Positive learning ethos

For new Pastoral leaders September is a time for change so maybe this is a good time to write about what a pastoral leader should be about.  Those who have done it for  along while it may be a time to reflect and ask whether some things that they sued to do would be a good idea to bring back.  You know your children so what is right for them?

the object of the pastoral system is to give support and guidance in various measures depending on the situation occasionally there will be a need to be objective and influence to ensure both the students and the staffs needs are met. This is what makes it tricky when staff member A comes and says child X is making my life hell…you listen and respond supportively then talk to child X. That’s if child X hasn’t already reached your door saying staff member A is a (expletive).  Again listen and respond supportively negotiate and influence better behaviour and learning. Then go back to staff member A without going into too much detail explain you have talked to child X and again negotiate a way forward without them losing self-respect or their authority but make sure that learning on their next lesson together occurs. NB know your staff and children then it is far easier to referee.

Our role is to nurture and support i.e. we must constantly strive to foster personal development through providing our students with counselling and guidance. They must always be given the opportunity to take responsibility for their own actions, to make decisions based on knowing the implications of choice. Self respect and respect for others must be key. Unacceptable action can be challenged  but not the individual or their background. As teachers we must work towards the students developing self discipline and understanding responsibility for actions. Ultimately we want students to behave responsibly because they feel it is important.

Suggestions for a referral system for challenging behaviour or under achievement in a secondary setting could be;

Tutor                 or/and                    Subject Teacher

to                                                                 to

Head of Year        or/and              Head of Department               or/and       Head of curriculum Area

to                                                                   to

School Attainment Officer / Learning Leader


Deputy Headteacher (Attainment or behaviour)


Head teacher

One of the best ways to ensure the students and staff (from a managers point of view) are all aware of the system is to be clear what the behaviour policy, attainment policy and marks scheme is.  Clarity from these adhered to by all ensures a more successful school.

Most schools have a clear marking scheme but if you are new to the job of coordinating or leading this maybe a good starting point. What makes this good is a child could have put E top effort in but got 1 for understanding making them feel their effort has been recognised. Whilst just on this subject it is also good to let parents and students know how you will be marking i.e. over a term you may mark 1/3 in-depth, 1/3 impressionistic and 1/3 self assessment.

In depth means marking to curriculum and subject/exam expectations of understanding and feeding back relevant information to help them develop their work to the next level or grade boundary.

It is also worth mixing things up a bit and also change seating so that students gain many experiences  and also develop their own learning strategies. once you are settled into school use a mix of 1/3 friendship grouping, 1/3 boy/girl seating and 1/3 teacher defined pairs (based on ability etc.)




Excellent Effort E 5 You really understand this work
Commendable effort G 4 You have a good understanding of this part of the work but with a   little more effort you will understand it better.
Satisfactory effort S 3 You seem to understand it but you need further work to understand it   better.
Unsatisfactory effort P 2 You don’t seem to have understood all of it, ask me for help.
No effort made C 1 You haven’t understood this. Please ask for help.

Character #620: 蟲

This may be useful to some one with a bug fear.

來學正體字 Learn Traditional Chinese Characters

620The character 蟲(ㄔㄨㄥˊ) means bug, insect, or worm. Here is the stroke order animation and pronunciation. Here are the individual strokes for writing the character. Here is the definition in Taiwanese Mandarin. Here is the evolution of 蟲.

幼(ㄧㄡˋ)蟲(ㄔㄨㄥˊ) – a larva
成(ㄔㄥˊ)蟲(ㄔㄨㄥˊ) – an adult insect
害(ㄏㄞˋ)蟲(ㄔㄨㄥˊ) – a destructive insect, vermin

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Basic Timetabling for department heads

Timetables are always there to greet us at the start of the new term as teachers, but what happens when we get to be managers and need to do our own staffing timetables or indeed the whole schools timetable.  Ideally you should love puzzles and a little bit of maths. After this a sense of humour as it can take weeks to get a large schools timetable correct and then someone on the staff will say can you just change this for me without realising the repercussions on others as well as the time to reshuffle others around.

In Technology for instance each year group on a rotation timetable needs to go to each member of staff in turn to ensure they get their full curriculum quota.

Here is an example of one such set of groups year 7.  It is for a group of 5 classes labelled X1-5 for ease but you can easily put the class name in e.g. 7AB, 7EF, 7JF, 7DE and 7VG.

Each group must do food technology, graphics, electronics, control and resistant material projects.  There are 5 teachers needed to deliver it. here is a suggested approach to timetabling this rotation. The initials of the teachers are EF, NS, TG, AM and HC.

Group DateSept-Nov DateNov -Jan DateJan – Mar DateMar – May DateMay – Jul
X1 HCFood TGResistant Materials AMGraphics NSElectronics EFControl
X2 EFControl HCFood TGResistant Materials AMGraphics NSElectronics
X3 NSElectronics EFControl HCFood TGResistant Materials AMGraphics
X4 AMGraphics NSElectronics EFControl HCFood TGResistant Materials
X5 TGResistant Materials AMGraphics NSElectronics EFControl HCFood

This is quite simple as each is moving along but can be readjusted if the teacher stays with the class except for food lessons as a change of classroom is needed. See the timetable below. As you can see there are two different resistant materials projects for this particular rotation. But anything can be inserted e.g. History/English or other year groups and their projects including exam classes.

Group DateSept-Nov DateNov -Jan DateJan – Mar DateMar – May DateMay – Jul
X1 HCSafety




TGResistant Materials 1 TGGraphics TGResistant Materials 2
X2 EFSafety

Resistant Materials 1



EFGraphics EFResistant Materials 2 EFElectronics
X3 NSSafety


NSGraphics HCSafety


NCResistant Materials 1 NCResistant Materials 2
X4 AMGraphics AMElectronics AMResistant Materials 1 HCSafety


AMResistant Materials 2
X5 TGSafety Resistant Materials 1 TGElectronics TGResistant Materials 2 TGGraphics HCSafety