13 leadership questions.
Last chance to join CTW23 line up and getting better contributions from colleagues.
Happy New Year!
Our job at We Are In Beta is to help you get answers to questions about things you’re working on in your school.
Sometimes the best way to get answers is to share them first.
Thinking and capturing thoughts often bring new insights. They attract others people and prompt them to share their thoughts too.
This week we have 2 opportunities to make all that happen.
We - schools - Are In Beta - always learning (when we reflect and crystallise our thoughts with others).
🗣 Join the line up for Curriculum Thinking Week 2023.
💬 Learn from 13 threads inside the community.
Join the line-up for Curriculum Thinking Week Spring 2023.
Give yourself the space to reflect on and share your curriculum work.
Join the line up for Curriculum Thinking Week 2023 at the end of the month.
Examples of 10-15 mins sessions submitted so far include:
🏰 Why teaching the Silk Roads enhances a KS3 History curriculum
📚Meaningful Assessment in Key Stage 3 English
📸 Dialogic learning in Visual Arts: Depth of ideas through peer driven questioning
Mon 9th Jan - tell us the title of your session and the resources you want to share by (if you need some flexibility on this, just reply to this email)
Fri 18th Jan - create and upload your 10-15 session.
Jump in to meet fellow speakers, discuss sessions and learn from a wealth of ideas and resources on offer w/c 30th Jan – conference goes live!
Judging by the session titles and resources that have been submitted so far, you’re in for a treat at Curriculum Thinking Week 2023 at the end of the month 🎁
Huge thanks to all the schools who’ve nominated and submitted sessions so far (full list at the bottom).
🤔📍13 questions school leaders are asking.
Looking for subject specific answers?
If you’re a subject leader, join our private groups for subject leaders.
If you want to hear how subject experts are developing every aspect of curriculum in their departments
👨🏫 Leadership development programmes
“I am interested in hearing from schools who have good leadership development programmes in place (ie. leadership at all levels)..”
🖥MS Teams and Class Notebook
“Has anyone had any success using Class Notebook on Teams? We are trialling running intervention through Teams and have tried Class Notebook for this.”
🔎Ofsted and ECTs
“Did [Ofsted] ask about your ECT/Trainees? Did they meet with them?”
“I would be really interested to know how you follow up non-completion of home learning as a school.”
“I'm interested in knowing what other schools do following a whole school assessment. Assessment sent to parents. Then do you send letters of congratulations and/or concern etc.”
🎓Sixth form teaching and learning
“I'm hoping to connect with some Sixth Form leaders. Looking forward to hearing your suggestions around conducting a review of teaching and learning across all subjects.”
🇺🇦Ukrainian student exams
“What are schools doing with their y11 Ukrainian students as far as exams? Are they taking any? If so, how are you helping them to access? If not, what are they doing?”
✊🏾 Diversity in curriculum
“As DEI lead, I'm looking for strategies and initial steps as to how we can consider diversifying our curriculum at my school.”
👨👨👧👦 Parental attendance
“I am researching the best ways to engage parents more with parents evenings and therefore improve the attendance to them. Has anyone experienced low numbers attending parents evenings and looked at strategies to improve it.”
🚦 Class closure
“I am looking at a RAG rating system for when we have to close classes due to staffing issues.”
🗣 Student voice: revision
“I am looking at a RAG rating system for when we have to close classes due to staffing issues. We are a small special school and are having more frequent staff absences and unable to fill vacancies. Has anyone done similar?”
👀 Diagnostic reading assessment
“Would be interested to know what Diagnostic Reading Assessment schools use. we do GL Assessment reading tests but what something for the next step for secondary learners to make deeper assessment of barriers to reading.”
🕌 RE KS4&5 statutory requirements
“I am keen to know how people are offering RE at KS4 & KS5 in an academy setting.Keen to know of effective models that meet statutory requirements and offer a positive experience for all?”
Sent this email by a friend?
Got a question?
In case you missed it the last time I rounded up member questions, we invest 30+ hours a week helping you to get answers: keeping an eye on what’s happening, researching, replying, making introductions, signposting resources and updating our databases.
NB: due to the volume of questions asked, we now prioritise members of the Curriculum Thinkers Community and founding members of the Pastoral Champions Community.
Not a member?
On a personal note
Two words that helped me get over my biggest hurdle as a trainee teacher. And continue to help me in my leadership.
I struggled to understand why my students found it difficult to say or write more once I’d taught them something.
But as I began to understand how daunting open questions and blank pages can be, and then started using scaffolds, frameworks and criteria, something clicked.
My students’ thinking was liberated by the supportive structures I was learning to use.
The same true as adults.
When we give good prompts, blockers are removed and thinking’s made easier.
These three features in this thread (about line management) prompted better collaboration:
asking clear, context specific questions
sharing high level processes
Each one added more context, unlocked more thinking and increased sharing.
So next time you’re aiming to get people to share more, have think about providing more structure. It will liberate their contribution.
Thanks for reading.
@NiallAlcock and the We Are In Beta team
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🆕 New here? Catch up with previous editions, podcasts and webinars via the archive.
🙏 Huge thanks to members at all these schools for nominating and submitting sessions already:
Anthem Trust, Ark Acton, Ark Bolingbroke Academy, Barnhill Community High School, Beaumont School, Blessed Robert Sutton Catholic Sports College, The Brakenhale School, Brighton Hill community School, Cantell School, Chiswick School, Copleston High School, Denbigh High School, Dover Grammar School for Girls, Drayton Manor High School, East Barnet School, Five Acres High School, Five Islands Academy, Glenmoor and Winton Academies, Glocester Academy, Greenshaw Learning Trust, Harris Academy Greenwich, Harrow Way Community School, John Taylor Free School, King's Group Academies Prospect, Landau Forte Academy Amington, Les Quennevais School, Manor School, Melksham Oak Community School, NCEA Dukes, Northampton School for Boys, Noel Baker Academy, Oak Wood School, Oasis Academy South Bank, Orchard Park High School, Oxford Spires Academy, Poltair School, Q3 Langley, Sewell Park Academy, Sir Christopher Hatton Academy, South Bank University Academy, St Anne’s Academy, St Mark's Church of England Academy, St Bonaventure's School, Thorpe St Andrew School and Sixth Form, The Thomas Aveling School, The Dorcan Academy, Thurstable School, Tytherington School, Walton Academy, Wolfreton, Yate Academy.