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How can I manage the implementation of the National Literacy Strategy with a sample Year 9 group in preparation for the full implementation of the Strategy in the latter stages of KS3 next academic year?

 

Researcher: Simon Riding

Westwood St. Thomas School, Salisbury

 

Abstract

I have a strong belief that literacy underpins the heart of learning across the curriculum. It is essential that teaching and learning does not happen in isolation but follows a clear strategy and focus. English departments across the country are faced this academic year with implementing the National Literacy Strategy. Heads of English need to consider how to phase in this strategy and localise its content. Presenting your department with a coherent and workable interpretation of the strategy is crucial if the strategy is to have an impact upon performance. The input of the Head of Department is central to the process: mentor, facilitator, leader and visionary are some of the roles that will have to be played throughout the implementation of the strategy.

Background

'Therefore let our proportions for these wars
Be soon collected, and all things thought upon
That may with reasonable swiftness add
More feathers to our wings;'

(Henry V 1:2:304-307)

I came to this project with a real passion for literacy and desire to continue to improve my practice in the classroom. Perhaps as Henry V felt when attempting to claim his rights and vent his anger at the French, I too needed to exercise my demons. When desiring to declare war on standards it is perhaps still important to consider all avenues before deciding on action. This is the account of one avenue that I explored.

Throughout my career my interest in literacy, its unlocked potential and possible impact across a school, has grown through my involvement in various projects: running summer literacy schools; and running literacy groups. I have attempted to pass on this interest.[1]

However my interest in literacy was challenged and demanded to reach a new level with the requirement to implement the NLS at KS3.[2]

I believe that if a school is to successfully move forward[3] it is essential that it have in place a workable and manageable approach to whole school literacy. At the heart of this is required a coherent, consistent and visionary approach to the teaching of literacy within English. I firmly believe that the English department needs to be the leader of good practice in this field and must lead by example: to set the gold standard for others to follow.[4]

As the newly internally appointed Head of English at Westwood St Thomas school I began this project clear in my mind that KS3 English had, in my own view, not been valued greatly by the department.[5] I had wanted to ensure that this view was changed. Two years ago I had toyed with building on the NLS KS2 frameworks and planned the curriculum around these principles.[6] However this was not successful, as I do not believe that I had a sound enough understanding of what I was attempting to do, particularly in terms of understanding the planning towards objectives and the framing of lessons. The chance to now work and implement the NLS at KS3 was therefore something that I passionately believed would be essential in raising achievement not just in English but also across the whole school.

Over my three years at the school I had attended a number of literacy conferences and workshops. I had built up a passion for literacy but had never really been able to implement any real sustained ideas. I new that I wanted to change things for the better but was not really clear how this could be achieved.[7]

At the end of my first year of teaching I was appointed as KS3 English co-ordinator with some responsibility for also developing whole school literacy. This was something at the time that I relished and had an interest in but also had very little training for. For instance I was given no real help or guidance on how to manage the cross-curricular literacy working party and consequently felt thrown in at the deep end. This experience was able to provide me with excellent heuristic training in retrospect, which would be something that I wouldn't forget. At the end of this year I then ran the Summer Literacy School for the first time, which allowed me to really take a management lead in running a large successful project.[8]

When I wrote the Department's Development Plan 2001 - 2002 I wanted to ensure that literacy was at the centre of it, particularly with reference to KS3. I believe that if standards and performance indicators are to improve then it must begin with KS3. In my opinion this has been overlooked up until now.[9] However despite the work being undertaken at the English department level the School Improvement Plan does not include reference to literacy or include a literacy action plan and I feel that this is an oversight on the part of the school.[10]

When I began work on the NLS and its implementation within the department's structure I also wanted to ensure that it became embedded within the whole culture and ethos of what we were attempting to achieve. I was able to provide a focus to this by making it clear to the department that I wanted to gain Leading English Department status in the county for it.[11]

As part of the implementation of the NLS at KS3 the school was nominated for additional phase 1 funding from the standards fund. This meant that the school had access to additional support from county in its attempt to implement the strategy. This is crucial in order to ensure that the direction that the department and school moves in is closely monitored and received on-going feed-back from external sources to help develop practice and ideas. It also ensures that we have access to a County Adviser who has experience of implementing the strategy in a pilot school.

