Was I really right to change schools? This blog reflects on my move and how it's impacted on my teaching
So why am I leaving? I have to be honest and say that right now, I don't know. When I began my search for a new job, I was armed with a dream 'wish list', and the attitude that it'd be hard to find. I was adamant that it would have to be close to my dream job for me to leave such a great school. And so, here I am. I found the job I really wanted. So why am I so fearful?
So this week I had the pleasure of seeing my name in print; I've written my first article. Published in the March/April 2017 issue of Primary Science, something I have written has been accepted and published by the ASE.
In this blog, I was planning on reflecting on my feelings about the finished article - but that's easy to deduce. There are a copious number of adjectives I could use to desribe my pride in such an achievement (yes, it has been shared with and lovingly received by friends and family). I think the real value is understanding how this came to happen.
So this year, my one word is 'confidence'. I think that as a community this is something that most teachers battle with. I'm not talking about our personal confidence; I can be quite confident in familiar social situations. What this blog will look at it is my professional confidence, my belief in myself as a teacher and that I have something of value to say.
This post is inspired by a collection of thoughts and things I've read over the past few weeks. Firstly, from looking at science education as part of my Masters degree, coupled with a recurring theme of speeches at the PSQM award evening and finally, the Rochford report into assessing SEN in line with the new curriculum. So what are the aims of science education? Historically, the purpose of any science curriculum has been in tension and confused with itself. Does it provide an education for all? A foundation of simple, 'everyday' science knowledge focusing on how stuff works. Or does it focus on educating the next generation of scientists?, of which there is a detailed and documented need for in the UK.
The start of this blog post comes on the tube journey home from possibly the proudest moments in my career. I have just attended the Primary Science Quality Mark award evening and collected the silver award for my school. I have always been passionate about primary science, but the energy, enthusiasm and sense of pride felt after the ceremony has reignited my passion.
So today I had another exciting session as part of my masters. Whilst I could attempt to provide you with the the theory behind what the Aspires Project have beautifully identified as 'science capital' this video does it perfectly. What has struck me however from looking at children's science capital and their potential to develop as scientists is how the system appears to be truly failing children in identifying their potential and having the ability to achieve their potential in science or a science related career.
For this blog post, I'm moving away from the typical rant or opinion based blog article about the current state of education in England. I have been asked by Millgate House Education, publishers of the Concept Cartoon series, to review their latest publication 'Let's talk about evolution'. I have not been paid to write this review, but I have received a free copy of the book.
So, let's talk.
This month has seen the annual SATs testing of all Year 6 children up and down the country. Also, as I write this, my loving and delightful Year 2 children are embarking on their end of Key Stage assessments. It has been well documented that children have been in tears over the content and the pitch of these statutory assessments. Sadly, I have to confess, I've seen a trace of this disbelief from the children in the pitch of the KS1 assessments. Yes, I've taught Year 2 for the past three years and the shift in the expectations from new assessments in reading and mathematics has increased. While I haven't witnessed any children in tears, you could almost certainly feel the confidence and children's love for learning sink as the tests progressed. This hasn't been helped by the constant 'teaching to the test' that appears to happen in Year 6 classrooms across the country as the SATs approach.