Well after 18 months and much blood, sweat and (no not tears but maybe frustration!!), I finally got the results of my NPQML and yes I passed!! I am so happy not just because I got it but also because the way I did.
As the newly appointed history subject lead I had decided it would be a good idea that I should assess the current and new curriculum to ensure that we were compliant. So far so good and work I would be doing anyway.
As the course started the head asked if I could take on geography as well as there was no-one who was in charge and quite frankly we were due Ofsted! So it was the two subjects!
As I delved into the project and analysed every medium term plan and lesson in history to see what the curriculum coverage was, I was quite astounded how poor it was. The authors of the schemes expected schools to check coverage (primary teachers be aware of this – there is always a clause in them!) and schools assumed that the authors and publishers had.
Come December, it was obvious that we would really only be able to keep one unit of history and two of geography as they were. Many others could be kept as long as they were changed in line with the new objectives. However many, mostly fluffy topics and units, had to just go. There was no merit in them and I had to be the person delivering the message.
It was a baptism of fire and it taught me a lot:
a) Know your stuff – going through the curriculum maps and plans was needed so I knew what had to change and why.
b) Expect resistance and criticism – but only act on either if there is justification for it. I changed things because it was best for the children not what was best for me. (Big Tip – send out PDF’s and ask for written feedback if you think there will be someone playing tricks at the expense of others!!).
c) Be positive, research all options and think of everyones needs. – I created a curriculum map for history and geography with links to other subjects. The other subject leaders couldn’t do the same so I got a scheme that would work for all.
d) Expect projects to get bigger. – I ended up the new national curriculum coordinator!!
e) Moaners – they will always be there – see b). This was a statutory change not me implementing a fad. There is a difference.
f) Lead by example and share – show what is possible and make templates of anything you can. I would have liked more feedback but asking others for their ideas was important whether they shared or not. Also trial changes first yourself and be honest about what is working and what isn’t.
g) Be bold!! – I saw curriculum maps on The Key and quite frankly thought ours were as good. I sent them off and they agreed!
If anyone is doing the NPQML and needs an example (we weren’t given one!!) then I will gladly share! Just complete the contact form below and I will add you to the google folder. All I ask is that you add your completed NPQML to the folder if you pass (I am sure most people will, it’s not the kind of course one sticks with if there is no project to do!)
NB: Some school emails do not allow me to share so could you give me an alternate (preferably gmail address).
This post was originally published on the Staffrm website.