Many schools struggle to get parent / community engagement right. The nature of teaching sees us thrown into a classroom with 20 or so students; when a bell goes, we move on to another class, and then to another. Our teaching is dictated by the bell. Unless collaborative time is factored into our busy days, we tend to work in isolation; sharing a few ideas as we pass by each other, or when we get a chance to meet at breaks over casual conversations. So if we find it difficult to find collaborative time with each other, how on earth can we find the time to get parents and the community engaged?
If you want to get more from your supplier, why not think beyond price? Arena has been supporting schools and colleges from day one, and specifically founded the business on strong community values that still stand 25 years later. Whilst price remains key for cash-strapped schools, many appreciate the additional, community-driven contributions that Arena can make. To see how much a supplier can help with the school community and beyond, take Ashton Sixth Form College in Greater Manchester...
A typically time-pressed Secondary school teacher, Rob spends most evenings planning lessons, marking work, grappling with new specifications, deciphering mark schemes and pondering issues of behaviour management. In his third year of teaching English, he enjoys his work, but increasingly feels there’s just not enough hours in the day. Oh, and he’s just learnt he’ll be picking up a GCSE Drama class in September…
I was recently asked to write about ‘Community’. My initial thoughts centred around community as both a collective and personal experience. Being part of a community is to be included and, in education, inclusion is something we (try to) personify to others. How we behave and relate to each other in school shapes our expectations of others and ourselves. How we shape our 'community' teaches others how to manage themselves. Would you agree?
With a history as long as ours, it won’t come as a surprise that we’ve learnt a thing or two about teaching boys along the way. The past 175 years has taught us much about understanding boys and how to motivate them to perform to the best of their ability. We greatly value our heritage and traditions, and our school motto - ‘Supera Moras’, or ‘Never Give Up’ - still inspires our way of thinking.
It was just over a year ago that Innovate My School published an article about a school in Brighton that had brought in some goats to support their pastoral provision. That was us. Two weeks after Innovate My School made us famous, we were getting up at 4am for our first live TV appearance, on Good Morning Britain, after the TES ran a story on us which was picked up by the national media. Since then it's all gone a bit bonkers, and our hairy resources are now superstars in their own right.
In a recent assembly at Felsted School here in Essex, I spoke to pupils about the significance of ‘active good behaviour’. It felt like an idea that must have belonged to someone else, an initiative that I was borrowing from elsewhere, but something that was obvious and really important at the same time.