I started at my new school with a lead on Key Stage One and the Arts, part of the curriculum that many people ignored. I did my best to lead on this because I see the benefits, the excitement and the joy that we give children when teaching this and other foundation subjects. However, twelve months into my role, there was a whole lot of upheaval. Taken over by an academy trust, which had a leadership model that they had used in their other schools, I was not sure my role played a huge part in that.
One SLT meeting, I remember the Executive Headteacher going around the table of our SLT and looking at each and every one of us, “you’ll lead maths, you’ll lead English, you’ll lead early year, you’ll lead SEN and you… well I don’t know Carla. Key Stage One?” My heart sank. I didn’t take on the role of Assistant Head teacher to just do the job I did three years previously. Maybe I should have accepted it. I was paid more for the privilege.
My reaction (my face does not hide anything and neither does the thick sarcasm) showed I was not happy. I love teaching, I love providing experiences for all children that are engaging and give them the skills for life. If I was not able to share this enthusiasm for my vocation, then there was little point in me taking on the role.
The Executive Headteacher saw this in me and mentioned leading Curriculum. I had led the arts, English and humanties throughout my career. I had led on foundation subject assessment and supported the curriculum leader at my last school to ensure that it was linked to English as much as possible. I loved the idea of being Curriculum lead but it wasn’t going to be easy… No one cares about the foundation subjects. It’s all about the English and Maths, end of key stage SATs, attainment and progress, surely? But wow, am I grateful of the opportunity that I have been given.