The Process of Growth

Under the leadership of Jeremy Hannay our school has shifted away from ‘traditional’ school philosophies of observation and high stakes to one that promotes support, growth and development of all staff. For example ‘Performance Management’ meetings have been replaced with an ‘Annual Learning Plan’ where teachers are paired up with a member of SLT to develop two/three lines of enquiry to focus on for that year. A sample question may be: ‘What reading strategies can be implemented to support emerging readings in KS1?’ or ‘To what extent does writing in mathematics support learners and, considering the law of diminishing returns, how much time of the lesson should be dedicated to this?’ Under this approach I have witnessed teacher autonomy, confidence and well-being increase dramatically.

Yes, teaching is a hard job, we all knew that when we went in (didn’t we?), but these conditions have allowed teachers to flourish as professionals, collaborators and individuals. My point is that, without the requisite conditions it would have been extremely hard for our SLT to develop an approach to journal writing, reading or (hopefully shortly) Oracy effectively. These conditions are intentional, they are an investment and they have formed the foundation of our school. As we expect our pupils to, teachers are encouraged to collaborate, research, explore, make mistakes, reflect and go again.

Therefore, after a year of whole school dialogue and action research a framework for writing in mathematics is beginning to emerge in our school. It has been, and will continue to be, an ongoing process. We are in no way a perfect example, but with each day I can feel us taking a step closer and its liberating to know that if we fall there are so many dedicated people to pick you up, dust you off and guide you back to the path.

With that said – here are a series of journal tasks from our Year 6’s unit on fractions. I love this part of the lesson and it’s always good to here the whispers of ‘Yes!’ from the pupils when it’s time to journal.

Would love to see how your school has been journaling.


Author: DOC Talk Teach

Year 6 teacher. Head of Teaching and Learning in a London primary.

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