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Any school governors out there?

(4 Posts)
Mung Wed 01-Oct-08 20:00:32

I know as a Governor it is not my place to comment on teaching, however I want to mention something about my visit that concerns me. I do not want to criticise the teacher at how does the following come across when talking about someone teaching French (in Primary, non-specialist).

The transition from literacy to French was easy and the pupils were keen to learn again. It was possible to see that some felt more conscious about speaking this time, maybe due to their age. It seemed that they enjoyed having a go though, as some asked for help from me and clearly wanted to pronounce the words properly. It does make me wonder if the teacher's lack of confidence with the language could influence the children. It may be worth finding ways to build staff confidence in this particular subject area, whether it be through more resources or training. I am sure the teachers are more than capable of teaching the language, it is more about feeling confident to speak.

I dont want to get onto my usual rant about how MFL has been abolished in secondary and replaced by non-specialists in is this somewhere in the middle or is it too harsh?

sinclair Wed 01-Oct-08 20:27:13

were you on a link governor visit type thing? Or just in class as a parent governor who speaks the language? this distinction has become an issue at our primary, that's why i ask.

assuming the former, I always think what will that teacher think if she was reading this/ hearing this and try to couch everything in positive language - so along the lines of:

'clearly the more confident x is handling the spoken language the more effective the lesson, and it may be worth investigating training to further enhance blah blah.

Then have a private word with the head or whoever.

rant thoroughly worthwhile IMO!

Mung Wed 01-Oct-08 20:36:59

I am a community governor who used to be a secondary French teacher. The poor teacher was put on the spot and felt nervous with me there...rightly so. She freely admitted afterwards that she was/is nervous and needs to work on it, without any prompting for me.

I wasn't really given a focus for my visit...just a day in school that happened to be French day. Next time I will be giving the Head the focus and that should make it easier.

Thanks for your help.

LadyGlencoraPalliser Thu 02-Oct-08 00:31:17

When we do curriculum monitoring visits it is made clear to us that we are there to observe how the curriculum objectives are being put into practice, not to monitor the delivery of the lesson. I think what you have put would overstep the bounds of what our school would consider permissible. It is a fine line though. In order to critique your visit at all you need to have a clear idea of what you are observing - eg if it is a literacy visit, how did the lesson support the school's current literacy objectives?
For a general visit, as you have described it here, I would be wary of putting anything in writing at all. Especially as you say that the class teacher is aware of the issues.
I know it is your area of expertise, but unless your role in the process is clearly defined you need to bite your tongue.

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