Tag Archives: Resolutions

What I Think About Training Days…

On Monday, we had a training day at Simon de Senlis.  It was an excellent and important day of training and one of my colleagues took the time to share his reflections on the day on the Simon de Senlis PE blog.

In schools, we are allocated 5 training days a year which are the only opportunities we have to spend a full day focusing on staff development together.  Other development takes place after school or in snatched meetings unless it means teachers being covered out of classes to attend training and courses.  Quick Maths will tell you that (using official contracted hours), training days  take up just 27.5 hours out of the available 8760 in the year (around 0.003%) or 2% of the 1265 directed hours of a teachers working life.  This is well below the UK national average for time spent off work sick (74 hours) and (according to a well-know tabloid) three times less than the 91 hours that Men apparently spend on the toilet each year!

With this in mind, it’s absolutely crictical that we make the most of  these limited opportunities and plan them with thought and care, ensuring that they are aligned with our biggest priorities and challenges in school.

But selecting the right content isn’t enough; it’s also important to spend time thinking about the delivery – ensuring that we employ the same principles around engagement that we expect teachers to in the classroom to avoid staff feeling like the staff in one of my favourite toe-curling scenes from The Office.

Some things we might consider when planning staff training:

  • Who does most of the talking? The person leading training or the people who we are planning will develop their thinking and practice?
  • Do we move enough? Do people come in and sit still for long periods of time or do they have opportunities to get up and move and keep energised?
  • Multi-sensory.  Although ‘VAK’ may not be a buzz word of 2015, are we ensuring that we deliver any learning using a range of Visual, Auditory and Kinaesthetic methods and resources?
  • Do we give enough opportunities for people to learn by ‘doing’ and putting themselves in the position of children?
  • Are we clear enough about the ‘so what’ at the end of any training to ensure that everyone knows what the next steps are?
  • Have we planned when we will come back and revisit this issue/initiative/policy/discussion so that it becomes part of the journey of change rather than a one-off event which created some initial excitement but didn’t become embedded in the ongoing fabric of the school.

I’ll certainly be thinking more about these as we try and develop better training opportunities for our staff within 2015.
TR

What I think about New Year’s Resolutions…

Happy New Year everyone!

As is the way at the beginning of every new year, the world is saturated with new year’s resolutions.  Everywhere you look, people are promising somebody (mainly themselves) that they want to do things better this year.  Get thinner. Maintain friendships better. Spend less time on social media. Make healthier choices.  Work harder and get promoted.  Write more blog posts. The usual things.

Statistically (apparently), 90% of such resolutions are broken before the end of January. Does this mean that making some positive statements about what we want to change in our lives is pointless at this time of year?  Maybe. Maybe not.

2014 was a great year to be a part of Simon de Senlis.  Put simply, so many good things happened and, as Headteacher, it was ehappy_new_year_2015xciting and rewarding to see staff and children develop so well and achieve great things on the sports pitches, on the dance and drama stage as well as in the classroom, test papers and OFSTED reports.

So undecided as I am as to whether New Year’s resolutions are a catalyst for change or a waste of time, here are mine:

1) Keep spending time doing the things that work well and make a difference and not be distracted by fads or bandwagons.

2) Listen more and listen better.

3) Give better feedback to children and staff in school (I’m really inspired by the growth mindset work taking place in schools at the moment and feel this is an area that I can develop my own knowledge in as well as the school).

4) Share more of the thinking and development that goes on at school via this blog.

5) Complete a triathlon.

One step at a time. Here goes 2015.

TR