Aspice Retro 10-11

Experience is an unforgiving teacher. First year as a senior school leader delivered some tough lesson, a number of which I reflected upon here on this blog. What key lessons have I learnt.

Have clear, strong educational and leadership philosophies. When the going gets tough you need to know who you are and what you stand for.

As a school leader you are always ‘on duty.’ When teaching, when in the subject study area, in the corridors and everything you ‘say’ and the way that you say it, matters. Senior leaders can rarely allow the ‘on duty’ sign to dim when at work. Every single word you say counts, can be reused, both positively and negatively.

I enjoyed teaching English (for the first time), albeit under some challenging circumstances and gained a useful reminder of what it is like to be a ‘newly qualified’ teacher, at least in terms of the efforts required to developed one’s subject knowledge.

I have been able to observe how our new Principal has introduced herself, to our community, our school and our students and their parents and of course our staff. As Yogi Berra suggests,

You can observe a lot by watching.


Exam Results

The two curriculum areas that I line managed this year both posted their best ever examination results. English exceeding their 70%  target (71%)and ICT exceeding their 80% target (86%, 74% gaining 2 GCSE and 12% 1 GCSE). Both subjects posted overall positive residuals with ICT posting phenomenal achievements for students with either school action or school action plus status.

For me personally, I was buoyed by the success of the students in my year 11 class with a handful of students surpassing their target grades, as well as a small number gaining a grade C. Overall the class had a very positive residual. The staff and students have been warmly applauded.

IT Services

The IT Services team have now finished their Win7, Office 2010 deployment, with Serif Creative Media and Video software also available within school. Microsoft Live@edu was never realised, with the launch of Office 365. E-Resources now looks after 3 Moodle installations, 3 websites. Unique visits and visitor numbers to our website continues to grow.

Our development partnership with Zi-link was discontinued and replaced with the purchase of Webanywhere’s product, our Parent Portal launches to Year 7 parents in September.

Moodle 2.2 upgrade is set for January 2012.

IT Budget and procurement budgets have been significantly reduced, but we have managed this process through a desktop refurbishments programme, hardware and printer consolidation.

Big Blue Button / Mahara – 2010-11 Still not a priority, however we are still in conversation with Wildern School about Big Blue Button.

Vital IT Support Contract – completed.

Hampshire Network Managers Meeting – still running.

This brings my strategic leadership of IT Services to a end. Over the four years ‘we’ have established and actioned an IT Strategy and budget, as well as defining the ‘IT Services’ brand at Hamble College. The team has significantly extended our provision, upgraded both our network, hardware, software, print and web services. We now offer an Audio / Visual service, an equipment loan and laptop booking service, as well as managing electronic information boards, IT procurement for departments. The team have supported within our primary pyramid, lead the Hampshire Network Managers group and represented Vital as their Secondary IT Support Champions. I am extremely proud of the team, our progress and our achievements. The line-management of IT Services is now the responsibility of our new Business Manager.

Freya and Harry Still remind me everyday of the importance of family time and I am indeed balancing family and professional life more appropriately.

Emotional Leadership – develop EI qualities with the support of Maureen Bowes
SSAT Leadership Conference – Leading a workshop at the 2010 National Conference was a significant achievement.
Develop an iPhone App – With Ideonic was did pitch for funding, however  ‘Making a game out of school,’ was not one of the successful pitches. I continue to explore the use of gaming in education.

Aspice Porro 11-12

This academic year, our Principal has assigned new strategic and curriculum responsibilities to all Assistant Heateachers. This year I am responsible for initiating and leading our Parental Engagement strategy, including the new Parent Portal. English has now be returned to the Deputy Headteacher, with the Director of Learning and 2nd in Department having secured new posts an acting Director of Learning is steering the team. In addition to ICT, I will now line manage PE, although still teaching English as well as being asked to teach PSRE, Functional Skills and post 16 courses with a our new partner College. Adapt and diversify.

The Student Digital Leader work at Hamble College continues to thrive, however I hope to focus most of my professional teaching energies on just one area, interactive Fiction. Working with Quest, I hope to bring Interactive Fiction to a classroom new you in 2012! Or at least, you to a workshop so you can better understand the value of Interactive Fiction to developing learners writing, reading and creative thinking / problem solving skills.

Leave a Reply