A new academic year

My blog has, inevitably, been fairly quiet over the summer holidays. I have been out in Spain, I have moved house and I have been slogging away at my Masters assignments – right now I really should be writing some more of my critical review of an educational article….but this is much more fun!

Over the summer I have tried to relax whilst also allowing time to take stock of the last year or so, especially my first year as Head of MFL. It has definitely been a very steep learning curve and as a relatively inexperienced and young teacher I have certainly encountered many challenges. I look forward to starting back next week (!) with a much clearer idea of what I have to do, and I what I would like to do. In addition, I will be welcoming an NQT into the department – I look forward to supporting her and I hope that she enjoys the teaching journey as much as I have done so far – and I will be taking nearly 30 pupils to Barcelona in October half term.

My aims this term are to focus as much as possible on excellent teaching and excellent leading of the department. I think that my teaching is always of a good standard, and I do a lot of planning in the holidays so that I can face each week and know that, more or less, my planning and thinking about a lesson has been done when my brain was fairly clear and focussed on the simple task of just planning, rather than muddling through whilst also dealing with the day-to-day running of a department, but now that I am living in my own place, I don’t have to worry about going home at the same time as my former housemate, and part of me is very much looking forwards to doing either lots of work in my own time at school, or, alternatively, in my own time at home! I will, however, keep to my plan of rarely working at weekends, as that HAS to be me time.

This term, we begin a new timetable structure, which I look forward to seeing in action. Previously we have had a nine period day, with one of three periods in the middle of the day built in for lunch plus an activity period each day. This year, we will have a six period day, with a long lunch, which will incorporate all of our clubs and activities. This will mean we will have 50 minute lessons, instead of 35 or 70 minute lessons, which I don’t think will cause that much chaos in the MFL department, but I can image, may be a bit harder for some other subjects. I think 50 minutes is a good length for an MFL lessons, as you can really get going and get a lot done.

I also aim to keep updating LanguagesResources more! It has sort of fallen on the back burner recently, what with the MA and all, but I plan on giving the MA a rest now that I have reached an opt out level (I may just finish here and get a Post Grad Certificate as it is HARD work!). The French section will get done, and I will sort out the A Level French section too and then I will move onto redoing the German section. Please, please remind me (either on here or on Twitter if I still don’t seem to be doing very much on it – I need reminding sometimes).

I hope that results are what everyone wants/needs/expects and I know I am crossing my fingers for tomorrow’s GCSE results – especially for Spanish. I put in a lot of hard work with my students, offering lots of extra support and I really hope that it has paid off.


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