Monday, 24 February 2014

That was the term that was

Wizard of Oz
As I was saying, back last term we had a Governor Visit Day. Sitting in lessons it struck me how much things have changed since I was in secondary school in the 1970/80s. Chalky Blackboards are now snazzy interactive Whiteboards. Students are spared the soul destroying drudgery of taking down dictated notes. Rather, they are encouraged to play an active role in their own learning. In my day it seemed you could get 1000 lines for saying, 'Please sir, my pen's run out.' But nowadays participation is positively welcomed. Thoughtful contributions can earn you a House Point or two. Why, I didn't witness even one teacher throw a well-aimed board rubber at a daydreaming student. Aren't teachers shown how to do that in PGCE courses any more? Anyway, Governors were impressed by what they witnessed as they visited classrooms and talked to students about their educational progress. Behaviour for learning was overwhelmingly good and students seemed to be enjoying their lessons, which was great to see.

Apart from that, highlight of the term for me was this year's school production, The Wizard of Oz. The wife and I attended Thursday's packed-out show. It was a lively affair with well acted performances, note perfect singing and a good dose of slapstick humour. The costumes, choreography and staging were a credit to all involved. The greenfaced, cackling Wicked Witch of the West was scary, though. And the flying monkeys freaked me out a bit. But I tried to be brave. While watching I started to reflect on which of the principal characters I identified with most. I don't posses a pair of shiny red slippers (honest) and you wouldn't want to hear me singing 'Over the Rainbow', so that's Dorothy out.  Scarecrow had no brain, Tin Man no heart and Lion no courage. Too close to call.

At the last meeting of the Full Governing Body, amongst other things we decided to 'reconstitute'. That may sound rather painful, but it simply means that we now have more of one kind of governor (Co-opted) and less of others (various). Reconstituting will give us a little more discretion when it comes to appointing new members of the Governing Body. We also welcomed a new Parent Governor and appointed people to fill vacant Partnership and Co-opted roles. Term 3  being midway through the academic year we revisited our goals for strengthening governance and reviewed our targets for school improvement. That left us reconstituted, reinvigorated and refocussed. There is some debate as to whether the route to Outstanding is a green or yellow brick road, but whatever the colour, we're determined to follow it.