Five things I have learnt…

24 June 2016

As I near the end of my first year as a Head of Primary at SIS, I find myself reflecting on what can only be described as a year of fun and learning. The career experiences that have led to where I find myself has solely been in primary school settings in London with two classes in each year level. I am now in an ‘all through school’ in Malaysia with both Primary and Secondary staff which has been an amazing change! I blogged about this earlier in the year: www.sisgroup.edu.my/blogs/leadership/the-benefits-of-all-through-schools-like-straits-international-school/   

The top five learning points that I have gained this year to add to my previous experiences are:

  1. In the previous schools that I have worked in we have always taught English and Maths in the morning but as timetabling is a difficult task with more members of staff, I have since learnt that English and Maths lessons can be successfully taught in the afternoon. These lessons are just as effective for students with an attitude beneficial to learning, like the fantastic students that we have at Straits!
  2. It is obvious that having a second teacher in English lessons with our small sized classes would be beneficial, but it is something that I have not experienced before. This not only provides an opportunity for discussions about students and lessons, it also provides a wealth of expertise for our students. Such a treat to teach in this environment!
  3. I am teaching in the same size primary school as I previously have, a two-form entry school, but when Primary is teamed up with Secondary (and add an international setting) the dynamics of the staff have changed from what I know. I believe this is a result of the number of staff and those staff having a variety of differing previous working careers which makes it a very exciting place to be.
  4. I have also learnt that working at an ‘all through school’ means that you need to consider a wider range of student ages, so a model is still needed where the students’ needs and interests are at the centre of the decisions but takes a little more effort to develop.
  5. Primary teachers are always busy until the end of the Summer term, but I have learnt that as Secondary teachers have reduced lessons after exams they begin planning for the following year in June. This is an unbelievably exciting notion to me and yet another example of the benefits of working with teachers from Secondary!

It has been a very exciting year and I look forward to the next one!

Ms. Karlie Walsh
Vice Principal (Head of Primary)

 

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