| Head's Blog

A very warm welcome back to you all after the Easter holidays!

Whilst the school has been closed, it has not been inactive, or uninhabited, as firstly our holiday club swung into action, and then safety checks and general maintenance across the site, took place. Postmen and couriers also beat a path to The Wattles’ front door, as teaching resources arrived to be unpacked - with great excitement and anticipation. In otherwise empty classrooms, members of staff gathered to exchange ideas, as they met to review the new term’s curriculum, and plan the work ahead.

By nature, teachers like to be highly organised, and planning brings confidence that the way ahead is secure and carefully plotted. However, at this point in time, we also stand at a crossroads, where the structure and clarity that detailed planning gives, must be balanced against an understanding of the need to relinquish the lead in the right circumstances, and let the children influence the direction of travel.

The internet has opened up children’s horizons hugely and enabled them to engage in the world around them in ways unimaginable just a few years ago. Children have an excellent grasp of issues such as climate change and diversity, and can argue their case coherently, as we have seen so clearly in recent weeks in the press, TV and even in parliament. As teachers, we, therefore, have a duty to offer our children the opportunity to engage, demonstrate and explore their knowledge and opinions, which in turn, will build their confidence and self-esteem. It is therefore vital that our planning, and our teaching, is well-structured, clear and ambitious, but that it also allows room for flexibility, growth and the unexpected.

Realising the need to challenge ourselves as teachers, we consequently reviewed our planning to reflect our commitment to pupil dialogue and voice. We added ‘notes to ourselves’ at the top of the planning sheet –

  • How can we ensure that learning opportunities are more dynamic to maximise the learning time and experience for all pupils?
  • How can we create frequent opportunity for pupils to have peer dialogue to further their learning?
  • How can we use pupils’ interests and real life experiences in order to support and enhance their learning?

As teachers, we must allow our classrooms to be dynamic, creative and open to the unexpected. As a profession, we like to be in control, but like life, we must not be afraid of the unplanned and the unexpected, but be prepared for it, and relish the journey – wherever it may lead!

Heather Hopson-Hill, Head Teacher