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Update

Thought it was about time for an update.

Firstly, I am proud to say I got 98/100 on Core 1, and 99/100 on Core 2, as well as 82/100 on D1 (It was mean!!).  This means that, should I continue to do my A2 modules this year (unlikely given current workloads!), I could upgrade to an A* 🙂

I’ve had a challenging week at work, and things are still a little up in the air, but I’m feeling very positive about moving the department forward this year.

I’m busy writing my draft development plan, and there are lots of exciting things to focus on.

Y7 stuff:

We are teaching in mixed ability groups this year, and I have two of the six groups myself.  We are using some really nice investigative tasks, mostly from nrich.org, and are piloting a pre- and post-test for each topic to make progress really transparent for the students.   I’ll share some resources etc once they’re more developed.

Passports:

The new system of showing the LOs to be covered for each grade in passport form (see ‘going boldly’ post) is progressing nicely.  I need a couple of weeks off to actually finish more of the resourcing, but it’ll get there in the end.   The students have been very positive about these new passports.

Marking:

As a school in special measures, we are aiming for consistency in our marking and feedback.  I have ordered stamps from classroomcapers.com that I designed to cover our own dept needs.  It has WWW, EBI, tick boxes for (please show your working / write a worked example / use a pencil and ruler for diagrams / write the question as well as the answer…..), a 1-4 grade for effort, same for presentation, and then a space for a response from the student.  Hopefully it should make the whole process easier.

Behaviour:

We are still spending a LOT of time dealing with disruption, and non-compliant students.  We are working on making the internal system more robust, and on creating expectation posters for the dept walls.

Displays:

We have had to take down the vinyls of key formulae from the walls, as we were due to be decorated.  Instead, I’ve bought stencils, and am creating my own formulae decorations.  We’ve started with the 7 and 8 times tables trailing along the corridor.   I also painted at the top end of the corridor : ‘You have only failed if you have given up.  Until then, it’s learning.’

Training needs:

With quite a few new staff in the team this year, our training needs are more complex than they have been previously.  I’m planning to ask everyone to state one strength they have in their classrooms, and one thing they’d like to develop this term.   I’ll then do supportive, non-judgement-based observations, on the key focus they’ve given for development.  We’ll discuss and they’ll set their own targets for next time.   I’ll possibly pair people up based on matching a strength with a weakness, and give them time to work together.  If I can get some cover time, I’ll get people out to visit other schools too, with a specific focus on ideas to steal!

iPad

Found an AWESOME app called iDoceo – it’s a teacher planner, assessment tracker, and seating planner all in one.  I highly recommend it!

Just one more week to go until half term…..!

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