☰ 10.30pm, Mon 1 Feb

10.30pm, Mon 1 Feb

Posted on: February 1st 2010

It has been a long day! I got into school at 7.30 this morning and as I start to write this blog at my desk it is 10pm. I finished very late tonight as we had our Form 5 parent consultations where we also discussed senior school options. More of that later.

I try to get small admin things out of the way before the day fully starts; this means dealing with emails and paperwork (so much paperwork) first thing. Although this morning I made very little in-roads because I have door duty every Monday morning. I like doing this as I think it’s important I welcome everyone back to school at the beginning of the week. Quite a few people stopped for a chat, which was nice. One parent this morning raised a legitimate concern about homework that I promised to look into, another told me how happy she was with the way in which her child has settled in. A few dads were there teasing me about working; they never seem to (you know who you are!). I’m getting a bit frustrated about uniform. A lot of our pupils look pretty untidy – I think I’m going to have to develop some ideas here.

Straight from morning duty I take the assembly for Forms 3-6. I like our Monday morning assemblies to be a combination of current affairs and philosophy. I give my Monday morning assemblies some thought on Sunday, but I often lead with what I’ve heard on the Today programme on the way in. This morning we talked about why the country wasn’t celebrating the news we had come out of recession (http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/nickrobinson/2010/01/economy_growing.html), it seemed more interesting than Blair’s appearance at the Iraq Inquiry. I then went on to ask a question: when someone picks up a copy of the Metro newspaper on the tube to read, do they then own that newspaper? It stimulated a really good and interesting discussion. I kept the Form 5 & 6 boys back after assembly to discuss their behaviour at Games recently, which hasn’t been good enough. I’m sure they now understand what is expected of them.

At 9.10am I had an admissions meeting with a family wanting their daughter to join in one of our older year groups. They were a very nice family. The girl had to sit a test and seemed to enjoy doing it! We have a number of pupils hoping to join but only one place, so it’s going to be a difficult decision. I always give prospective families a good chunk of my time as I want them to feel the unique atmosphere we have here. I must admit I get incredibly proud showing people around our school. I generally have admissions appointments on Monday and Wednesday mornings.

I then managed to do a bit more admin. A deadline is fast approaching to submit our census data and it always takes so long. At around 10.30am I had a short meeting with Miss Seryck to discuss Reception pupils taking Yoga. I think it’s a great idea and I think she plans to start it very soon. We also spoke about a pupil in her class. By 11am I had numerous messages: a couple from other schools discussing our current Form 6 pupils, some from our new IT contractors and one from our solicitor.

I always try and give myself at least 30 minutes reading time each day. I like to research new innovations and ideas. Anyhow, I came across something which I forwarded to all our staff: http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/print/201001/good-teaching.

Ms Milligan and I try to meet every morning to go through the day ahead, we didn’t manage it today. We have already pencilled in tomorrow morning.

I have a weekly Monday meeting with Mrs Fern. We go through both tactical and strategic issues. Today we looked at some timetable issues and feedback from lesson observations she had recently carried out. We then started to discuss ideas for next academic year – I really enjoyed this conversation as I thrive when thinking ahead – everything is possible.

At 2.30pm I continued with more admin. Policies and regulations mainly. I then quickly popped out to see how the children were at playtime; I often observe this from afar. It can tell you a lot.

Our appointments for this evening started at 4.30pm. The Form 5 parents are a really nice bunch. Mrs Fern, Miss Vaughan and I had previously met to discuss senior schools for our Form 5 children and I think our parents appreciated the thought we had put into it. We had excellent conversations and I think the evening was very beneficial for parents.

Time for me to go home.

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