Methodology

'Once more to the breach, dear friends, once more;
Or close the wall with our English dead.'

(Henry V 3:1:1-2)

The main focus of the methodology was to develop a culture of dialogue that would engage colleagues within discussions about the NLS and its implications for the teaching of English. The following strategies were utilised in order to achieve this.[12]

I wanted to build on the work of my previous project and ensure that I was able to develop the research strategies that I had begun. I was interested in accessing the 'Long Term Reflection' aspect of the Action Research spiral, to see if this could be sustained: to see if projects weren't simply completed in isolation but used as along-term learning process for the teacher-researcher. (McNiff, Lomax and Whitehead, 1996)[13] My first tool was to introduce the use of research Learning Journals for both the students and myself. I asked students at the end of each lesson to reflect on what they had learned and how they and learned it, by writing in their journals.[14]

At the start of the unit, prior to the attempted change in my teaching methodology, I wanted to find out what students thought about the lessons they were receiving so I designed a questionnaire to evaluate my practice.[15] I was concerned that the lessons I was delivering weren't really paced or structured well enough and weren't really having a great impact on students' learning and motivation. At times I felt that this led to a lethargy setting in during lessons and students were coasting. At the end of the unit I also asked students to complete a questionnaire that again asked them to consider the impact of the change in teaching methodology and how they felt this impacted upon their learning. This would help me move towards a process of 'Long Term Reflection' of my practice.[16]

I wanted at the same time to consider what my department's understanding was of the NLS. I felt it essential that if I was to attempt to implement what I was doing at a later date, that I had a good understanding of my staff and what kind of knowledge base they were coming from.[17] I devised a questionnaire to do this and also held INSET relating to the NLS to begin discussions about teaching methodology and practice to begin this process.

To take this one stage further I wanted to ensure that the work I was completing was disseminated as part of the learning process. I wanted to try and make the department feel as though they were involved in what I was doing as I was foreseeing that it would become part of the ethos of the department and underpin the strategy of raising achievement that I wanted to foster. With this in mind I developed a timetable of observation of my teaching. I wanted other staff to see me both struggling to develop my practice and also help me out with an evaluation of my practice.[18] This may help them to consider the methodology that I was attempting to adopt and to see how it could be implemented within their practice.

I videotaped most lessons throughout the scheme of work that I taught. However I do not feel that this was as useful as I hoped as research tool within the classroom.[19] The students reacted very negatively to the camera and never really became comfortable with it being in the classroom. I did consider if this might be because it was a lower ability group that perhaps didn't have the self-confidence to be able to feel comfortable with this method.[20]

Throughout this project I was involved in a number of meetings surrounding the launch of the NLS at County level and at school level.[21] Part of my research involved considering my responses to these meetings and conferences. It really involved me attempting to weigh up the ways in which I could implement a national strategy within a localised setting and attempting to work with many different groups who may all be stakeholders in the implementation of these ideas.[22]

After attempting research on a whole group level I then decided to work with smaller groups of students from the target group to try and gain a more detailed analysis of the work that I had been doing and its potential impact upon their learning.[23] I videoed these sessions and recorded the responses to them. This method granted me access to some quite interesting insights into the understanding that the students have of the work I was doing.

For this project I developed a new scheme of work.[24] This involved planning, recording and delivering schemes in a new way. These were all new to me and did take some time to get used to. Perhaps crucial to this was the importance of building flexibility in to the work I was doing: I needed to be able to localise what I was doing in order to try and make it work within my given set of circumstances.

Analysis

'By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires.
But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.'

