A week in the life of……

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It’s recruitment season and I know that some readers will be considering taking the step to senior leadership. Your perspective will change and it’s different having to leave the subject behind in order to look at whole school developments.  Often, I get to the end of a whirlwind of a week and wonder what exactly I did so, with the purpose of letting others know what may be in store and my own curiosity, I kept a rough track.  I’m proud to work in a secondary comprehensive with just over 1,000 students and 145 staff.  Some of the activities last week were rare occasions, but many of the activities are typical.

We operate on a two-week timetable, and I hold line management meetings with the departments I’m linked to during a Week 1, so they are missing from this account. My main school responsibilities include development grit, designated safeguarding lead and the progress of ‘disadvantaged’ students. As safeguarding lead, I often have to speak to students and the deputy as and when is needed.

I’m not going to add any commentary and I’ll let you decide if these activities are worthwhile or not. All I’ll say is that the activities are important to ensure that teachers can focus on teaching and that our students are getting the best deal possible. I’ve also included exercise, as that forms part of my attitude toward well-being. It’s also marathon training season, so I run after school (from 8pm usually) on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

One last thing, I haven’t included everything here. Emails I tackle first thing in the morning, together with cover requests, ad-hoc meetings, walking the school can all be added. In addition, I haven’t mentioned working at home or my weekends.

Morning

Although work is only a half marathon away in terms of distance, it can take a while so I like to get going early. My first meeting each day is at 7:30am and three times a week I exercise at 6:20am outside on Hove Lawns. Generally speaking, I get in to school between 6:46am and 7:20am. The time in the morning is my main planning and marking time. The school is empty. My office door is open (unless in a safeguarding meeting) and it’s great that staff often pop in during the day when I’m in.

Monday

  • 7:30: SLT briefing
  • 8:00: Whole staff briefing
  • 8:20: Shake hands on the back gate
  • During the day: Making safeguarding video bites to sit on our Sharepoint site; line management meeting with the Headteacher; meeting with the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme to see about becoming an operating authority, linked to our #GrowingGrit plans; taught Year 10 Geography; lunch duty; meeting Health England about providing free wellbeing and health checks; wander around the school at DEAR time and half of one period to see how things were going.
  • After school: Delivering leadership development training in school; meeting to talk through the summer plans for the graduation and awards evenings. Marking some Year 11 mock exam papers and data entry for my Year 8 classes.

Tuesday

  • 7:30: Meeting our cover manager to ensure school is set up.
  • 8:15: Shaking hands with students on the back gate.
  • During the day: a learning walk; teaching double Year 10 and a Year 8, lunch duty, caught up with our Grit and resilience coordinator regarding plans as well as our humanutopia heroes, DEAR time with a tutor group; delivering the safeguarding training to new staff; met with our head of IT support to discuss school’s compliance with information governance and data protection; met with our curriculum deputy about the #GrowingGrit foundation year and Key Stage 3 carousel.
  • After school: Year 11 15 minute revision session and controlled assessment catch up, dropping in to department meetings and the humanities team meeting.

Wednesday

  • 7:30: Meeting our cover manager to ensure school is set up.
  • During the day: driving Year 7 PP students to Sussex University for an INTOUniversity day stargazing; safeguarding brief with the Headteacher; lunch duty; Teach Year 8 Geography; wrote a ‘Supervision of Safeguarding Staff’ policy and arranged the details; took part in CPD around the online CPOMS system; DEAR with a tutor group (I’m currently reading War Horse in school).
  • After school: SLT detention duty; meeting with the Key Stage 3 team around PP support and spend.

On a Wednesday I try to get home early to allow my wife to work and see my son – very much a weekend Dad during term time.

Thursday

  • 7:30: Meeting our cover manager to ensure school is set up
  • During the Day: Conducting a review of a local Geography department within the LA.
  • After school: SLT meeting, meeting with a primary colleague to set up a PP programme; NPQH reading and preparation for a core training day.

Friday

  • 7:30: Meeting our cover manager to ensure school is set up.
  • 8:15: Shaking hands with students and staff as they arrive to school
  • During the day: Teaching double Year 11, supporting another Year 11 geography group, meeting with a colleague about a possible Iceland trip; meeting with colleagues to arrange other trips; meeting with the grit and resilience coordinator about the #GrowingGrit project and the launch of #LearnChallenge and assemblies next week; programmed the visit of a visitor next week (more on that next week); went along to the Year 11 assembly; wrote thank you postcards to staff
  • After school: It’s a Friday, so I went for a beer after the safeguarding end-of-week wash-up with the deputy safeguarding lead and meeting with the Key Stage 3 team.
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