Page 11 - Independent Schools Magazine
P. 11

 ying teachers’ they love?
 Ben’s Top Tips to help teachers cope....
• Ensure a manageable teaching load for all staff
• Build in time to meet as departments, phases and whole staff
• Dedicate time for report writing and exam marking
• Regular weekly CPD sessions to ensure staff are able to reflect and seek support from colleagues on a range of teaching and work life issues.
• An available cover teacher for when staff absence due to illness/ courses is high.
• Staff fitness and yoga sessions to help promote a healthy life and work life balance
• A staff counsellor available free of charge
• A personnel committee, chaired by a governor to discuss issues such a workload, pressure points etc.
• A carefully constructed calendar (with staff consultation) of reporting periods, parents’ consultations, exams, gradings etc. to ensure fewer pinch points of heavy work load and spread these across the year to make them more manageable.
How did we get here?
The world of education and schools is now a very different place to that of 20 or 30 years ago. Compliance regulations
are so much more stringent along with the regular cycle of inspections – this all adds to the pressure on staff. Parents are now so much more involved in their children’s education than ever before and this undoubtedly adds to the pressure. In the independent sector, we are fortunate to not be constrained by the endless government edicts and changes to policy which mean maintained schools are constantly having to change course, policies and practice.
Independence allows us to teach a rich and varied curriculum with a sensible balance of knowledge and skills, assess pupils’ progress sensibly and with purpose, and add much awe and wonder to
our daily school lives ensuring the perfect mix of academic rigour, creativity and excitement.
How can we
move forward?
First and foremost schools must look at their teachers’ workload and ensure it is manageable and fits the needs of the school. Are teachers able to spend quality time preparing lessons, marking books, reflecting on good practice and fulfilling their professional development targets?
All of this should largely be built into their working day ensuring a healthy work life balance. Do the school’s Teaching and Learning and Assessment policies constrain teachers in the classroom? In reality, such policies should allow greater freedom for teachers
to practise their pedagogy and ensure greater pupil engagement and academic excellence - hopefully the aim of all schools. Does the school have checks
and balances in place to identify staff who are under stress or underperforming as a result of undue pressure? This is essential with the necessary support readily available to resolve the issues.
 Bake Off takes off to mark 140th anniversary
Yorkshire’s Ashville College has hosted its first ever ‘Great Ashville Bake Off’ as part of its 140th anniversary celebrations.
More than 70 cakes, biscuits, quiches, breads and pork pies
– baked by parents and pupils
– were laid out for guest judge, Betty’s managing director Simon Eyles, to sample before choosing winners from sweet and savory categories.
The competition also coincided
with the school’s annual tea party
for elderly people in the local area,
organised in conjunction with HELP (Harrogate Easy Living Project).
Its “Opening Doors” scheme
aims to help those who are older and vulnerable to maintain their independence by getting out and about with the assistance of a volunteer.
Richard Marshall, Ashville College’s Headmaster, commented: “Whilst Paul Hollywood and Pru Leith have to sample a maximum of 36 cakes or breads per episode, Mr Eyles had the enviable task of tasting more than double that number!
Pictured Ready. Steady. Eat! Betty’s managing director Simon Eyles - who is pictured with pupils Josh Byrom, Esme Bloodworth, Isabelle Byrom and Daniel Dobson - begins the judging process!
                  Independent Schools Magazine 11

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