5 things to think about this week

21st September 2007 at 01:00
1. Keep an eye on school bus behaviour. Some authorities report an increase in poor behaviour on transport between homes and schools. Last October, eight school bus drivers in Nottinghamshire made an angry statement to the local press

about the behaviour of children at a named school. And last year 60 pupils across Buckinghamshire were banned from using school transport.

A few disruptive children on buses can seriously undermine all your hard work on improving behaviour and maintaining good community relationships. The starting point, obviously, is to make sure you know what's happening.

Key point: Schools in some authorities for example, Yorkshire East Riding and West Sussex use senior pupils as bus monitors. For further details, Google "Bus monitors West Sussex" and "Bus monitors East Riding".

2. Training involves the people in the school office too

Investigate on their behalf the school business management qualifications diploma and certificate run by the National College for School Leadership. Also the School of Educational Administration's distance learning course for the National Certificate in Educational Administration.

Key point: Applications for the NCSL certificate close at the end of this month, and for the NCEA in early October.

* www.ncsl.org.uk

* www.admin.org.uk (School of Educational Administration)

3. Review your progress in ICT

Government expectations are for each pupil to have a personalised online learning space by Spring 2008, and for the whole school to have an "integrated management and learning system" by 2010.

There is lots of advice on the website of the education technology agency, Becta its self-review framework provides an excellent objective measure of where you are with ICT.

* http:schools.becta.org.uk

It is also worth reading the following case study in the TES archive:

* www.tes.co.uksearchstory?story_id=2216507

4. Look at Getting Back on Track

Not all Department for Children, Schools and Families documents are what you could call fascinating, but you should take a look at this one, which came out in mid-August when your attention may have been elsewhere. Getting Back on Track studies 250 pupils in 46 schools who have failed to make the progress expected in English, maths and science between key stages 2 and 3. The children, their heads and teachers were interviewed in depth by DCSF advisers. There are practical suggestions for improvement for all three subjects.

* http:publications.teachernet.gov.uk

5. Start a podcast

School podcasting is only two years old the first was at Musselburgh Grammar, East Lothian, in May 2005 but it is spreading fast. If you, or anyone else, need convincing that it is a good, highly motivating idea, go to a podcast directory and browse. You'll be surprised.

Don't worry too much about how to do it. The children will know. And there are some good practical hints, written for young people, on Wolverhampton City Learning Centre's website.

* www.wolverhamptonclc.co.uk20070302tips-for-a-successful-school-podcast

* http:recap.ltd.ukpodcastingindex.php (a podcast directory)

Send contributions or suggestions for this column to Gerald Haigh at gerald.haigh@btinternet.com

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