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Worried about going back after results

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by ps4mint, Aug 24, 2019.

  1. Hi all,
    I started as HoD in September at a secondary school. Results were ok last september. I have taught one class for Y11 but the GCSE results this year were disappointing. All class residuals similar between classes.
    I'm concerned about going back and worried about how people are going to deal with me as I've never been through a results situation before in this current school.
    I've done question by question analysis from the exam board website, and from this created an action plan - it's all in one document with three main objectives which I plan to implement from the outset of the academic year.
    Does anyone have any advice on how to get through this period?
    Thanks in advance!
  2. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Well frstly you've started with your 'breakdown analysis and how to address the issues for next year. That 'tackles' SMT.
    As to colleagues, plan when you want to meet with them, individually or as a group, or even both? Make sure you are really positive, thanking staff for their efforts, so no-one feels you're riding roughshod over them and all they've tried to do, but stress you all need to do better and that opens the opportunity to share your new plan. Think how soon you'd want to 'monitor how effective the new measures are and which targets will be monitored when,

    Having said that remember sometimes one has poor year cohorts, or too many students who fail to revise adequately and perform below expectation, so next year could be better (or worse) with exactly the same teaching/ expectations. Was your 'target & achievement' realistic, given the actual cohort? I remember one year a HoD being given a 70% 'target' which she, and we, knew with that particular year group was unattainable, so you need to look at what your realistic targets are for next year and 'fight your corner' with SMT/SLT.
    install, JohnJCazorla, bonxie and 7 others like this.
  3. averagedan

    averagedan Occasional commenter

    All I'm expected to have is lists of:

    Interventions with the previous year group
    An evaluation of those interventions
    Question level and teacher level analyses
    Areas to work on in the coming year based on weaknesses identified

    Then again my current head is thoroughly reasonable.
  4. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Be brave - we've all been there - you'll be fine.

    For god's sake don't do anything silly like offer to resign.

    I'm sure other middle leaders in your school have the same issues.
  5. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I can't imagine anyone is going to 'deal with you' in any way at all. What did you do with regard to your previous HODs in other schools? What did they do? I can guarantee the world will still turn and life will go on.
    Sounds plenty. Now all you have to do is think how positively to involve your department in this. You need their input on what they can realistically do differently and what they think the issues could have been.
    Relax and enjoy the last week of the holidays. You sound as if you have worked incredibly hard for the last few days, so leave it now and enjoy what's left.
  6. tenpast7

    tenpast7 Occasional commenter

    Yet another example of Teachers "carrying the can" for young adults.
    Stay strong, Teaching is only one part of the equation !
  7. steely1

    steely1 Occasional commenter

    I agree with all of the above - very good advice. Do not panic. We've all had good and bad years of results.

    I was in a similar position to you this time last year, having been a new HOD at my school for only a year or so, so it was the first "proper" set of GCSE results under my leadership. The issue was it was also the first year of the reformed 9-1 GCSEs for us, so the school was somewhat in the dark as to what to expect - the only given was that this was a school expecting the vast majority of its pupils to come out with 7, 8 and 9s. When we had a much longer tail than anticipated, SLT was not happy and I was called into impromptu meetings. They didn't go as far as wanting my resignation (!) but they did want reassurance that I had a strategy in place in terms of evaluating that summer's exam results and planning for improvement this summer. I won't lie - it was a demoralising time but, upon reflection, I can see that what they wanted from me was a clear plan of action.

    Therefore, everything you have said you've planned to do sounds exactly right. The very fact that you have identified your next steps very clearly and sensibly already suggests to me that you are a good and effective HOD. So be confident and hold your head high in your next steps with SLT. Accentuate the positives with the results you have had but be clear and decisive in proposing how you intend to act upon the tail.
  8. hhhh

    hhhh Lead commenter

    So much for teachers and their long holidays! I'm pretty sure that my teachers didn't spend agesblaming themselves (or worrying that they might be blamed). Or maybe they did? Teaching often attracts caring people, who worry a lot, but please don't spoil your holidays for yourself or your family.
    steely1 and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  9. afterdark

    afterdark Lead commenter

    Two things.
    If you did year 11, who did year 10? Most GCSE's are taken 2 year courses. I take it that this year's results are not all your teaching is it?
    But what were the residuals last year? I assume that you mean between something like the CEM average and the actual achievement of the students.
    Remember CEM data is not a prediction and it was never intended to be used as a target.

