Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Review of the academic year 2011-12 part 1

The first part of my year was put into shadow by the death of my father and also included the start of the new head of science at my school.

Our 2011 GCSE exam results had a few disappointments, the chemistry results were lower than expected due to the scaling of the top coursework marks. Unfortunately the moderator asked for two examples that were marked by the same person, and over marked. In physics there were more D grades than expected, due to poor coursework performance by one class. In biology there were less As and A*s than desirable, but nothing significant procedurally to explain this. The main disappointment with biology is usually the number of U and E grades at As.

This all causes me to reflect. How do you ensure good standardisation and therefore consistent marking of controlled assessments? And how can you support staff who resist it when carrying out controlled assessments?

It was very disappointing that the new head of science was neither aware of nor supportive of these issues. He didn't spot them and he didn't ask me about identifying them. The issue with the chemistry standardisation was clear to see, but this has not been addressed in a formal way by him in 2011-12 in order that the faculty avoid the same issue.

At the start of 2011-12 academic year the science faculty, yet again, was promised a refurbishment. This has been on the cards for the last four years as I remember it. We have had three rooms knocked into one as the first stage of this. Poorly planned and badly executed. All the refurbishment we have had is a wall put up to divide these classrooms. Rushed and badly constructed. It makes one of the rooms too small to do certain activities safely and had an impact on the ICT, which was eventually rectified.

The refurbishment of labs isn't happening in 2012 and probably won't happen in 2013. All the faculty can hope for is that the head technician will be able to gain the support of the new head teacher and put this ongoing promise back on the agenda.

My father died on 28th September 2011. I took two weeks off work as he was dying and to help prepare for the funeral and help with other arrangements such as my mother's pensions and benefits.

At the end of October 2011 I applied for as was appointed the Head of Science at a small independent school in Gloucestershire. I was delighted, and as I approach the time when I will start the new job my excitement increases every day.

During the autumn term I was having less and less input to the running of the science department. The department I have made my life for four years previously. Do I fight with the emerging leadership? I think my decision to leave shows my lack of sentimentality.

I was unsure before the start of this academic year if I was ready for faculty leadership. I asked myself the questions regularly if I had the ability to be proactive in order to anticipate issues and smooth transitions to the new GCSEs and eventually the new national curriculum. However, I am happy now that the answer to that question is that I am at least above average. This knowledge must have come across well at interview, giving me the appearance of someone who the school can have confidence in to take the science faculty forward.

The Christmas term ended with unpleasantness from my regarding the amount of time off I had had. Not unexpected, but confirmed that my decision to leave was right and I was no longer welcome in that school.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Rudgleigh Ave,Bristol,United Kingdom

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