The process of writing next year’s Scheme of Work is nearly complete, and I thought it might be useful to have a record of the process (not least for next year when I have to start planning the second year of the course!)
I started with getting topics in a logical order, rather than syllabus order, so that the topics were split fairly evenly between the two teachers. I used the AQA scheme of work and a tutor2u resource as a starting point but neither really split the course in the way I wanted, particularly if using two teachers, so I had to make a bespoke option rather than an off-the-peg solution. This teaching order was to become the Programme of Learning.
I then started putting rough timings in place – lots of maths working out how many lessons in total, and therefore how many hours, and comparing those answers to the AQA recommended timings. Some of this was guesswork (I’ve never taught some of the stuff so have no idea how long it will take!) but some was based on previous experience. How a new HOD who’s only been teaching a year or two can do this is beyond me!
Once timings were in place, and I was pretty sure it would fit into the time available (!), I then started to add the assessment structure. At first, I put assessment points at the end of each section, but that was then tweaked by the department last week, who felt it should fit in more closely with our schedule of internal reports. I’m not sure how I feel about this from a teaching point of view, but as the assessments are cumulative, it doesn’t really matter when they’re scheduled.
From the Programme of Learning came the Schemes of Work: one for each teacher (imaginatively titled Side A and Side B). I’ve added columns for spec guidance (to help ensure we cover the right things), calculations/stretch/support (to identify areas that may need differentiation), and resources available. The plan is that this becomes a working document stored in the shared folder, and anyone can add resource suggestions as we go through the year. We’re getting a new VLE (firefly) next year which should make it even easier to share resources. No doubt more of that on another day.
Having tweaked all the assessment points (and taken out the week I’d allocated for January exams: school policy is now to do these within lessons for linear subjects rather than suspending the timetable), it might almost be time to publish. Eeep.