S3 Shadowing

March 19, 2017 | Leave a Comment

Recently, I spent a very enjoyable day shadowing S3 pupils in their lessons. Some of them perhaps thought I was shadowing them individually as I appeared in so many of their classes, but I can assure them that wasn’t the case! While I often pop into lessons, I don’t normally spend a whole day in classes so this was a privilege for me. My focus was on the learners’ experience, in particular the level of challenge and pace S3 pupils experience in lessons. It was a real pleasure for me to see young people so engaged in their studies; focused and on task; confident in planning and organising their own learning; seeing the relevance of their studies to the ‘real world’; working collaboratively on tasks; having fun with their learning. In terms of challenge, I saw some classes being challenged with level 5 work (equivalent to National 5) and coping admirably. In one class, pupils were producing work which was of Higher standard. I shared my thoughts on the day with pupils in assembly and I also challenged them to be more curious in their learning, to ask more questions of their teachers, of the texts they read and of the world around them: occasionally, the pupils were perhaps too compliant, waiting for teachers to provide answers rather than being curious and asking their own questions. This curiosity is something that the teachers will continue to encourage, too. I learnt a lot throughout the day myself, not least how to take bearings when piloting a boat or a plane. That may well come in handy the next time I’m sailing from Troon to Brodick and getting blown off course in a gale.

Talking of shadowing, it was my turn to be shadowed this week when a principal teacher from another East Lothian secondary spent the day with me. I felt very proud as I showed her around the school, talking to teachers and pupils as we went. Everyone was so welcoming, and very keen to talk about learning and the life of the school. Perhaps the loveliest moment for me was when she said “There’s lots of laughter in this place, isn’t there?”

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