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

to

Deputy Headteacher (Attainment or behaviour)

to

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.)

EFFORT

PERFORMANCE

(Understanding/Knowledge/Skills)

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.

English Dept Assessment Schedule

Assessment Schedule

Often I am asked what to do about assessments. I usually suggest that the person in charge of English works out a schedule then ensure that all teachers and learners are aware of their appropriate assessment schedule.  It is a good idea to work out when parent meetings and feedback are needed and then work back from there, giving you and your team time to fulfil your duty. Assessment that is timely and well written is supportive and helps the child reach their potential.

Students new to the school need to take progress test to find out where they are.  If you are assessing EAL students, initially use their first language where you can to gauge their current knowledge. As a teacher every week the pupils work should be marked inline with the schools marking policy. To ensure that marking feedback is effective in developing future learning and knowledge make sure that feedback is better than a tick and a bland comment saying good. Really let the learner know something that they are good at and something that they need to work on next time.  All done in a  positive learning environment will mean that the learners just work towards the next goal as opposed to feeling they are rubbish and cannot succeed. It’s up to you as the teacher to create that environment in your classroom.

This is just a suggestion which you can use and change to suit your circumstances.

Year 7
End   Oct Assessment Reading :   Language structure and variation Writing   : Spelling 
Nov All   about Me booklet
March Assessment   Key Objectives
June Assessment   NC Test
Year 8
Nov AssessmentReading :   understanding Text Writing   : Standard English and language structure
March Assessment   Key Objectives
June l   Assessment NC Test
Year 9
Nov Assessment   Key Objectives
March Mock   SATs all papers
May   3 – 6th SATS   exam
June Assessment   test
Year 10
Nov Lit   – compare poems of other Cultures.Lang   – Argue to write/persuade
March Lit   – Of Mice and Men and poems of other culturesLang   – to inform, explain advise, and argue/persuade
June Exam   preparation : Lit and Lang papers
Year 11
Nov Preparation   : Lit and Lang papers
March  Mock  Lit and Lang papers