Well, it’s been an interesting two weeks off school! It’s funny how the children think they are the only ones who get that feeling in the pit of their stomach the night before going back to school! I always find it is a mixture of nervous excitement and anticipation. You can be well planned but the moment you walk back in you can be faced with a whole number of things that mean your plans go out the window.
I have spent the day ensuring that I have the right challenging questions for the teachers in the first of my series of pupil progress meetings. Data can be looked at in so many ways that it becomes addictive. I have been looking at two year groups and analysing their progress against national expectation, termly progress and our own school expectation. The danger is finding yourself latched onto the negative data and concentrating on what we have not done so well at and forgetting that there are so many positives. In my experience it becomes harder to prove “good” progress (under the new government’s criteria) the better you are as a school.
Children should not be jumping through hoops at this stage of their lives. they should be given a rich wealth of experiences and opportunities in order to explore, ask questions and wonder about the world we live in. It saddens me when it comes down to pure numbers and data.
It is important that parents have a good picture of how well their child is doing in school and even to be able to know if the school they send their child to is one that is going to stretch their child. However, what happened to curiosity? to awe and wonder? Sadly OfSTED don’t seem interested in this anymore. It is about average points progress and percentage at each level.
There are a number of non-academic children in my school who struggle with the hoops that they are asked to jump through but they have such a love for life and the world in which they live. What does the system in Britain today provide for these children? – that is apart from the failure label!!!!
I want children to be excited about learning, to be itching to come to school. To be full of excitement about another day experiencing something amazing.
My job is a balancing act between the data and the real learning. between government policy and school practice.
Tomorrow is the start of a brand new term. Let’s see what exciting opportunities we can involve our pupils in over the next few months 🙂