Interim reports

Education Learning Log

This and That

I had an interesting outing with a Polish neighbour, to New Lanark at the weekend. We met out the back garden one day recently. I don’t speak Polish or Italian, she doesn’t speak French or much English yet as she’s just learning. So we did one of those pigeon Euro talk things for the day – there seemed to be smatterings of nearly everything with a bit of Latin thrown in for good measure, a notepad and drawings were involved and a Polish/English dictionary. What always amazes me in these situations is how much we can still learn about one another despite language barriers.

At work I’m starting to really enjoy my job and feel I am understanding my role better. This has been quite a difficult adjustment in some ways for me, as not only is it a completely new job but its also very different from being in one school. There’s also the question of autonomy. As HT I had a degree of autonomy within the school setting and freedom to be creative within boundaries. This role also has a degree of autonomy (I can create my own diary for instance) but strangely also less in some ways too – as the tasks I am carrying out are ringfenced and more specific perhaps than the ones I was carrying out as HT. For instance to write a pre-inspection report is something where there’s a set way of writing it, a format already set up – the autonomy comes in how I speak to people in the school, how I look for evidence etc. There is a specific deadline. As an HT something like raising attainment in reading might include a step like implementing a new reading scheme with specific teaching strategies – that can be a very creative task with lots of ways of approaching it and different answers which come out of it. It can also be a very lengthy task with changes occuring over many years and re-adjustments. So there have been lots of adjustments needed in my pace, approach and thinking about how I do things and why.

As part of this role I’m discovering the importance of getting better at asking the right questions at the right time of people, to support and challenge. I was asking the question today of some staff of just how they would measure the impact of a health week of events in a primary school. The attitude to health by the children seems perhaps easiest to look at first with possibly some form of personal learning log of the week with personal targets and comments/evaluations etc. It seemed more difficult to measure  the fitness side – you have to pin down an outcome very carefully as to what you hope the children can show as an improvement after a week. Is it possible to show an outcome after a week? Would it be better to revisit their fitness levels after a longer period of time to see if the week continued to have an impact? What measurements of fitness would it be sensible to use? And so it went on.

So I’m feeling I’m doing a lot of soul searching and personal development of my management and leadership skills.


May 6, 2008 Posted by | leadership, learning | , , | Leave a comment