(Henry V 4:3:24-29)

One of things that I don't want to lose sight of when attempting to implement this new strategy is the make up of the team that I am attempting the strategy with. My department is a new department consisting of three NQTs, one teacher starting her second year of teaching and a more experienced Head of Faculty. Under these circumstances it is essential that consideration be given to the staff that I will be working with. I am attempting to implement a new teaching and learning methodology and without the support of the staff this strategy will not work.[25]

It is important to consider the learning styles and preferences of the students when attempting to change the teaching methodologies. I found it vitally important to involve the students in the changes that I was attempting to make to the learning environment within the classroom as this I feel helped to ease the changes in teaching methodology.[26] Without this I do not feel that the students would have understood what was happening and may well have been confused and more uncooperative. I feel that I was able to consider the learning styles that students have and really focus on these differences to try and take account of the differences between students.

An additional consideration that I had to make was whether or not I had an appropriate team to implement the ideas that I wanted to. In many ways the team I had was a positive thing but in others it did mean that I had to consider what the priorities of the department were: whether or not the focus was to improve and push forward teaching and learning strategies or to simply survive the first year with the new team.[27] My personal inclination, linked to my passion to drive for success, meant that I could not settle for the former but rather had to go for the latter.[28]

It could be easy for me to expect the implementation of the NLS to take place over a short period of time. I am fully committed to this and have had time to consider its usefulness and possibilities. However it needs to be more of a long-term project, particularly with the staff that I have in my department. Although as NQTs they will have had training on the NLS, they won't have had chance to put that into practice with the full demands and realisation of a teaching timetable: the practicalities of implementing a new teaching and learning methodology.[29] My own personal learning journey has taken place over the last two or three years and this has granted me time to become very comfortable with this type of work. This has implications on how I impart my enthusiasm and motivation for this work to my department.

Outcomes

'I tell thee truly, herald,
I know not if the day be ours or no;
For yet a many of your horsemen peer
And gallop o'er the field.'

(Henry V 4:7:80-83)

At the point of completion of this project it seems that the work I have undertaken is still in its infancy. The account of my learning process has been described but to me, the more crucial aspect of the work has yet to be done: the implementation of the NLS within my department. To some extent this work will need to continue: the Action Research cycle will need to be inherent within the work that both my department and myself do as we learn to deal with the intricacies of localising a national strategy. We will only be able to access the true value of Long Term Reflection over time. However I can conclude the following based on what I have experienced.

Firstly, it is essential that staff are involved in the process from the very start and play a central role in developing ideas and schemes.[30] Although I was taking the lead in developing my own schemes of work to use on a larger scale staff need to feel an ownership over what they are being asked to implement. Again this really pushes the need to localise work to help staff appreciate the usefulness of it.[31]

Secondly, the implementation of the strategy needs to be seen as a long-term project. This year, for me, needs to be seen as a sample year to try out methodologies and ideas before I can consider moving towards full implementation.[32] This year's breathing space will allow the understanding of what is being done to sink in and also grant time to really localise material to ensure that it is relevant to the given circumstances of my school.

Thirdly, the work that is being done must be completed in consultation with all the relevant bodies surrounding the implementation of the strategy. The department has the chance to work with the county Advisers to aid the implementation. However it must also work within the network of the school to ensure that the understanding of what is attempting to be achieved is not completed in isolation but rather is ready to be disseminated to the rest of the school in order to promote good practice.[33]

Fourthly, it is essential that communication be given a high priority with the implementation of this strategy. One model that I am running is to have a timetabled meeting within the school day every week for the department to share and discuss their ideas and practice and to attempt to come to some agreement on the values of the department in order to provide a consistent approach to teaching across the department. This is crucial in order to support the new strategy.

Fifthly, a clearly structured process needs to be in place within the team to allow peer observation to take place. This element is essential to develop good practice and consistency of expectation across the department as well as ensuring that a culture of sharing good practice is in place.[34]

Sixthly it is essential that training continues throughout the year involving all members of the department and ensuring that all staff are responsible for the improvement of the department.[35]

Seventhly a whole school Literacy Co-ordinator post should be created in order to ensure that the work begun within the department in implementing the NLS is then taken forward on a whole school level. The good literacy practice within English can be adapted and then adopted across the school to ensure that consistency of approach is maintained.

Finally in the respect of the person who is responsible for managing the implementation of the NLS within English I need to ensure that I do not expect too much too soon. I need to work in manageable frameworks: my own knowledge base has been built up over time and it will take time for others to follow. It is essential that I do not become frustrated if things don't go the way I expected them to over my expected time scale. My vision over time may well be changed as a result of the interaction of my ideas with others. Flexibility is essential if success is to be achieved.

