First week back

Is it really only one week since half term? It always seems like we’ve never been away as soon as we get back.

So what have I been up to this week?

I always try to arrange things so we finish a topic neatly before half term rather than having it hanging on over the break, which produces the inevitable retention problems, but sometimes it just doesn’t happen. So quite a few of Monday and Tuesday’s lessons involved trying to find ways to get my classes to remember what they were doing before half term, without actually going back over it. Surprisingly (or not), this was much less of an issue for Year 7 than the Sixth Form. I suspect the sixth formers spent too much time at half term destroying their brain cells…

We also made a start on assigning option choices to blocks for next year’s timetable. We spend quite a while faffing around to try to make sure everyone has their choice of subjects, and with some of the combinations we get, that’s none too easy. Sometimes, unfortunately, it comes down to X can have her choice or Y can have hers, but they can’t both – then we end up scurrying around talking to form and class teachers to find out how vital that subject is, and how passionately the kid wants to do it.  Fortunately this year it doesn’t look too bad so far, but we’ll have to wait to see what the new entrants in the sixth form want to do before we can finalise it.

I started arranging to see some of our Lower Sixth to discuss their plans for their future, and what they are doing to help them get there. We quite often put them in touch with previous students who’ve done something similar so they can get a realistic idea – you’d be amazed how many people really don’t have an idea what their “chosen” degree course is actually likely to involve

Spent time with a couple of kids having problems (not academic ones). Always feel really helpless in these situations – although sometimes you can be of practical assistance, often there’s not that much you can do other than be there and support. It hasn’t got any easier with experience, either.

Had a meeting of our reports committee – we’re looking at trying to review our reporting system so that it is useful, informative and not too labour-intensive. We’ve actually got a few ideas but will have to see whether the Senior Management, the rest of the teaching staff and the parents like them.

RIght, better get back to that pile of sixth form marking – past exam papers this time.

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