What are your non-negotiables?

Having done everything to stand, stand firm therefore.”
~Ephesians 6:13~

Another thought provoking day today. I will start with how excited I am about adding almost 47 hours of learning to our children’s academic year just by shortening our lunch ‘hour.’ Today, I have finally figured out a way to implement it. This just thrills me! (It does not take much!)

Non-negotiables were thoroughly talked about today both in terms of what the new curriculum brings with it but also what we see as the fixed ideals within our own contexts.

Starting with the curriculum and the changes it brings :

-Cooking: this will impact us as we do not have any cooking facilities in school (other than our kitchen for school dinners) I would like to link this with our languages and prepare cultural dishes. We have been in discussion with our local secondary about coming to them to use their cooking facilities but we will also need to purchase some small, portable stovetops.

-MFL- I already have this one sorted. When I joined my school we did not have any languages taking place, but now we have native speakers teaching Spanish in Key Stage 1 and German across Key Stage 2. Now, I am hoping to make firm links with schools from Germany and Spain.

There are many other changes, the ones obviously that were most discussed are regarding Maths and English. But, I remain firm in my belief that the new curriculum is providing the perfect opportunity to really develop a curriculum that fits with your school.

Moving onto my non-negotiables….when I do my lesson observations I am looking for the three ‘Ps’ Passion, Pace, Pitch all underpinned by features of outstanding learning – such as evidence of building resilient and independent learners. This is fundamental.

Teaching is our business, therefore we should be working towards creating ‘outstanding’ learners. Teachers must inspire children through their own passion for learning, providing them with memorable ‘learning’ experiences and opportunities-making learning tangible and relevant to ‘real-life.’ Good classroom practice should highlight assessment for learning strategies that help children achieve success while always being aware of their ‘next steps.’ I have always said that targets need to be achievable-sticking end of year/levelled targets in the fronts of children’s books is all well and good but there are so many smaller steps that need to be achieved before then! Further, they add to children’s sense of achievement when they are actually achieving their next steps rather than always working towards one major goal that takes, what must feel like forever, to achieve. When children succeed and feel a sense of pride, this will push them to do well.

Marking is key to this success- in writing for example, children need to know what to do next to improve their next piece of work – but in order to apply it, time MUST be built into the lesson for children to respond to feedback. If it isn’t a part if the routine, it will not get done.

Tomorrow I will explain a few more of my non-negotiables and why they are important for my school.

Having a new curriculum allows you a ‘fresh’ chance to start again, if you like. Seize this opportunity with both hands!

What will your non-negotiables be?

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