Now half-term’s out the way, I’ve made a start on getting plans on paper. I had an outline of the whole Lower Sixth year – split appropriately between two teachers – with approximate timings, but nothing in detail. The outline of the year has gone to the department, and we’ve got a day off timetable in a couple of weeks to discuss it further, but I decided to jump the gun somewhat and start fleshing out the skeleton: it’ll only be minor tweaks, I hope, so nothing that a bit of copy’n’paste won’t sort out.
I’ve split it down by week, so I can monitor progress through the year, although with a linear course there are inevitably fewer time pressures. I’ve tried to build in ‘buffer weeks’, so that there’s flexibility (especially important for a new course that is significantly different to our existing course, I think). For each topic, I’m trying to identify key concepts (to help others in the department get an overview), say which quantitative techniques need covering, and suggest possible activities and essay/discussion questions. For some topics, I’ve also noted areas for stretch or support. In the department, we are all experienced teachers, so I’ve tried hard not to be patronising, but also wanted to make suggestions as a starting point: three of my team have significant other responsibilities and will have limited planning time.
My biggest concern is the allocating of time to each topic. I’ve used the AQA scheme of work and what we’ve done in the past as a guide, but there are some topics where I’m making little more than educated guesses. I’ve still to cross-reference what I’ve done with the inspection copies of the textbooks that we’ve received, but hopefully it should all tie up. Fingers crossed!