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What would you change if you were head?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by MonstieBags, Apr 11, 2019.

  1. MonstieBags

    MonstieBags Occasional commenter

    1. planning
    there wouldd be no planning documents for weekly/daily lessons. Teachers would createvtheirmedium term plan and work from that - no format specfically.

    2. marking
    where feasible, children would mark her own work and teachers would review this quickly decidin wetheror not the learning objective had been met. this would defiie beginning of the next lesson.

    where student marking was not feasible, teachers would mark to the point at which they ere able to deduce if lo had been met
    this would define objectives for next lesson

    If you enjoy them - feel free - they are not an NUT teacher requirement so stick something up the will last all year

    working walls
    the more the teacher does, the less the pupil does
    The less the pupil does, the less the pupil learns
    replace working walls with note books into which pupils write what would have been on the working wall- that way, they have it in front of them and they have ownership
    if you type it live onto whiteboard - any kids still struggling to get it down can have a printout = children need to own their learning - the more teachers do, the less children learn
  2. MonstieBags

    MonstieBags Occasional commenter

    Oh, and premise 1 - my teachers are amazing, they know the children and want to do their best for them
  3. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    We have this already.
    Better still have small classes, so the teacher can get round everyone in the lesson and know what everyone has done. Marking is then completely unnecessary. We have this in my school as well.
    As a head, I'd ensure all teachers are fully up to date with what the union does and does not do. (And what they are called!) I'd recommend that the local group hold their meetings in my school and try to ensure that all staff who want to can attend.
    The NEU may recommend that teachers don't put up displays, but they don't dictate school policy.
    Working walls are basically the flipchart paper from the lesson dumped on the wall rather than in a heap on the floor by the teacher's desk. Useful if they have something to refer back to, otherwise not. The best thing about 'working walls' in that there is no requirement to mount the work.

    Changes I'd make:
    1. Ensure all staff are lovely, decent people and not into gossip and bullying.
    2. Ensure that ppa time is blocked and that staff can go off site or home to take it.
    3. Ensure emails have automatic out of hours replies for all staff for evenings, weekends and school holidays. If staff want to send and reply to emails they can, but the out of hours reply will make it clear they are not expected to do so.
    4. Extend breaktimes and lunchtimes to give a good long amount of time for play outside.
    5. Ensure that a decent amount of time in every lesson is practical or discussion. Children, imo, spend too much time writing.

    Obviously the fly in the ointment would be that I'd be head and so the school would be a disaster...but I can dream!
  4. digoryvenn

    digoryvenn Lead commenter

    You would make a great head caterpillar. Are you still applying for deputy headships?

    I don't know how you would ensure your first change!

    I introduced your 2,3,4 and 5 changes into the school I was head of. I also didn't insist on weekly planning and had a HLTA in charge of displays with dedicated time to do them, with teacher input if they wanted to give it..

    Unfortunately, I couldn't manage number 1! That was my meteoric downfall!
  5. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Hmmm, how to say this...?
    My current career trajectory is in a very, very slightly better state than yours, but only very slightly.
    And caused similar situations and circumstances.

    Hey ho!
    As the song goes "As long as I know how to live, I know I'll stay alive. I've got all my life to live. I've got all my love to give. I will survive. I Will Survive!"
    nomad likes this.
  6. digoryvenn

    digoryvenn Lead commenter

    Oh no, no, no, caterpillar. I am so sorry to hear this!
    This shouldnt be happening; I hope you still have a job.

    Of course you will survive.
  7. celago22

    celago22 Established commenter

    Mainly a marking policy which doesn't require nearly 3 hours of marking every day!
  8. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Wishing you both well.
  9. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I do indeed, and that's the part that makes my career in a very slightly better state than yours.

    There are worse workplaces for sure, but bullies can win what they want in the nicest of places, given some power and influence.
    digoryvenn likes this.
  10. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    You need to move schools!
    Pomza likes this.
  11. celago22

    celago22 Established commenter

    That's the plan! I don't mind marking as I know it needs to be done but the marking policy is too intense (everything has to be in depth marked and there's no evidence to suggest it moves children's learning on).
  12. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    No it doesn't. I've spent much of my career marking just enough to keep the relevant SLT happy and ignoring everything else. There is very, very little point to actually sitting there 'marking' books.

    Feeding back to children, absolutely.
    Marking, nope.

    Find a school that doesn't 'mark' and be enlightened.
    There are quite a few around now and the idea is growing. :)
    drvs, Pomza and digoryvenn like this.
  13. TheOracleAtDelphi

    TheOracleAtDelphi Established commenter

    Tell that to my last school!
    This! 100%

    You sound like you would be a great head. I'm sorry to hear that things are difficult for you and digoryvenn and hope things start looking up soonest!
  14. drvs

    drvs Star commenter

    My attitude to marking and feedback is very similar to yours - working hours are better spent planning, resourcing and teaching than ploughing through marking which only adds value to book scrutinies.

    Slightly scarily, the slow turning cogs in my current indie school are beginning to take an interest in 2 colour pen marking (!) - a couple of the core subject heads think its great and there's a marking policy review just around the corner. Should be interesting. Needless to say, I won't be doing it whatever the new policy says :)
  15. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Mine are talking about consistency in planning and marking... I'm staying in early years!!! ;)

    Lots of practical work means less daft marking.
    Win for pupils and teachers alike then! :)

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