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Starting HOD post in sept - advice

Discussion in 'Heads of department' started by mrGundam, Jun 17, 2019.

  1. mrGundam

    mrGundam New commenter

    Morning all,

    I am an experienced teacher commencing the role of HOD in a small (just myself and possibly one other) this September in a small independent secondary school.

    I was wondering if anyone had any advice on what to prioritise over the summer break? Although tempting to start making changes to overall schemes of work I am reluctant to make too many changes until I have a term under my belt and have a feel for the students and school environment.

    I have my day visit next week and starting to compile a list of things I need to find out when there to enable me to hit the ground running so to speak come September. Any advice?

    Items so far:
    - Timetable
    - Existing schemes of work / resources
    - Department budget and timeframe for procurement
    - CPD / Performance management structure
    - Calendar of events
    - Reporting / Assessment cycle
    - School laptop (iPad Pro) to familiarise myself
    - Access to school email

  2. fingertapper

    fingertapper New commenter

    Do you already work in the independent sector?
  3. strawbs

    strawbs Established commenter

    - behaviour/reward policy - is there a whole school one
    - you mentioned CPD - again. is whole school lead or free rein for depts to organise, what budget is there for this
    - what links are there with feeder schools/primaries
    - what G&T stuff does the school do - eg JMC type things etc
    - re: resources - what websites/subscriptions and when do they run out
    mrGundam likes this.
  4. mrGundam

    mrGundam New commenter

    Not at the moment but I have previously internationally.

    Great ideas thanks.
  5. NIHistoryTeacher

    NIHistoryTeacher New commenter

    Over the holiday prioritise your break and going back refreshed and ready to hit the ground running.
  6. tb9605

    tb9605 Occasional commenter

    If it is just you and one other member of staff, I'd say why not make changes to overall schemes of work, especially if you can import all the resources? If what you have is better than what's there now, then do it.

    I changed curricula straight away and I'm not regretting it - results jumped immediately (and I think the students appreciate it to).

    Otherwise your list plus Strawbs' look pretty comprehensive.

    Good luck.
    mrGundam likes this.
  7. ViolaClef

    ViolaClef Lead commenter

    Because you might need to be sensitive to the other member of staff’s point of view?

    When starting somewhere new, even if you are in charge, I think it’s important to watch and listen to start with. You don’t know who you might be upsetting, whose toes you might be treading on or how many apple carts you might be tipping over if you do or say things without finding out first. You need a good professional relationship with the other member of staff. Cultivating that should be high on your list of priorities.
  8. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    The best advice is to do nothing except watch, listen, discuss and understand until Christmas.

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