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Rubbish Timetable

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by curlcurlcurl, Jun 25, 2019.

  1. curlcurlcurl

    curlcurlcurl Occasional commenter

    We’ve just been given our new timetables for Sept. Mine is looking strange. The strangest I’ve ever had.

    I teach a core subject and the new timetable does have a mix of key stages. However, I have three of one year group in one Key Stage and two of another year group at a different Key Stage. It’s just very odd as it’s usually one of each class per year, sometimes less one year group.

    I’m a little concerned this will leave me snowed under at assessment points. Should I raise it with my HoD or is it reasonable? It means by the end of week 1 in September I will have 90 baseline assessments to mark with a very short turnaround.
  2. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    You will be snowed under at some points, but smilingly happy at others.
    Report writing, if your school uses comment banks/cut and paste, will be simpler.
    Planning will be simpler.

    Do you like teaching the two year groups you have been given?
    If so, keep quiet and enjoy it.
    If not, ask questions and see what's what.
    steely1, bonxie, jlishman2158 and 3 others like this.
  3. blue451

    blue451 Lead commenter

    Depending on subject and setting, teaching several groups in the same year can mean one set of planning for three classes* with only minor adjustments. Some schools I've worked at have used this system for exactly that reason.

    I would raise the concerns about timescales for assessments/reports or whatever to see what accommodation if any can be made, but there are positives.

    *You don't, of course, mention this bit. With differentiation you will need just as much planning time as previously.
  4. curlcurlcurl

    curlcurlcurl Occasional commenter

    Yes I have no qualms about teaching the year groups in question. Not particularly worried about the planning and teaching aspect. More the assessment hotspots. Perhaps the way to go is to do what @blue451 said and raise the concerns about timescales and see what solutions there might be.
    bonxie and jlishman2158 like this.
  5. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    You could introduce the idea of teachers marking other class' assessments.
    So, if you have year 7, other people mark some of those papers and you mark some of the year 8 and 9 ones.
    Just organise it in the department and it will spread the workload and probably be seen as good practice.
  6. 8sycamore

    8sycamore Occasional commenter

  7. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    Limited parents evenings, report writing. If it comes to y11 significant gain time....

    If you can’t accept the assessment points, talk about it. It’s not unreasonable as such, just the way it is??
  8. curlcurlcurl

    curlcurlcurl Occasional commenter

    Didn’t even think of the parents’ evening bonus. That’s a good shout. Ok so lots more positives than I’d initially thought and maybe a discussion about how things can be made more manageable come assessment time.

    Thank you all for your thoughts!
  9. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    Looks OK to me - a bit "lumpy" but not impossible. At asessment hotspots, can't you get some of the classes to do the specific piece a weekor two earlier than the others? This may not work in your subject, though.
  10. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Yes, and raise it now:

    'Hi HoD, as you will know form my timetable for next year I am to have 3 classes in Y... and two in Y which will mean that the normal deadlines for assessment points at ... and .... will need some tweaking to work as I will have .....students to assess. Can I suggest an extra ....weeks/day, making the new deadlines... and ....'

    Or similar!
  11. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    You can also look at trades, especially if any colleagues have timetables unbalanced in a different direction - so they take some of your baseline assessments off you, and you help them when they have three sets of year 8 exams.
  12. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    There could be a myriad of reasons, maybe you have a KS3 TLR so have several Y8 classes - go figure! Generally unless the timetabler has been on the shrooms there’s a good reason and it’ll be swings and roundabouts.
    jlishman2158 likes this.
  13. Lalex123

    Lalex123 Occasional commenter

    I teach everyone in the school. Count yourself lucky you only teach a few classes in selected year groups.

    It might even help you with planning. When I teach the same lesson to each class in year 7, I get better at it and the students achieve much more because I’m self reflective and adapt.
  14. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    There’s swings and roundabouts arent there? As has been pointed out there are benefits.... reports, parents evenings and limited planning.

    I wouldn’t be giving you a great deal of help with managing assessments.... like I say, swings and roundabouts.

    That being said, if the negatives outweigh the positives, then say something. Well within your rights.

    There are benefits and drawbacks though, and you can’t expect your cake........
  15. Happygopolitely

    Happygopolitely Established commenter

    Look at others timetables. Do they have the same. The biggest worry would be if you have 2 Yr10 Exam yr gps or 2 Yr11 Exam yr gps. That would be too much if no one else has the same exam go pressure.

    Yes - see Hod. It sounds stressful already.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  16. Progressnerd

    Progressnerd Occasional commenter

    You have your timetable? Lucky you! ;)

    I'm in the private sector but was given 3 year 7 classes and 2 year 8 this year with very minimal KS4. It was a pain when having to mark year 7 exam week etc but not so bad when year ten and 11 exams rolled around.

    There's always going to be something that isn't great on a timetable - I loathe sharing classes but it's part and parcel now it seems.

    In my third year of teaching I had 4 different classes only once a week. It was a nightmare. I don't think I learnt their names until Christmas.
    agathamorse likes this.
  17. border_walker

    border_walker Lead commenter

    Don't really see the problem. Some teachers have far more than this often mostly exam classes.
  18. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    That's inevitable in some core subjects - in every school I've worked in, the number of exam groups has been one more than the fte number of staff in maths - so unless there have been part-timers who both did GCSE, or someone borrowed from another department, someone had two groups. However my HoDs always made sure that the person concerned had a lighter load elsewhere, and we helped them out when mocks needed marking.
    agathamorse likes this.
  19. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    fwiw the momentum of marking the same piece over four sets means it takes you less than twice the time of marking two sets.

    (Guess which core subject I teach...)
  20. Happygopolitely

    Happygopolitely Established commenter

    It isn't inevitable if there are enough staff. In my experience teachers having 2 gcse groups or more in yr11 cannot sustain their worload due to the unfair pressure put upon them. Imagine if 2 gcse gps represented 50% of the cohort? That would be a step too far - and then even worse if the teacher dared to be ill..

    The issue here is fairness, support and work/life balance. I woud chat with hod to check it is fair and practical.

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