The school is smaller than all the others I have worked in when you consider the number of students, but it is not geographically smaller and I can already see issues with how I will use my time arising because of the time spent moving around the site.
Supervising "prep" is something I have never experienced, although makes sense if students are to a) be able to have a variety of options available to them at GCSE, and b) learn the value of independent, quiet study. From the six students in the room with me this morning I can see youngsters who are organised and hardworking. They aren't making excuses or distracting themselves, but getting on with prep work. The atmosphere is productive and silent and will be of great support to me as I can bring my own work up to mark when I supervise these sessions.
In the evening prep was less easy to supervise, 88 students and it seems most have an excuse not to be in the room. They need the library, the IT suite, to go to music. Once I know the students I imagine that supervising the session will not be as difficult.
The students are very polite and ask before doing anything. "Please can I get some paper, and please can I return my book", they thank me for holding open a door and smile at me encouragingly when they see me in the corridor.
Lunch was an experience: I still have indigestion. The girls serve, clear and bring the next course. I was amazed by the efficiency, but all for the purpose of extending the free time the students have after lunch.
The staff have been nothing but friendly and supportive. Everyone knows my name, but are polite enough not to assume I know theirs. (Which of course I don't).
I am astounded by the cleanliness and order of the school and science labs. There are things out on the side like paper and experiments, but they are undisturbed and look like they belong. The teacher's desk was tidy when I arrived this morning and I had no need to throw away or create a pile of yesterday's paper work. High expectations for me to set for myself. But I look forward to working this way. It will be the first time!
I have taught 4 of my 5 groups today and I have been impressed by their willingness to take part in and complete the work. However, I can see some variation in the active engagement of the students. There are many students who are content to sit back and those that push themselves forward only give a short answer. I want point, evidence and explanation. Interestingly those that sit in the centre of the room take part more than those at the edges as a first observation. However, next week will give me another view.
In terms of management I haven't had chance to do much as yet; the department seem pretty organised with a clear idea of what needs to be done. I want to make sure that I use that and my presence adds value to the department rather than just taking jobs away from others to make myself seem like I am doing work.
I can see why the government think private schools have a lot to show the maintained sector, but having a friendly atmosphere isn't as challenging when you only have a quarter of the number of pupils.
Looking forward to tomorrow!
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Location:Rudgleigh Ave,,United Kingdom