And the epitaph may read

'Thus far, with rough and all-unable pen,
Our bending author hath pursued the story,
In little room confining mighty men,
Mangling by starts the full course of their glory.
Small time, but, in that small, most greatly lived
This star of England. Fortune made his sword;
By which the world's best garden he achieved,'

(Henry V 5:2:368-374)



[1] Two years ago I ran a cross-curricular Literacy Working Party at my school. Admittedly the success of the cross-curricular group was not good partly because of the relatively limited experience I had by running it in my second year of teaching.

[2] The National Literacy Strategy is a framework for the structured teaching of literacy across KS3. Although it is an English framework it is intended to be a cross-curricular document. In the introduction to the framework it comments that, Effective literacy is the key to raising standards across all subjects, and equipping pupils with the skills and knowledge they need for life beyond school.(National Literacy Strategy, 2001, p. 9) It focuses on the breaking down of the literacy curriculum into teaching and learning objectives. It aims to provide students with clear progression throughout their English lessons by building on prior knowledge and experience. It also provides a structured and focused guide to the teaching of English within the framework: a prescribed teaching methodology is given. This interested me greatly as I am constantly looking to engage in new ideas of practice. My own practice in the classroom I feel at times becomes a little methodical and laborious unless it is challenged. I am keen to be on the cutting edge of teaching technology and the chance to experiment with new ideas is always something that I will relish. This provided me with the opportunity to develop my research practices as well through Action Research. McNiff comments about research that; It is the concern by the practitioner to focus critically on areas that need attention and, through a systematic cycle of critical reflection in action, to work towards improving the situation.(McNiff, J, 1993, p. 16) I clearly had an area that I wanted to improve and the process of action research granted me the access to a reflective cycle that I could use to work towards finding solutions to the issues I had.

[3] To develop this further, I am advocating elements of Total Quality Management. TQM is defined as being, 'concerned with customer-focused organizational improvement, achieved through the activities of groupings of employees at various levels in the structure.'(Taylor and Hill, 1997, p. 162) To refine this I am particularly interested in TQM in relation to the impact that it can have upon the services being provided by the organisation. TQM proposes that all employees can make an impact on the quality of goods and services provided, thus the organization's systems and processes are regarded as highly as its products and outputs.(Taylor and Hill, 1997, p. 162) In this case it is essential that the input given by staff into the process of building a whole school approach to literacy is taken seriously. At my present school this approach needs to be valued.

At the same time I do have a tripartite strategy for the improvement of my practice: a passion for improving; researching into; and developing my management skills.

[4] Personally I am able to enthuse about the importance of this in order to help to create a culture of success. The school has in place a Guidelines for Effective Teachingdocument (Stuart Jones, 1999) that is followed which attempts to monitor and improve the teaching practice that takes place within the school. Under the section on Reflective approach to teaching it comments that staff should be, Always aiming to improve teaching skills.This constant emphasis on reflective practice is something that I see as essential to improving standards. The implementation of the NLS teaching strategies and methodologies is one crucial way in which teaching can become much more focused and effective. The NLS framework comments that, The Key Stage 3 National Strategy underlined the importance of teaching to clear, unambiguous objectives in ways which engage pupils in active learning, and securing these in everyday use.(National Literacy Strategy, 2001, p. 16)

[5] When I arrived in the department there were no schemes of work in place for KS3 English. The things that were being taught were very traditional and seemed to lack any real vision of the needs of KS3. Consequently, results had been very static over time and not shown any real progress.

[6] This work was exploratory. I had read into the NLS for KS1 and KS2 and the ideas present within this seemed appropriate for the teaching of KS3 English. Examples of this planning can be found on page 1 the appendix.

[7] In one sense I needed something to be able to pull all the ideas together that were floating around in my head. I needed a stable pin on which to hang my ideas and I began to sense that this would come from the NLS.

[8] These management experiences were essential in me being able to find my feet in management and experience what it was like to run projects and complete them.

