Hopes and fears for the coming year

We officially start back to school a week on Thursday (2nd Sept) which for me means starting at a new school with a new year group. Of course I have already met the children and most of the staff and I think I have been given the most wonderful opportunity; the children seem really enthusiastic and eager and the other staff seem really welcoming and open, and above all, the school seems to have a real family feel which is something I missed about my last school; I think it’s something to do with small schools – they just have that ‘feel’ about them.

I have lots of hopes for the coming year. I’ve completely re-jigged the curriculum map that I was given to include many more cross-curricular links and I’m really looking forward to it so I’m hoping that will be successful (and that I haven’t set myself up with too much work having to re-plan everything!). My long term planning also includes incorporating some games based learning, inspired by blogs I’ve read from Pete Richardson and Dawn Hallybone I’m thinking of using Mario Kart for Imaginary Worlds and African Safari for habitats, although I need to think through how to obtain a Wii for my class to use! My plans also include the children making their own video games using Scratch (which I have no idea how to use as yet – any tips gratefully received!) and getting the children blogging regularly. I have set up a blog for them so now just need to implement it and get them enthused about using it. I’m also wondering if it’ll be possible for me to move away from using an IWB too much (mainly as I’ve got a really old, clunky RM board, which apparently used to be wheeled from classroom to classroom on a stand before the school could afford more than one board!)

I’m really trying to think about the way I organise my classroom so that the children are able to work independently and challenge themselves with the work they choose to do. I’d like to move towards the children directing their learning a bit more although I’m still thinking about how to do this. I’ve already given all the furniture a shuffle and made the room more open although now I’d like to create different working areas. I’m wondering whether allowing children to choose where they work best is an option – providing tables in different orientations, some groups, some individual – I’m not sure, I may give it a go.

Above all, I hope that I have a great time working with my class this year and that they have a fantastic year in return.

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