Developing success

What a great week!

I have been re-inspired this week by colleagues and by students and by my team.

I am endlessly proud of the hard work my students put into their learning.

Developing Independence

I started the week wanting to be a little bit more creative with more students.  My year 10 set3 have just finished ‘An Inspector Calls’ and have really engaged with the text.  I absolutely loved watching them debate the idea of responsibility last week independently.  This week I thought I would kill two birds with one stone and get them to consolidate their learning whilst organising a new display.  The result is below and I think it looks quite pretty.  So not every finer detail was propped onto the board but watching the students work as a team to produce this was a lovely thing.

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My task now is to put some exemplar paragraphs from their exam responses (all of them are currently working above target) to showcase how brilliantly they are doing.

Developing confidence in myself by hearing other people say what I am thinking

On Tuesday I had my 1-1 with a super head (having achieved four consistently outstanding Ofsted inspections).  This was like therapy for a very new, very tired and very pressured Head of Faculty.  No data was asked for, no learning walk completed, no work scrutiny undertaken.  I simply had the opportunity to sit and talk and talk we did.  What was so beautiful about it was that much of our conversation centred around lots of the thoughts I have been having over the past few weeks.  It was also incredibly interesting that often she would say something that would resonate with the book ‘TRIVIUM’ which I have just finished.  To hear someone support the thoughts I have been having about education, about change, about Ofsted was like music to my ears.  I came out of the meeting feeling confident, validated and inspired to continue thinking in my way.

On top of this I finished two books: ‘TRIVIUM and ‘Change’ – both absolutely inspirational books.  They have both motivated me and made my vision for KS3 very clear.  I am inspired and excited to begin our new curriculum design once the year 11s have gone. Next on the list ‘An Ethic of Excellence’

Developing confidence in my year 11

My year 11 English group were very nervous about approaching Macbeth at the start of this week.  I asked them (to demonstrate progress over time) to begin by thought showering everything they knew about Macbeth.  Most could only write down that it was written by William Shakespeare, and even then it was because I had written that on the board.  At various check points across the next two lessons they added to this thought shower as their knowledge developed and you could see their confidence grow.  We finished our introduction to Macbeth when I gave them a sheet that simply had the character’s names on and the key themes.  The students’ task was to make as many connections between characters and themes as they could, explaining them along the way.  Here are a couple of examples and one of my lovely students looking very happy with herself.  Her happiness at being a part of my lesson is what makes me the proudest.

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Developing lessons that don’t tick boxes but instead inspire and motivate

This Friday I decided to do some kinaesthetic learning with my year 11s.  They have just finished studying the anthology and I want them to start thinking about the comparative element of the exam.  To begin our work on this, I covered one of my boards with the names of the 15 poems.  I then distributed string, coloured card (pink for theme, yellow for poetic techniques and green for structural devices) and asked them to find as many links between the poems as they could.  Well, the end result was a bit messy but they fully engaged with the task and had a lot of fun with it.  It certainly started their thinking about how the poems compare and contrast.

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Developing confident, strong and supportive relationships

1) I love my head teacher. He did something so unbelievably nice this week and it just makes me want to get everything right for him.

2) My line manager who is great.  The brilliance of our working relationship is that we complement each other really well.  We often work brilliantly together BUT we equally constructively disagree and discuss which enables us to constantly move forward.   We work on total honesty and transparency and are equally supportive and challenging and demanding of each other.

So all in all a great week and now we only have one week to go before the half term break. Here’s hoping it is a good one 🙂

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