Continuing the tales of my weekend away.  In the relaxed hour I spent talking with Laura (instead of marking my coursework), we sipped our tea and gazed out on the crisp wintry landscape and quite possibly solved more problems than we could have done in a week at school.

 We were open and honest with each other as we shared our different viewpoints on school-life. Laura’s one of a growing number of pastoral tutors at our school who aren’t members of the teaching staff. I asked her how she was getting on and forty minutes later we’d the beginnings of plans for a new tutors training! 

We’d also chatted about home life and how busy things were, the credit crunch and performed all other sorts of ‘bonding rituals’. I commented that it was probably the longest conversation we’d had with each other; Laura agreed that time was a scarce resource and in particular the time spent ‘idly chatting’ is seen as a waste. 

Remove the home advantage

One of the best pieces of advice I was given as an NQT on learning how to manage behaviour was “spend time with them outside of the classroom”. I started a Key Stage 3 games club and the insight it gave into child psychology as well as the positive relationship formed were invaluable. I think the same principles apply to managing a school. 

Forty minutes with Laura has formed a new positive relationship that wouldn’t have existed otherwise; I am certain that giving staff time to develop similar relationships at all levels will be invaluable. I’ve posted before about the value of our senior leadership team building attempts.  I’m aiming to tie this in to staff training and student revision sessions and all within the lovely setting of Ashburnham Place. The new tutors training that Laura and I discussed will certainly be included!