Well, I fooled them.
I’ve made it through my first week as Deputy Head without too many disasters.
True, there was all the Year 11s (except 1) without timetables! I still don’t know how I managed to tell the computer to print off the whole school but miss out the year 11s. It’s a mystery because that one boy had his …. Timetable fairies are out and about!
I’d forgotten that in September I’d have to field phone-calls from parents of pupils who had moved down a group. I am totally sympathetic to the cause but they have to understand that only 32 pupils at most can be in the group labelled ‘top’. I think we create additional problems in our school because all our other ‘sets’ in Years 7, 8 and 9 are mixed ability and the majority of our teachers haven’t got their heads around differentiation.
I’ve also had to sort out the mess caused by 8 students going to college for one or two days a week to study BTECs and Young Apprenticeships. Most of them miss a double PE lesson and one of either RE or Citizenship per week; however there are three of them missing Maths and either English or Science. If I was one of those parents I’d be livid and yet I haven’t heard much at all. Considering how much hassle it was to get them on the course and make it so they only missed 3 or 4 lessons I am glad that I haven’t had to apologise too much.
I am happy overall – if only the kids (and parents) knew just how much time and effort went into their timetable and curriculum.
I cannot believe how little work I’ve done over these holidays. It’s incredible. I’ve never had a summer like it. Normally there are things know I can spend a few days doing here and there.
This year I’ve done NOTHING. I’ve worked so hard in my first year at my new school that I just needed a complete and utter rest.
The most work I’ve done for many weeks is the ironing – up until today yesterday anyway. Well actually that’s not true, I did spend our anniversary weekend away (we were going to a friend’s wedding anyway, it’s 5 years of marriage and so it seemed sensible to make a big deal of it) stuffing envelopes with letters telling the former Year 11s when to come into school for their exam results. We ‘lost’ our examinations officer in the last week of the summer term and it feels a bit like déjà vu as we didn’t have one this time last year (except that this time I sort of know what I’m doing). The kids were in at 10.00am, I just finished talking to the local reporter in time to guide him to the two pupils with 23 GCSEs including 18 A and A* grades between them. I also entrusted the other deputy (!) to use my video camcorder to record the happy and sad faces of pupils as they got their results. I had a desk for the 8 pupils who had just missed getting 5 A*-C grades who we think we can help through remarks and sitting the Adult Literacy and Numeracy online tests (guess what I’m doing later today?!) Our results have basically stayed the same (which isn’t what we needed but was more than I’d hoped for). If we can build on this we’ll get where we really ought to be next year.
I’ve only really been back in school for a couple of days and I’m already feeling exhausted, thank goodness for the bank holiday weekend.
So next Friday is Year 6 induction day.
We get them and their parents in on the Thursday evening – I so need to finish my speech !
They have lessons and meet their Heads of House on the Friday (I so need to finish THAT timetable).
We disguise it as induction but from my point of view it’s all about assessment (they have online tests, English Department gets a sample of their handwriting, they do group work and listening in Music) and then I can start putting them into sets.
EVERY member of staff has been told to tell us of anyone that stands out (good or bad) – forewarned is forearmed after all!
It’s a nice day really, the only thing that never gets better is 150 little children calling “miss miss” all day – there was a reason I never went into Primary School teaching!