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Showing posts from August, 2015

Two weeks in and I still love my job!

Well, I have been back at school for two weeks now and am just about able to pause for breath. Amongst the things I have discovered in those two weeks is that I still love my job!
As a school leader it can be a trepidatious returning to work after a summer holiday of some six weeks, especially if you have been doing it for some time. Will you still be up to it, and enthusiastic? Will you still be excited? Will you still have the same energy levels? And, at my age, will you be able to remember everything you need to, including all those pesky passwords? are some of the questions that may pass through your head as you contemplate the end of the summer break and the return to what can often be the frenetic working environment of your average school and its head. Or it could be just me who thinks about all of this stuff.
Anyway, ten working days in and I am answering all the above questions positively, including the password one, though I did have those all written down somewhere.
Those ten …

System Leadership and a tale of four small schools (1)

This Friday I had the pleasure of attending a first development and collaboration event with the staff from four small primary schools. Although they are all in the same learning community, along with a mix of larger primary schools and two secondary schools they feed into, the headteachers were wanting to address the issue of development capacity in small-school settings. Whether you have thirty classes or three, or less, there is still the same demands and expectations in terms of development and moving forward. The difference is that larger schools are more able to spread the load wider, whilst in the small school this load falls on fewer and fewer people. So the two headteachers, because they lead two schools each, we're looking to increase capacity for growth by bringing the staff from all four schools together under a common agenda of development. What is key is that this collaboration and mutual cooperation is being driven by the staff in the schools themselves, and not by …

Engaging with research

Let me state straight away, I think teachers and schools should engage with and use research to inform and develop their practice. To me this is essential if we are going to start to address the gap that exists between the knowledge base that exists, built on research, and the practice that is commonly found in so many schools, much of which is done because it has always been done. However, like a lot of things in education, this is an easy thing to say, but is a lot more difficult to enact. Where do you start if you want to begin to engage with research? As soon as you start looking you will find there is an unlimitless amount of research out there and, surprise surprise, a lot of it is contradictory. How do teachers and schools begin to engage with the whole world of research when they have limited time, and still have to deliver on their main purpose, developing the teaching and learning of young people? As someone who has been actively engaging with research informed practice, and…