Nine days of teaching…

…and we’re still standing. (And I’ve written my UCAS references: success)

The Oracle (pupil handbook) has been generally well-received, and one class in particular thought that “Let’s consult the oracle” was particularly amusing. Getting the Y12 to highlight/annotate in their books before making summary notes seems to be going pretty well, although – much as the same way that the real proof of the pudding is in the eating – I’m not certain that their knowledge is secure enough yet. I suppose that this is where the ‘nothing new’ lessons and the cumulative assessment will come in.

The Programme of Learning splits the specification into two: side A starts with ‘what is a business?’ while side B begins with revenue, costs, profits and profitability. My Side B class have spent a lot of time doing calculations, and it’s going to be an interesting time: that class has, among others, three pupils doing A-level maths and two who scrapped a C at GCSE maths. I really need to work out how to stretch the top without scaring the bottom, and there’s a real risk of that happening – time for a chat with the Maths department, I think.

Side A seems to be pottering along OK, although it felt very odd teaching mission statements to Y12, when it’s traditionally been a topic taught half-way through Y13 – I used pretty much the same activity as normal (going to the IT centre, each finding 5 mission statements, then analysing them about purpose/audience/effectiveness) but the comments in class really brought home the lack of sophistication in their understanding. I think this will be a real challenge of the linear AQA course, in that there is none of the ‘easing in’ found in the legacy BUSS1 – topics done this week have to be covered to the same depth as topics in the final weeks of the course. I’ve given them an essay on mission statements to write (might as well start them young!) but I think it’s going to take a lot of polishing. Mind you, we’ve got to start somewhere and I’m going to think of it as a good opportunity for redrafting and formative assessment.

There are all sorts of challenges on the Head Of Department front – it’s felt like a fortnight of frantic running to keep still – but things are thankfully settling down, I hope, and I’ll be able to finalise the tracking spreadsheets. Next year, to make the start of the year easier (recorded here, so I can look back on it as a reminder!):

  • I’m going to be stricter on the department about the completion of UCAS references: the process is that they write individually, I then compile; the final references came in 4 hours before the deadline this year. There was swearing. Not in front of anyone else, of course, although the cat looked shocked.
  • I’m going to concentrate on get the overall set-list sheet of the tracking spreadsheets sorted first and maybe just keep all the pupil data on a single sheet, rather than splitting it into sets in advance, then having to copy and paste kids from one class to another as they change their options and their minds.
  • I’m going to sort a system for tracking exam re-marks. I’ve just been whacking the emails into a folder, and I’m all confused. Ach well.

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