5 things to think about this week
Are you committed to PE? If so, now is your chance to persuade politicians to stop talking about "sport in school" when they mean "physical education". Ed Balls, the Schools Secretary, was taken to task on this recently by Margaret Talbot, chief executive of the Association for PE, after he made a speech about "sport" and "exercise" that didn't once refer to PE. To add your voice go to the association's website and to find out more, see www.afpe.org.uk
2. Glossy ideas pack not to be missed
Read Principles into Practice from the Teaching and Learning Research Programme. This is the kind of glossy A4 booklet (and DVD) that can easily be overlooked but it is packed with research-based ideas about learning. Do you assume, for example, that your children automatically know what counts as "good work"? Research shows that they often use superficial criteria picked up from teachers' responses in class about neatness and finishing quickly. Working with them to develop more substantial self-evaluation can make a big difference. See www.tlrp.org
3. Events to tackle your top concerns
As a primary head, what are your three main concerns? The National College for School Leadership has asked around and come up with: 1) using and analysing performance data; 2) leading personalised learning; and 3) leading in a multi-agency context. The college will run a string of one-day events on these topics across the country up until Easter. Some events are full already, so hurry. See www.ncsl.org.uk
4. Let staff tell you about CPD sessions
If you have staff who have done some substantial continuing professional development, give them some time to talk to you about what they have learnt. Why? Because it is a common complaint of staff that they emerge from training only to find that nothing has changed. Support staff who slog away on twilight or online NVQ courses seem particularly prone to this treatment.
5. All should contribute to assembly
Many otherwise confident colleagues are frankly scared of taking assembly, but a head comments: "Every adult in the school should be capable of at least making a contribution in assembly, and the onus is on me to provide training and support.
"Delivering a good assembly is brilliant for a person's self-esteem and raises their profile with the children."
Send your contributions or suggestions for this column to Gerald Haigh at firstname.lastname@example.org.