Solving the problem of Secondary 1 and 2;School management

16th January 1998 at 00:00
There is a dearth of imaginative thinking about how we can ring the changes in Secondary 1 and 2, but last month's inspectorate's report Achieving Success in S1S2 contained little that is new.

Most secondaries already do rotate minority subjects, and while 18 to 20 teachers over the two years is too many, 12 to 15 is not. And it will not do to continue the upper primary experience into S1-S2. Pupils are ready for the stimulation that the wide variety of secondary subjects and teachers brings.

The real problem is fragmentation of the secondary teacher's responsibilities and the timetable. One solution is to create 5 to 14 specialists dedicated to S1-S2. As well as being subject specialists, they could meet as a team, with time and resources to focus on attainment across the entire curriculum. All secondaries already identify a senior manager for S1-S2 who could oversee such a structure. Senior teachers could supervise non-specialist assessment and reporting, and the transfer of information between primary and secondary.

And why not allocate a part of the secondary school as an S1-S2 area, minimising the time wasted moving around and encouraging a 5-14 ethos? Most S1-S2 classes could be situated away from the subject department, given suitable accommodation and resources.When these changes are embedded, the timetable could allow longer, more flexible periods.

David McMurtry is a lecturer at Northern College, Aberdeen.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now