Admission and induction informationCome along and collect your induction pack... Friday 17th May 2019 3.30pm - 5.30pm Venue: Waitrose store, Wichelstowe SN1 7BX In your pack will be information about uniform, transition, information evening for new families and most importantly one family will win a GOLDEN TICKET..... members of staff will be at the front of the store distributing information. We continue to be extremely grateful for the support Waitrose has given us in this pre-admissions stage. We would be delighted if you would be mindful of shoppers when using the car park. Please support the store if you can - why not make an evening of it, have a walk along the newly renovated canal and perhaps even visit either the Waitrose cafe or H and W for some refreshment!Read More
Holy week and EasterPosted on: 17/04/2019
It is the school holidays and also Holy Week, so I have taken some time away from school work to be with family, friends and also to study and spend time engaging in Holy Week activities in preparation for Easter Sunday.
I hope by now students have received their postcards of welcome from me and look out for the post after Easter when I will be sending induction, uniform and registration information home. Dates of transition days will be finalised and published.
I am reading some really interesting articles at the moment about leadership and autoethnography (my research for my Doctorate is in this area) and I have been noticing three things.
First, an auto-ethnographer is described either as being 'a self-indulged narcissist' or 'self-reflexive and vulnerable'. It strikes me that the same could be said about bloggers, of which apparently, I am now classed as one! I hope my posts are interesting and I often wonder who reads them. I offer my thoughts and insights just as that - I hope they are interesting and perhaps go some way to answering the question I was asked on Twitter a while back, "just what does a Headteacher with no students actually do?!".
The second thing I have noticed, is the parallel drawn between medicine and teaching. This occurs a lot in 'evidence-based' practice: evidence-based medicine is held to be the gold standard of operating (pardon that pun!) and similarities are suggested that mean teachers should follow the lead and practice evidence-based teaching. Real evidence-based medicine (argued by Greenhalgh at al, 2014):
- makes the ethical care of the patient its top priority (all teachers would agree with this for students);
- should make care individualised (again all teachers would agree with this for students);
- is characterised by expert judgement rather than mechanical rule following (emphasis is mine);
- shares decisions through meaningful conversations (all teachers would agree with this for students);
- builds on strong relationships (all teachers would agree with this for students)
- applies these principles at community level for the good of many (all teachers would agree with this for students).
The reason I put the middle bullet in bold is because I feel very strongly that teachers have to find their own way. What works for me in the classroom or on the playing field, may not work for my colleagues. We are individuals and whilst we will certainly have many well-established routines at the Deanery, I will resist saying to staff "you have to teach this (my) way" as that detracts from their professional integrity and personal style.
Finally I am chuckling to myself that a) we have decided that there will be minimal homework for students at the Deanery in Key Stage 3, as we have a longer school day we want students to enjoy family time, rest and participate in out of school activities in evenings, at weekends and in the holidays. Here I sit in the library at University, doing my homework! I am amongst thousands of books, academic papers and my half-written essay, remembering that I have chosen to do this study (probably because I was inspired by all those who have taught me to love learning) and I am still studying at the very ripe-old-age of 50! I passionately believe in lifelong learning and will hope to instill this in our students at the Deanery and hopefully bring a few members of their families along with us - watch out for evening classes run by Deanery staff in the future. But b) I have also realised that I am writing this (for school) when I should be working (Uni work) and enjoying the holiday (family, friends and church activities). Well, those of you who know me well will understand why, my work is also my passion, and I openly admit to enjoying every minute of it. I was on a course recently with a friend, and during the introduction the course leader explained that you could either complete the course by attending for 5 days or complete the course with an essay submission at the end (involving quite a lot of reading and studying). My friend was filled with fear, no-one had mentioned an essay to her, to be honest, she wouldn't have signed up for the course if they had! Without saying anything, my friend looked across at me - I was smiling, excited at the prospect of more study, books, papers and an essay at the end to add to the fun!!
Happy Easter everyone – have a great holiday, a really uplifting Easter weekend and watch this space: next term so many things are going to happen and happen really fast. There will be less than 100 days until opening; all the furniture will start arriving; the building will be finished; we’ll get the keys and by the time the next (summer) holidays come around, the Deanery will be open!
Greenhalgh, T., Howick, J. and Maskrey, N. (2104) Evidence based medidine: A movement in crisis? BMJ, (348), pp. 3725