[9] The lack of development work on the curriculum or attempts to modernise the curriculum leads me to conclude this. There seemed to be little links between KS3 and KS4, and the two curriculums didn't seem to match very well. I felt work needed to be done on ensuring the progression between the two key stages was smooth.

[10] The whole school literacy policy does exist within the school handbook along with other whole school literacy documents. However these were not given a full enough launch in order to ensure that they would be implemented. At the same time, monitoring processes were not set up to check if the actions identified were being carried out.

[11] During my attendance at a Literacy Heads of English Conference the County Advisers commented that they intended to create Leading English Departments within the county in order to disseminate good practice. This allowed me to implement a strategy within the department that would allow me to focus the department on really coming to terms with the seriousness of the task. In one sense this was 'Hoshin'planning on my part: planning that encompasses, a practical process for the development and setting of what we have called outrageousgoals. - goals that challenge the organization to go beyond that which it currently thinks itself capable of.(Murgatroyd and Morgan, 1993, p. 120) I wanted my department to feel that they weren't restricted by the historical and social context of what had preceded us but rather that they felt that the slate was clean and the potential was unlimited.

[12] Clearly the importance of dialogue within this approach is crucial. A collegial approach is required within this where ideas are discussed and considered. This follows the ideas of Hargreaves in The Knowledge ÁCreating School where he discusses various approaches to developing knowledge within a learning organisation. He comments about the dissemination of good practice that, with inadequate recognition that tinkering Á and space and support for it Á is essential for the conversion into new professional knowledge to occur. It is when teachers are able to tinker that the transfer of knowledge between them is most likely to succeed(1999, p. 132) This process is attempting to support the implementation of a culture of dialogue in the hope that knowledge transfer and professional development can occur.

[13] In my previous research project I had commented, I needed research to support any claims that I made but the difficulty lay in not allowing this to interfere with or impinge on the studentsprogression. I wanted to use the research evidence in a way that it would improve the immediate quality of work I was delivering to this group of Year 11 students: it had to have an immediate impact on their motivation and learning. This added a definite reality to the work, working within this framework of given circumstances. This in a sense was the driving force behind my research methods: the ability for it to be immediate and informative.(Riding, Teaching and Learning, 2000) I found that I was still working within this framework: I still needed immediate feedback and to have immediate impact upon students. In one respect this required the whole Action Research spiral to be accelerated in process, requiring much more effective planning, doing and monitoring to take place to allow speed into the process. This would seem to be a prerequisite of teaching and researching and perhaps it is a concern of all teacher-researchers. Despite wanting to develop practice the research must be able to impact upon the immediate work in the classroom otherwise it may not be of use.

[14] I asked students to base their responses on the same four questions initially. These were:IIIHowever as the project progressed I expected students to move away from simply responding to these prompts and begin to really develop a dialogue with me through their journals. This was clearly building on the work I had begun in my first research project where I commented about the use of journals, The key focus behind this was that it was an immediate gage for me that I could usefully use to inform my future planning of sessions. I too kept a journal for the same purposes.(Riding, Teaching and Learning, 2000) However I found that students did not really engage in the use of these as I had hoped. Their responses were very thin and they did not really express ideas as I had hoped. Perhaps this could be that they were younger students than I had worked with for my previous project and also that they were of lower ability. They tended to be a little insecure of moving away from the familiar and not very expressive in their personal views. More comments can be read about the group in the section My perspectives on 9X2 sample group.

[15] I was somewhat concerned that because of my perceptions of the teaching group I was allowing this to impact on the style of my teaching: that for the majority of times I was attempting to play safewith activities and teaching style in order to maintain a high level of discipline within the classroom. This was something that I wanted to challenge myself, to find an alternative approach to the teaching of these students: to consider that if I changed my classroom practice, what the impact would be on the studentslearning.

[16] A copy of the questionnaires and analysis of results can be seen on pages 111

[17] I felt it essential to involve the department in the process of change. As a collective, the department could work together to tangle with the various subjective views that we had on the teaching of English with the hope that through this we could come to some form of consensus, or objective truth, that we could work together on which would allow us to present a coherent approach to the teaching of it within the school.

