☰ 7.30pm, Tue 9 Feb

7.30pm, Tue 9 Feb

Posted on: February 9th 2010

Today was a day of meetings. I arrived at school for 7.45am and after dropping my bag off I headed towards Mrs Bedi’s room for a quick catch up on last night’s Parents’ Evening. I ended up walking straight into the middle of a Key Stage Two meeting which happens every Tuesday morning but which I’d totally forgotten about. I quickly apologised and headed off to breakfast club to catch up with teachers in there. Back to my office for 8.15am and by 8.30am Mrs Bedi had knocked on my door. We had a good chat about last night and her thoughts on how her homework regime was going; we changed how we administer our Form 3 homework this year and I’ve been eager to get feedback. We are actually thinking more widely about homework – not about reducing the amount, but simply making it work more effectively.

I had a pre-arranged meeting with Miss Joyce at 9am to discuss the quiet area in the playground. Actually to call it the quiet area is more wishful thinking. She has entered into a consultation with older pupils about what they would like – we find if pupils are involved in the decisions about their school they respond much more positively about change. So anyhow, she walked me through some ideas and I said she should do what she thinks is right. The small details about how a school runs are in many ways the most important and I always try to encourage our staff to take these initiatives on.

At 9.25am Mrs Habgood popped her head around the corner to follow up on our discussions around our intranet project. She was very excited about an idea she had and her enthusiasm was infectious – I love it when people are fully of ideas and energy.

I then had another meeting at 9.30am with Miss Seryck. We discussed how we plan for our lessons in Reception. It was a good and necessary meeting – we’ve changed a great deal over the past year or so and it is important to assess and evaluate how things are going.

Tuesday is my ‘Tea with the Head’ day. At 10am Laura Hebert and Jasmine Salem visited me with their English and maths books (I remember thinking that I was impressed with the way in which Mrs Gouws engages with children through her marking in their books). What lovely girls! We spent 10 or 15 minutes together chatting about their work and what they’ve been up to. I think they were keen on the chocolate biscuit that accompanies this routine, so they seemed happy when they walked off with a carton of orange juice and a penguin biscuit. I totally understand – the penguins came from what had been a full multipack just a few days ago and which now looks very depleted. I do have a weakness for chocolate biscuits; time to cut back perhaps.

Next I had lots of emails to return. I generally like my inbox to have less than 50 messages and it’s currently over 300. I’m a great one for setting up folders in my email system and just moving emails from the Inbox to a folder. At some point, though, the backlog has to be cleared.

At 11am Amelia Page came for ‘Tea with the Head’. Her teacher was very eager she see me as she is producing excellent work and is generally an absolute delight around school. We ended up having a long chat about a whole range of things. After her visit my penguin stock was down to two. Would these meetings be quite so much fun without the biscuits I wonder?

At 11.30am I had a meeting with Ms Burke. She is Head of Key Stage One and we have a regular meeting every other Tuesday. We ended up talking for an hour; she is doing a great job and there was a lot of ground to cover. We spoke about pupils, planning, reading schemes, ideas for Key Stage One and we started to look ahead to next September.

At 12.30pm I managed to pick up some lunch. Mrs Fern then stopped by to say hello. We had a quick chat about a few things. I like our impromptu chats.

Then back to my emails. Returning messages on issues from fire safety, building work, education surveys, the school website and assessment data.

At 1.30pm Miss Vaughan had a quick word with me about the new school library. As Head of English she has – very kindly – agreed to take on the responsibility of getting it up and running. We spoke about some ideas on stocking the library and how we might catalogue it. We agreed an initial budget to get us started.

Back to messages; painful. Another quick chat with Mrs Habgood at 3pm to discuss a few things ahead of our assessment meeting tomorrow. We want to make actual decisions at tomorrow’s meeting so we both want to be prepared. This discussion was quickly followed up with my daily meeting with Ms Milligan. We talked about admissions, policies and how we are going to go about updating both staff and parent handbooks.

I left at 3.45pm to get back for tea time and bath time. This is a very rare occurrence and as this is set to be a very busy week I took the opportunity when I could!

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