Things go wrong in our schools… every day.
That’s not a problem in itself. It’s normal in every school.
It only becomes a problem if you don’t notice it, or you don’t act on it.
One of the jobs of school leaders is the have very sensitive antenna (and good data) to spot the problems and act on them.
Here are two examples of how we have done this:
The first term exam results of our Class 10 students showed they were struggling maths and science. So in our maths class, we’ve split the students into two groups – one stronger and one weaker – and we’ve brought in our second maths teacher to take one group, while the main maths teacher takes the other. This allows for much more personalised teaching.
In science we’ve brought in four of our top ex-students to do additional coaching alongside our teacher. This allows for a 1:2 teaching ratio.
Secondly, our Class 1 class has been really challenging. Our younger classes have always been very small – when we first arrived we taught all four classes (separately) in one room, they were that small. But as our school’s reputation has grown, so have our younger classes. Our Class 1 now has 30 students with a huge ability and age range. We’ve tried a whole series of steps to improve the teaching and classroom management (which go hand in hand), including a ‘star chart’ to award well-behaved students. These have helped, but we’ve now decided to split the class into Class 1 and nursery.
Things going wrong is not a problem; but doing nothing about it is.