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The O Word


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Yes, the dreaded O word is breathing its ugly head at our place. We got the letter yesterday and were told to expect those lovely inspectors on 18th Otcober (week before half term) and to put it mildly I'm pretty nervous.

There's something about it that scares me rigid. If I'd have been at my old school I'd have said bring it on, as I felt more secure there with what I was doing and being able to talk about it. This time I feel like there's so much to do before then and now, as a new co-ordinator (ICT as of September) and the teacher with possibly the most difficult mix in the school (reception and year 1) I feel like it's going to be tough.

Sorry, just needed to get it off my chest to people who would understand. :o

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Nichola, don't worry too much. You do know what you're doing and at the moment your class is unknown quantity in that it is not your class yet even if you do know most of the children.


Most importantly you must make sure that you have a proper break and return to school refreshed and ready to go!


Then in September you will take plenty of time establishing your rules and routines etc and settling the children. You were looking forward to making this class your own and now you have the opportunity to do so and be recognised. The powers that be have faith in you or you would not have been appointed, would you?


As for the coordinator role you are newly appointed and you can not be expected in less than half a term to put right anything/ everything that is wrong! Assumimg that that is the case. You will also need to ask for support, that is not unrealistic in your situation. I would suggest that you make an action plan and familiarise yourself with what the school has in way of resources and where you want to go. Manangement of teaching and learning seems to be the focus as far as I can tell and you will not be held responsible for what has gone before, nor are you SMT. Talk to someone in school who can reassure you? Do you have a coordinator at present, if so it is really important that you take time to talk to them now, not in September when they have swithched into their new role too.


I don't disagree with you that the prospect is scary but do save your energy for when you need it ie inspection week!


Good luck.

You know you've lots of friends on here!

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I dont work in a school but the best you can do is know your weaknesses and be prepared to point them out before the inspector does. (It has been said by my staff that I'm so candid at these times I'm scarey). I'm sure you'll be great. Now do what Susan says and have a relaxing summer break. Good Luck :D

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Thankyou for your kind messages!

I'm really looking forward to September and the chance to make that class mine from the start, something I really missed this year. I met them today for the first time and they all (with a couple of exceptions) seem pretty good, although not very bright (actually my reception seem bright, just not my Y1s bless them- one of them today only knew 1 key word when his current teacher checked this morning and that was 'a'!)


In terms of subject leadership, I'm not bothered about my own knowledge and understanding, that's why I was chosen to take on ICT, as I'm not afraid of computers and know a fair bit about it. I've also registered for a course run at the local 6th form college to gain a professional qualification (I was supposed to do it this term, but it was full).

What I am bothered about is the HUGE gap in the medium and long term planning for the school. Many of the classes in school are mixed (school goes something like this: N, R, R/1, 1/2, 2, 3, 3/4, 4/5, 5/6 and 6) so this means a bit of a planning nightmare! I've been given the file from the previous leader (who is moving on to a new school in September, hence the new job for me) and there are 4 classes with no planning, one of them being his class!! The other classes are mine (always left out cos it's so tricky) and the 2 other FS stage classes (often left out in whole school things) so I think that's my first thing to try and put to rights before they come.


Ahh well, not like I'm going to start getting into OFSTED mode now! that can wait till after the holidays!

Thanks again and if anyone can help me on the ICT issue it would be very much welcomed!

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H Nichola, it will be a learning curve for you no doubt. I too had OFSTED only 4 weeks after taking subject responsibilty, in my case for history and goegraphy, and after we had had no coordinator for 2 years in either subject.

But all they will want to know is have you got a handle on what the schools issues are,like Susan says, write an audit followed by an action plan and you are covered. We also have had mixed classes until recently as we have been a one-and-a-half form entry school, so the planning is probematic, but you have already identified that for your audit. You will need to have an idea about what you are going to do about it eg asking for NC time so that you can look at long term planning, or support for teachers who arent doing any!!

What has happened in the school before your arrival isnt your problem, so dont worry about what has been, just know what has been and what your vision is for the future. And ask for any trraining you think you need to fulfil your role.



And dont give it another thought before Septemeber!!!!


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