    The problem is often pronouns. They are not your results. They are the results of a group of students.

    Did all the students work equally hard?
    I doubt it.

    Did all the students start from exactly the same knowledge set? Highly unlikely.

    Remember to look across the subjects. Did students who did unexpectly less than expected also get less in other subjects?
    steely1 likes this.
  10. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    I hate the post exams analysis - utterly pointless - children are not robots.

    I haven't really thought about school yet. I intend to enjoy my last week of holiday.
  11. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    Wouldn’t worry about last year’s results, there’s nothing can be done now. Just focus on the year ahead.

    Get out and enjoy the sunshine...
  12. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    I haven't even looked at my timetable yet.

    I'll probably go into school next Tuesday to sort out my room for the new year though
  13. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I started my room on Friday, but that's because I've made quite huge changes to the layout and provision.
    Will finish it on Tuesday.

    Then Weds/Thus thinking a bit about planning and timetable...and reading any emails that have arrived over the summer.

    That's it!
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  14. ps2mint

    ps2mint New commenter

    Thank you very much everyone for the replies. It's reassured me and made me feel better.

    I am going to meet with my department first day back as we have allocated time, thank them etc for their hard work last year and then share my intended actions going forward.

    Also got spreadsheets of pupils who were one or two Mark's off the next grade. Never know, 2 or 3 of these changing in a positive direction could make a difference!

    Thanks you again and hope you are all enjoying the warm weather!
  15. Eflmeister

    Eflmeister Occasional commenter

    Even this seems a lot to me. Glad I don't have to bother anymore to be honest. Unless questions are of similar types each year e.g. essays etc then question level analysis won't always tell you much.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  16. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    Are you just looking at the results in isolation? We all have 'bad' years but one thing I would do is to compare the students' grade in your subject and compare that with the average grade they got overall. If you're good at spreadsheets then you can amend your results spreadsheet and have your analysis done in an hour or so. Or you could compare the average grade students got in your subject and compare that to the grades in other subjects. With all the results data there must be some analysis that puts a positive spin on your results.

    Alternatively you could go into your results 'interview' with SLT fully prepared listing the things you did as a department to support weaker students, the analyses you've done over the summer break and your plans for what you intend to do next year.
    alexmurraybrown and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  17. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    I went in this morning to do a bit of tidying up and see if my computer still works (it does). I'm under no illusions about this upcoming school year - no printing allowed - one day a week out of my room and into an unsuitable one and dealing with the fact that my colleague has most of the top GCSE sets because he cannot handle other classes very well.

    The school is in a right state as well - so much building work going on and only a few days left before the start of term.
  18. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Are you serious???????
    None at all?
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  19. drek

    drek Star commenter

    I remember doing absolutely no work the year before the finals. I remember dreading parent's day (yes day not late evening after school.........can anyone imagine that?)
    Sheer embarrassment made me work harder the next year. And boom...up went my results
    I had the same teachers both years. So the difference was my own attitude and effort. All a part of growing up and taking responsibility (with a good bollicking or two thrown in).
    How times have changed...(for the worse)..Now it is teachers who seem to be forced to go through feelings of teenage angst every year and teenagers who come out of school confident they know where to lay the blame for any perceived 'failure'.
    They have no idea what the current levels mean, no idea of the work needed to do well, no one to give them a proverbial kick up the doo da when needed, in case it harms their 'well being'.
    But look how hard our middle leaders and senior leaders are working/worrying right now on how to produce action plans for themsrlves and teachers so they can work even 'smarter' and 'harder' next year........
    I would say Im looking forward to the first two days of inset but owing to another lesson I learnt well as a youngster...I can't....
    tenpast7 and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  20. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    What were the results like for the year groups other subjects? Could have been a bad year group!
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.

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