5 Key messages for my Department
As a department we need to be on board at what are vision is for students at Reading School. In all that we do we are promoting an active and healthy lifestyle, in school, out of school and beyond school. We need to move away from just a doing curriculum to a knowing curriculum. I only want us to talk about ‘being good at a sport’ in GCSE and A-Level. Even in house competition and representing the school being good and winning is second behind the promotion of an active and healthy lifestyle.
We must set them high and strive for both pupils and ourselves to achieve them. Results are key, students under our care have one shot to get the best they can and we must create an environment that allows us. Our strength as a department are the relationships we can create, especially through House Sport, School Sport and Sports Tours. Whilst having this relationship in many ways is key to engaging students in our subject, it can be counter productive in lessons of an academic nature. We must try to shift our mindset to meet the one we expect of children. Appearance, organisation, punctuality, communication and consistency is what we expect of our students, and therefore it must be the yardstick we measure ourselves with.
Paperwork and Consistency
Policy is my responsibility to get this sorted, however I do not want it dictated by me. I want your professional input and for you to agree. Each Departmental meeting we will review a policy and SOW. I will send this out in advance for you to review and the meeting will be your time to voice opinions, clarify understanding and agree as a group. From then on I will expect consistency of the delivery of the policies. If these lead you into confrontation with parents or SLT then I shall deal with it, not you. However we must be consistent in our delivery. Where possible you must give priority to your lesson planning, marking and feedback.
Reflection and Dialogue
Pride will not make you, this department or the students better. All of us within this department have different strengths, experiences, knowledge and qualifications. Seek that knowledge out by engaging in discussion with members of the department. If you are asked for your advice on a new approach, behaviour method, drills in rugby, football or cricket, then please do take the time to answer and share. This is part of being a professional, and improving your practice. If you are unsure of how to approach a scheme of work, or even if the scheme of work is worthwhile do this in a professional manner. It is by critiquing what we do, that we get better.
Workload and Wellbeing
Our workload is very different to our colleagues, but just as demanding. Before school clubs, lunchtime clubs, after school clubs, house fixtures in the evening, matches on Saturdays and Sundays. Sometimes you can spend as much extra-curricular contact time a week with students as you do in lessons. This will wear you down. When you feel this happening, ask for my help. I will cover you when I can. It would be even better if you can all keep an eye on each other, and if you have some slack try to pick something up for someone else in the department. We have to stick up for each other and look out for each other. If you have to put yourself or family first, then make sure you do.
You are my team. I’ve selected all of you because I believed you were the best on paper and in interview. I believe in you to make a difference to students lives. This is a clean start and I know you all have the ability to prove me right beyond a doubt you are the best people for this job.