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Prescriptive Schemes of Work

(59 Posts)
BareBum Tue 21-Nov-17 20:29:07

What are people’s opinions of these? I have to work from pre-planned (by hod) lessons, which have every minute accounted for and we are not allowed to deviate from these or choose our own HW to set. I hate teaching to someone else’s style and not being allowed to use my own ideas. I don’t think the pupils get the best of me - you can’t go off on tangents etc.

Has anyone ever rebelled and successfully persuaded their HOD to go back to a traditional SoW with topics to be covered, assessment points and suggestions for resources?

This is Drive be me crackers.

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BareBum Tue 21-Nov-17 20:29:30

*This is driving me crackers.

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Tanaqui Tue 21-Nov-17 21:41:38

I couldn't do it- I'd look for another job. Might as well just press play on a tape player.

BareBum Tue 21-Nov-17 21:51:41

It is making me wonder if I should set up some TES job alerts.

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phlebasconsidered Wed 22-Nov-17 06:53:41

I have to. Our new academy trust makes us all teach from the same schemes trust wide. The lessons are scripted. We are told what to say. We are told how to arrange seating. We must not deviate.

I'm leaving in.January, along with half of the staff. The lessons are not even differentiated.

fleurjasmine Wed 22-Nov-17 07:07:33

I'd hate that. I find teaching 'someone else's' lesson so hard.

KittyOShea Wed 22-Nov-17 07:12:16

I would have to leave. That is not teaching- responding to pupils needs, differentiating for different pupils, finding ways to engage and motivate difficult groups- how does a prescriptive lesson plan deal with any of these issues? It’s not education by a long shot.

BareBum Wed 22-Nov-17 07:50:00

@phlebasconsidered I didn’t think it could be worse than I have it but I am shocked at the idea of a script. Do they not trust their staff at all? The lessons must be so stilted.

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noblegiraffe Wed 22-Nov-17 09:40:37

What happens if you go off-piste?

BareBum Wed 22-Nov-17 10:43:07

We get told off. I do try to sneak my own things in but it’s all a bit cloak and dagger.

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SweetSummerchild Wed 22-Nov-17 10:45:35

My HOD is like that. She has her 'idea' on how to teach and insists on all lessons following her particular style of teaching. It's very teacher led - lots of talking from Powerpoints and demonstrations with absolutely no use of textbooks and minimal commercially available worksheets. If it's not created entirely from scratch, it doesn't 'cut it' as a good enough resource for her.

It's not a school-wide policy and she wouldn't black-and-white state that all lessons have to follow her style. However, she has done her utmost to sabotage anything else. Textbooks have been thrown away and we returned from the Easter break this year to find the entire filing cabinet of worksheets for GCSE chemistry and been emptied. Likewise, the 'old' network drives had been deleted. Luckily, I'd kept my own copies in my own office and my own 'hidden' part of the network drive, but it meant loads of unnecessary photocopying.

The woman is totally toxic, and the number of staff leaving the department is a good indication of it. I know that the Head has been told in exit interview after exit interview that she is damaging to the department but still she remains.

maybebabyyes Wed 22-Nov-17 10:47:51

My school did this; explanation was that if teachers were off sick or in a meeting or on a trip then the lesson could easily be covered by supply. Also means that sick teachers don't need to get up and plan lessons in the morning to send in as they can just say 'lesson 6.'

It's awful and boring but does save a lot of work for teachers who can then mark and do the other bits

TossDaily Wed 22-Nov-17 10:49:55

Is there a possibility that Academies are scripting lessons in order to counteract any criticism of the employment of non-qualified/non-specialist teachers?

SweetSummerchild Wed 22-Nov-17 11:36:43

Toss I think that's undoubtedly the case. Schools (not just academies) are under incredible financial pressure and many schools are having to scrap courses with low numbers. That means teachers are underemployed. Schools can either make teachers redundant, force them to reduce their hours or wait for 'natural wastage'. The worst schools probably 'force out' teachers that they don't want but that usually costs in terms of Settlement Agreements.

The alternative is to re-deploy teachers into subjects they are only vaguely fit to teach. We've had French/RE teachers teaching English, Business Studies and PE teachers teaching maths, every man and his dog teaching ICT and a physics teacher teaching art. Yes....a physics teacher.....teaching art.

I wouldn't know where to start teaching outside my specialism, but a scripted lesson plan would certainly help.

Eolian Wed 22-Nov-17 11:39:51

shockangry God, just when I thought I'd heard it all about the appalling state of the teaching profession. That is horrendous.

TossDaily Wed 22-Nov-17 12:37:43

That was what I feared. I'm so glad I'm out.

BareBum Wed 22-Nov-17 13:31:10

I don’t work in an academy so I don’t know what my hod’s excuse is. It’s not a whole school policy to have prescriptive SoW.

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Piggywaspushed Wed 22-Nov-17 14:02:52

What subject and age range is this barebum ??

BareBum Wed 22-Nov-17 14:17:24

Senior school MFL

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BareBum Wed 22-Nov-17 14:22:07

@SweetSummerchild I think a decent text book is a great resource. If pupils keep them for the year then they’ve got somewhere to go to a home when they’re confused and teachers don’t have to waste time making up their own exercises and photocopying gazillions of work sheets.

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Piggywaspushed Wed 22-Nov-17 15:18:28

I thought it was going to be English as a lot of English is lamentably going this way with the new GCSE and I have had several colleagues and leaders like this.

This being MFL is quite a depressing thought but maybe not that surprising - I taught German once (with an A level and a part of a degree in 20th century German literature which was rather - um- high brow for year 9 beginners...) and I might have been grateful for a script and resources so I didn't feel all at sea and unsupported. that said, I would have definitely strayed from it (am a natural stray!)

I am often a voice of pedagogical dissent in my department and would certainly voice my thoughts as a specialist!

What's your uptake to GCSE and A level like? If it's even lower than normal for MFL your hod might want to consider whether the kids are bored rigid...

Acopyofacopy Wed 22-Nov-17 17:39:06

Good grief, I teach MFL and I would walk out of that immediately!

I like a good scheme of work with lots of details, timings and suggested work, but teaching styles are very different, as they should be.

Whose needs are met if you deploy a teaching bot who can’t respond to individuals’ needs?

I do smell a rat as well. If everything is scripted like that, who needs specialist teachers?

noblegiraffe Wed 22-Nov-17 17:44:47

There's a maths package called Complete Maths which is sold to schools as a fully resourced maths curriculum - worksheets, lesson plans, tests, problem solving resources, everything. I don't think it goes as far as scripts though.

It was deliberately designed with the issue of non-specialist maths teachers in mind.

Pushing scripted lessons on experienced teachers seems like a surefire way to lose experienced teachers though. Who is to say that the person writing the script is actually better at teaching than me?

BareBum Wed 22-Nov-17 17:49:43

Luckily I’m not scripted but when it tells you to have the class racing round the room at 10.10am, my heart does sink.
So what to do? Complain to HOD and be dismissed as this is their baby or go over their head, which will cause a bad atmosphere?

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Piggywaspushed Wed 22-Nov-17 18:00:39

Have you tried putting your thoughts in writing? Puts it on a more formal footing. Request a meeting with HOD and take your written thoughts with you. Make sure all your points are about the students and pedagogy and not about you not wanting to...

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