, new whole school initiatives. For the rest, I would suggest that your focus has got to be to make sure that everyone knows what they will be teaching at the start of term and that all the resources necessary for this are available e.g. exercise books, set lists
     
    Geo_Marz likes this.
  10. freckle06

    freckle06 Lead commenter

    Remember cake!

    I have two new teachers joining my dept in Sept who are not specialists, along with two excellent teachers and myself. I have printed copies of the dept aims and values, LTP, MTP and STP for KS3. I will also print the planning for the first units of work for KS4. I plan also to distribute resources - coloured pencils and glue go a long way with geography teachers!
     
  11. krisgreg30

    krisgreg30 Occasional commenter

    Just living up to the stereotype here :p:)
     
    freckle06 likes this.
  12. freckle06

    freckle06 Lead commenter

    No, truly we love colouring pencils! Someone swiped my box and it still peeves me!
     
    krisgreg30 likes this.
  13. krisgreg30

    krisgreg30 Occasional commenter

    I'd be quite peeved about that.
     
  14. freckle06

    freckle06 Lead commenter

    It's also made my lessons impossible to teach. Try doing layer shading without any colours! It's a very important lesson for Year 7 to learn how to colour a map properly....:p
     
    krisgreg30 likes this.
  15. krisgreg30

    krisgreg30 Occasional commenter

    I'll ensure my Year 6's practise this more so they are Year 7 ready when they leave ;)
     
  16. freckle06

    freckle06 Lead commenter

    Yes please! You'd be amazed what the children don't know when they arrive. It's like they've never seen a map, let alone tried to read one or colour one!
     
    krisgreg30 likes this.
  17. krisgreg30

    krisgreg30 Occasional commenter

    I love maps so they have to look at them lots.
     
  18. freckle06

    freckle06 Lead commenter

    If you don't have it, try digimap for schools. It's the OS for schools, you can zoom in, look at aerial maps, write on them, measure distance. It's wonderful!
     
    krisgreg30 likes this.
  19. krisgreg30

    krisgreg30 Occasional commenter

    Our Geography subject leader paid for it last month. It's incredible!! Even been using it in maths for translation.
     

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