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.

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!

Have I been a bit negative recently? I’m reading Libby’s post about her being called a miserable cow and wondering if I’m in danger of being called the same because of my conveyance of my current school experiences!  

Uplifting

I’m just starting to plan a very positive school event and I thought I’d try to sound a bit more upbeat. I’m planning the final fine detail for our Year 6 transition Parents evening and the subsequent pupil induction day.

I’m just finishing my part in the first of a series of  ‘learning walks’.

The Local Authority inspectors are starting us off.

They’re in today and tomorrow to observe lessons and work with Heads of Department and Senior Leaders to see ‘how learning is progressing’.  I’ve done some observations of science and maths and am about to sample some Year 7 books to see how pupils have recorded their learning.

It doesn’t sound too scary to me as a teacher. Even if  I know my lessons and books aren’t perfect (as they’re not) I always welcome the chance to reflect and discuss the teaching and learning going on in my classrooms.

There have been several horrific incidents involving knives in my school’s local area.   We’ve had a few scares with pupils bringing knives into school and a pupil being cut with what we think was a blade but as we haven’t been able to find the perpetrator I cannot say for sure.  

Pilot searches

We’ve bought some hand-held metal detectors, one for each of the senior leadership team and planned a pilot scanning of one class  

Friday Period 4 the four of us (including Sarah our fantastic bursar, more of her another time) walked into the Year 9 class, scanners akimbo …….

Following on from Libby’s post on governors’ visits it so happens that on Wednesday I was at the teaching and learning sub-committee where I represent the Head.  We’re just formulating new policy on visits and have produced guidance and a simple evaluation form for staff and link-governors.

It starts with a paragraph about Governors being the employees of all school staff, far too many mentions of my school and the Education authority to keep that in! I’ve changed the name of the school for the rest of the time, so from now on I’m working at Our Lady’s; the chosen name being my only nod to my working in a church school.

Link governors’ visits to subject areas 

Do you have to be a good teacher to be a good subject leader?   I did a lesson observation on an acting subject leader and gave him some ‘satisfactory’ grades. He did not like that at all.  

In one sense that’s understandable, nobody likes to be labelled anything less than ‘good’ or ‘excellent BUT he said that he didn’t think he could be a credible subject leader unless he was good in the classroom. I didn’t agree but it got me thinking about myself and some other subject leaders I know.

Today was typical, BIG huge English exam, another candidate to cause me paperwork: bold as brass, end of the exam, as he walk out of the Exam Hall he gets his mobile phone out of his pocket. NO attempt to hide it…….  

Because this is the second time this has happened I know that I need a JCQ suspicion of malpractice form! In reality as it’s a big part of his English GCSE it’s going to be a round of complaints and excuses from him and his parents.

Following on from my tales of the police last week, this week the school’s had 2 ambulances in 24 hours; one led to a pupil missing a GCSE English exam, the other I still have no idea what was going on, all I know is that I was on lunch-duty and for over an hour an ambulance was parked in the car park and most of my duty was spent moving kids away from it.  

This links in to my stories of the exam hall last year.

I’m trying to get my blogging organised and so have printed a list of my ‘tags’; that’s the topics I write about in my posts – if you go into Balancing Act they’re on a list on the right-hand side underneath the latest poll and adverts.

There must be a reason why the tag for this current post is mentioned as many times as it is (and I don’t mean just that I couldn’t get the spelling right)

Clearly it’s on my mind and on the blog more than it should be.  A clear case of work-life inequality.

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