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Manchester Grammar School – Andrew Smith is the Head of Middle School

 

The next stage of the One Page Profile project at MGS involved multiple activities happening in quick succession.

Immediately after the CPD training the Heads of year and their deputies met to discuss the way forward. The focal point of this conversation was how we were, in reality, going to get our pupils to produce One Page Profiles and how best to utilise the additional secondary school focused materials we had developed with the help of HSA. This meeting produced two particularly helpful ideas. Firstly it was decided that the ‘appreciations’ section would actually be quite difficult for teenage boys to take seriously in an undigested form. Boys would find it challenging to say nice things about each other in public and they would suffer from an overwhelming urge to take the Michael out of each other. So we decided to use an alternative strategy and asked our boys to be a little more self reflective. We instructed them to write out three to five positive things they thought their friends would say about them if they were being honest. We also decided that we would keep the standard appreciations exercise for the last days of Year 11 before the boys broke up for IGCSE exams and they went on into the new environment of sixth form. We felt it would be much more meaningful for our pupils if we asked them to write appreciations of each other for their One Page Profiles after they had been together as a form for three years.

It was also decided that it would be extremely useful to quickly develop a new resource that fitted together closely with the One Page Profiles – almost working as a single document. This resource consisted of a series of opportunities for our pupils to think about their ambitions for the coming year and a format for them to consider how best to achieve these goals both in terms of the requisite immediate actions they would have to take and also their longer term planning. We felt that the timing of this at the beginning of the year would be useful in focusing out pupils minds in an aspirational way. We sent our ideas off to Julie Barclay and she soon came back to us with a very serviceable format.

Form tutors were also simultaneously working with their form on the ‘good day /bad day’ activities. We had had some discussion about whether this could and should be done on a one to one basis between the form tutor and their tutees. Although this might be desirable in some ways it was decided that ‘one to one’ was unrealistic in terms of time management and workload for form tutors. Instead we opted to experiment with doing it as a ‘whole form’ activity with the form tutor giving an example model followed by a discussion with the form about things that made their good and bad day. The boys then set to work in pairs drawing up their good and bad days. This seemed to work remarkably well and we were pleased to see how quickly our pupils took to the idea. Many of the form tutors then began to extend this theme looking at what might make up a good and bad year 9/10. This activity then helped inform the work the pupils would be doing on the new resource sheet. Very quickly after this several of our students were in a position to start writing up their first draft One Page Profile.