Thursday, 3 February 2011

A week at KISC

Stealing an idea from another blog we read we thought we’d do a week in our lives. This time we’re with Dan.

In the Secondary school we have assemblies on Monday and Friday. This week was exam week for our senior students at KISC so our assemblies are always slightly disjointed as we try to fit 80 students into a room setup for 40 to take exams. However, the students gather round and sit on the edges of tables and we carry on regardless. After assembly I was running the Secondary Leadership Meeting, the “workhorse of the secondary school”. This week we were trying to finalise our assessment policy to cement changes that have been taking place over the last 2 and a half years. One of my key roles is in managing all the curriculum and assessment of the whole school, and while we are mostly a British Curriculum we try to be as truly international as possible to enable our students to study anywhere in the world after KISC. So setting up an assessment policy that enables that involves a lot of work and development.
The rest of Monday saw me teaching Grade 8, but a bonus free as Grade 12 were in exams.

Tuesday begins with homeroom, and I am the Grade 8 homeroom teacher. Grade 8 is the biggest year group in the whole school at 19 students, but of course that’s small compared to the UK.
This term we’ve been looking at slavery in PSHE, so I gave them this morning’s homeroom to work in groups looking at some of the tactics of the abolitionists in the 17th & 18th Century. Next week we will be comparing slavery of that time to modern day slavery. I actually had no classes after that as the rest were in exams, and so I had a productive day of work, doing some planning for my classes over the next few weeks. Tuesday evening is our house group where we meet with a bunch of other expats to study the bible and pray together.

Wednesday is always my teaching free day, so again it was a day of getting admin done, this time focusing on updating all our handbooks for the various different sets of parents and staff ready for next school year. At the beginning of March we will be asking the students to select their IGCSE and AS options ready for me to plough away at the timetable for 4 months. We’ve also decided to completely restructure the daily lesson times and move to a two week timetable, so I will have all that to factor into next year.

Thursday was a slightly crazy day and went from a massive high to a deep low as the day went on, but it all worked out ok in the end. Since Christmas we had been having problems with some very important software, our whole school database. We have a very impressive system, which contains all our staff and student and parents details as well as all the details about the courses students are studying and their grades and reports. However, this wasn’t working and our technical ICT staff had been working all hours to try to fix it since the start of term, they had got it working in stages, over the week but crucially we still couldn’t get any outputs working. Having a lot of data stored in a computer with no way of getting it out is fairly useless. Finally, around lunchtime, we were able to print out some data and I was very happy. However, about an hour later we realised that the data it was pumping out was old and didn’t include any recent updates, including the reports a number of our staff had been writing. We thought for a while it had all been lost, but then thankfully it was retrieved and now we have a fully working system.

Friday often focuses on SMT (Senior Management Team) for me. This is made up of the heads of each section of the school and deals with all the big issues of the whole school. This Friday we focused on our staffing needs that are ongoing and we were discussing how we get “the right people on the bus” to enable us to continue to be the best school we possibly can. It was a good end to a busy week.

Some news articles on Nepal from the BBC:
Working by Candelight
Prime Minister at last

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