Z paints the letter red

The first guests will arrive tomorrow afternoon, so I’m afraid they will probably be allowed to help.  Including children, I think we’ll number 28 on Saturday and I’m still pondering whether to trot down to the church and fetch another table or whether we will all cuddle up, and I haven’t totted up chairs yet.  It’ll be fine… and I’m so looking forward to seeing you all.

A committee meeting at school today, where we had described how one now evaluates whether a pupil is likely to receive the exam results expected from the Key Stage 2 SATS.  It’s quite complicated.  It’s deemed that a child should make at least three stages of progress by the time of GCSEs and a good school should beat the national average, whereas an outstanding school should beat the national average at doing better than expected (so, if the pupil seems capable of it, they are encouraged to aim for four levels of progress).  It’s all data driven and I can follow it and, given time, could even explain it, but I couldn’t enter all the data into the system.  It does take a very good school to look beyond the statistics and think of the pupils as people.  Ofsted is governed by statistics first and foremost, for the time being.

A new development this year is dialogic marking (which has a hard G, though it doesn’t look as if it has).  Once a pupil writes an essay, he or she writes an evaluation of it, the teacher marks it and replies to the comments and the pupil can write back.  It’s proving very interesting and helpful and really engages the children.  Some examples were passed round and it was rather sweet that they all wrote ‘thank you’ after the teacher’s comments.  Of course, it isn’t possible to do that with every piece of work, it would take far too long, but once in a while is very rewarding.

I’ve become a director of another company.  Isn’t that absurd?  It’s a subsidiary company of the academy, so it’s just another extension of being a governor.   I never expected this sort of thing twenty-five years ago, though, when I first took on the job.  It seems that this is a year of significant anniversaries of one sort and another, but I have little regard for them.  Just another day, as far as I can see.  A party is another matter entirely.  That really is a red letter day.

By the way, Janerowena, you don’t know how to get here yet, do you?  I haven’t any contact details for you, so do send an email.

9 comments on “Z paints the letter red

  1. Tim

    I was so hoping that ‘dialogic’ wasn’t in the dictionary, but it is, and is being used accurately as you describe it. What a shame it’s such an ugly word for a nice idea! ‘Conversational’ maybe?

    I really wish we could be with you at the weekend, but not possible. Have a great time, and my best wishes to everyone.

  2. Rog

    Holly and Lily are very excited about meeting Ben. They are like two schoolgirls awaiting their first school disco (probably not an up to date analogy but stil)

  3. Z

    Dialogue is a perfectly good word, but adding the ‘ic’ sounds it. And it looks as if it should be pronounced ‘logic’ so appears clumsy in writing too. Diabolically so!

    Really sorry you can’t be here this time.

    Oh Mike, you are a flatterer. It’s certainly the guests who make the party.

    There will be plenty to do, Mig, but we’re fairly organised, it’s not a disaster area!

    Ben is always pretty excited, Rog!

  4. Blue Witch

    The idea of ‘dialogic’ is not new – there was an English Inspector (as they were then called) in Bristol recommending it in the 80s (although the name now might be making him turn in his grave).

    Can the dogs and children have labels too? It’s getting more potentially confusing by the minute.

    My weather spell seems to have been set for a day too late (it was so long ago that I did it that I must have got confused – I’m easily confused these days, see). I’m doing my best to move it forward a day, but it might be easier to change the party to Sunday.

  5. janerowena

    Oops! This post didn’t come up on my tablet when I came back last night and was checking on e-life in bed, what a good job you were on fb! I would have just headed for the church and listened for excitement and dog barks. I was so convinced that next weekend was the 29th, where does the time go?


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