May 28, 2020
Having a curriculum area responsibility can be extremely rewarding when it’s going well and fantastic for professional development. However, for those new to a position, or those concerned about new initiatives, it can be worrying. You may ask yourself when you are presented with the unknown:
What are my key actions? How will I implement them in time? What if my curriculum area isn’t being taught correctly? How do I equip for an Ofsted Deep Dive? What do I present to governors? What do I analyse and do with all this past data? What are the views of pupils and parents towards my subject?
The saying ‘knowledge is power’ is true in this context. It’s all too easy to have a handover from the previous leader of your new responsibility and hold onto their every word. They might have useful documents in their subject folder, but, they might not. The most important steps are to:
1) plan information,
2) create a checklist and
3) set deadlines.
None of this will happen overnight so ensure that you set yourself realistic targets. The toolkit aims to save you precious time and ultimately help you establish excellence in maths within your school. It may not be necessary to use every tool; this will depend on what is already in place within your school and how well particular areas of your responsibility are performing. However, you should find that there are a few tools that you just can't live without.
A good starting point would be to start with an audit of Maths, this will enable leaders to get an in-depth understanding of the condition of their subject. Audits should be used to help support formulation of key actions for the Action Plan and measure impact of existing actions. There is also an in-depth comprehensive self-evaluation tool with probing questions designed to elicit self-reflectiveness as a Maths Leader. This tool is perfect for supporting development in leadership and capturing evidence for appraisals.
It is essential to have a good understanding of the Maths budget. Knowing spend on areas of Maths and the impact this has on school improvement priorities can help with longer budget forecasting. Included in the toolkit is a flexible and downloadable budget tool which allows users to track and compare spending over 5 years. The handy graph generated gives a clear indication of areas of spend e.g. concrete resources, interventions, workshops training, whole school initiatives etc.
The Staff Surveys area provides detailed information-gathering tools to help users find out attitudes, approaches and generally what the staff do and do not know. As well as this, the Pupil and Parent Voice tools are invaluable for measuring pupil and parent attitudes.
The Maths Leader's Toolkit is the latest addition to our Subject leader's Toolkits which also features Toolkits for Computing, English, Science and Foundation subjects, all of the toolkits can be accessed here for Purple Mash Subscribers, so worth sharing with other Subject Leads within your school, as they all contain tools to save teachers time and establish excellence within their subject.