Today has been quite a difficult day – emotionally draining.
We had a quite intensive session this morning on child protection. I understand completely how important it is to be trained in this area, but I found it very upsetting. We had to look at examples of what might happen to children and how to spot signs of abuse, and it made me feel a bit sick to read some of the things that people are capable of doing to children. This is one of the darker sides of the job I think – but it’s very important that we know how to deal with it and how to follow the right procedures to make sure those children get help. I was very glad when it was decided to leave the case studies until another day as I don’t think I could have coped with much more in one day.
We then had a session about assessment. I, of course, am strangely enthusiastic about assessment, but not many people are! I had forgotten this though and was happily saying how I’ve enlisted help to find out how we can assess foundation subjects, only to realise people perhaps weren’t too happy about that idea! I must work on selling these ideas more to people and not expecting them to be as keen as me. We’re going to be doing APP style assessment for each child in writing, reading, maths, science and ICT. Sounds a lot but we will not be providing evidence for every child – that will still be just the 3 focus children – so it is a case of proving you know what you’re doing for the 3 focus children and then just keeping a record of how the other children are doing without having to photocopy lots of work. So I think it will be manageable, but I’m looking into trying to do it electronically rather than having 35 sheets of A4 for every subject that need to be flipped through and highlighted. Our tracker system Pupil Asset should be able to do this, and I think it will work quite well. That’s a job for next week!
So my classroom’s up and ready – tidy, well organised, first day planned. I may realise over the weekend I have forgotten to do something crucial but for now I feel very ready and relaxed! We’re going out tonight for a meal as a staff which should be a fun way to bond away from the pressures of school. Then I’m going to try to have a restful weekend – as restful as it can be when I am out shopping for my son’s school uniform! Did I mention he is starting at my school in Year 3? Very exciting!