New Year, new role…building the team
Following our wonderful Christmas break in India, it was great to get back and see our colleagues at BISS; and especially the Humanities team, who I am excited to now be leading. Although, I cannot believe how cold Shanghai has become!
Our first day back was a training day and was well structured and enjoyable; following a warm welcome back from Sir Terry, the secondary and primary staff split to follow separate training schedules. Our day (secondary) was focused on Formative Assessment and was extremely interactive and practical.
We were all provided with some departmental time and I chose to use it to officially get to together as a team for the first time. I wanted to share my objectives, set a short ranking task for the teachers and explore what each individual values in order to deliver effective teaching and learning. We also took the time to discuss our development plan, which I hold as our single most important tool. Reflecting on our department’s recent ‘spotlight’ (inspection) I had categorised everything we do into 3 clear and specific areas -
- Academic Attainment
- Planning - further split into developmental/strategic and curriculum
To help raise achievement and improve teaching and learning, my focus for the Humanities Faculty is to ensure that everything we do fits into these specific areas. A clear focus on Attainment is underpinned by clear development planning, specific curriculum plans with built in assessments and continuous professional development. Although we have quite clear outcomes, there are many small steps that need to be taken in order to raise our performance. My first goal is to establish some team cohesion and build our identity and set some clear standards and rudimentary processes. We will now be meeting weekly (which is new for the team) and every session will focus on all of the 3 key areas.
Each official meeting will be rotated with a different teacher hosting and also delivering one aspect of good practice in a short, practical manner that will hopefully continue to enhance our teaching and keep everybody thinking and focused on development. I am happy with the early feedback and positive comments regarding my plans and am looking forward to meeting every one again tomorrow, whereby we have a short briefing in which I am going to deliver a short session on effective feedback lessons following our very recent mock exams.
Having analysed the results, my year 11 Business students will be assigned to groups based on areas of weakness and will be given a question they performed poorly on. They will create and deliver a 15 minute three part lesson to teach the group the knowledge, how to apply it and produce a model answer. They must include an interactive starter, main learning activities and a plenary to test the learning. I will be modelling an example and they will have the remainder of the lesson and homework time to plan their lesson. This way of feeding back is so much more effective than simply going through the paper with the class. It utilises diagnostic planning, is student led and personalised. I am doing this lesson period 1 so it will be good to run through the task with the team and get their feedback.