When one takes up a new headship, there is usually a burning desire to fix everything as quickly as possible. This is especially true if your new school has not been inspected for a very long time and is waiting with baited breath for the dreaded brown box to arrive one Thursday morning.
When it comes to developing your school grounds there is a lot to be said for waiting at least a year and here’s why:
- You can spend time outdoors at break times observing the children in their play and the role of duty staff. It is worth doing this in all weathers and seasons.
- It allows you to monitor the grounds through the seasons. You can see the plants grow and the variety of animals which visit.
- The best way to find out what would be most helpful to have outside is to use the school grounds as much as possible for learning activities. Frequently schools decide on equipment and resources for outside such as a seating area without giving enough thought to the ideal place and the type of seating and layout needed. The more your staff use an outdoor area before a development project, the more you know what is needed.
- Time is needed to get to know staff and their interests. Passion creates possibility and by finding out what staff are like, the school grounds and activities can be improved to build upon their strengths.
- There may be other priorities!
In eduworld, correct choice of words and phrases is very important to some. If you can’t bring yourself to procrastinate try “monitoring current activity” in the school grounds instead!