[18] I wanted staff to work alongside me as a critical friendand to become part of the process of improvement. I didn't want to seem as though I was in a privileged position of knowledge, as indeed I didn't feel that I did possess all the answers. However, I wanted staff to feel as though they were helping me to develop my practice through their constructive comments. This is one view of subject mentoring from Arthur, Davison and Moss that I wanted to engage with of, subject mentoring itself involves modelling good practice in the widest sense: in particular, the values of the profession.(Arthur, Davison and Moss, 1997, p. 59) This relates to the role of mentoring student teachers. However I in one sense wanted to treat my department in this way in the hope that I could put across my values and ideas. Arthur, Davison and Moss go on to comment, The student teacher will generally follow or even emulate the practice of the subject mentor, especially at the early stages of teaching experience(Arthur, Davison and Moss, 1997, p59) This could be seen as arrogant by almost putting forward my own practice as an example of good practice. However, this was not the intention but rather to use my teaching as a way of creating dialogue around what is good practice within the teaching of English.

[19] I again considered my last project and the relative success of using video evidence to analyse and improve my practice. I commented that. The use of video I considered could allow me to reflect on my own practice and at the same time help me to improve my teaching skills. The concept of video evidence as commented by Whitehead was particularly interesting to me and my practice. Through the use of videotape the teachers can engage in dialogues with colleagues about their practice. They can show the places where their values are negated.(Whitehead, 1998) I wanted to be granted personal access to the difference between what I thought was happening in the room (my perceptions) and what the reality of this actually was.(Riding, 2000...) These comments reminded me that perhaps the use of video would help me to narrate my way through my learning with others in the department, to illustrate the issues that I had to face with the implementation of the NLS. However Hargreaves does comment on this as a process, Transfer is difficult to achieve for it involves far more than telling or simply providing information transfer is the conversion of information about another person's practice into one's personal knowledge.(Hargreaves, 1999, p. 131-132) This is where I had to be careful not to simply tell but to aid the transfer of knowledge.

[20] A much fuller discussion of my own impressions of the group can be found in the section, My perspectives on 9X2 sample group.

[21] See section on Overview of NLS and training on itfor a fuller discussion on the County support networks.

[22] The use of the term 'stakeholders'here as defined by referring to, 'those who have a vested interest in education, its processes and its outcomes.'(Murgatroyd and Morgan, 1993, p. 5) Within the development of this project it was necessary to balance the various demands that these groups could place upon me: the requirements from the DfES; the needs of the staff within the department; the concerns of the School Improvement Plan; the needs of the students, and the list could go on. This clearly outlines the difficulty of managing a change process within education with so many groups who have vested interests needing consideration.

[23] I was hoping that the students would perhaps be a little more open and free with their ideas than they had been whilst using my other research instruments. I hoped that the small group would give them more confidence to talk and engage.

[24] See section on Rationale for SOWand SOW overviewfor more detail.

[25] I feel that it is crucial that I am seen to leading from the front with this strategy. I take every opportunity to talk about the work being done on the MA to try and develop a culture of active staff development within the department. Hargreaves supports this view of Middle managers within secondary schools helping to be responsible for promoting knowledge and practice within schools and one strategy for this being through research. (Hargreaves, 1999, p. 132, 133)

[26] Use video evidence and interview/questionnaire evidence.

[27] Everard and Morris comment on the nature of teams within education. 'A team is a group of people that can effectively tackle any task which it has been set up to do.'(Everard and Morris, 1985, p. 124) They go on to comment that, 'The contribution drawn from each member is of the highest possible quality, and is one which could not have been called into play other than in the context of a supportive team.'(1985, p. 124) During the interview process of the three new teachers I began to consider their characteristics and whether this team could tackle the work I wanted to do with the NLS. Initial impressions led me to believe that each person had significant enthusiasm for the work and consequently I concluded that it would be appropriate to attempt to push the department forward full steam rather than holding back.

[28] I am aware of the impact that reading A Study of 'effective'departments in secondary schools by Harris, Jamieson and Russ has had on my understanding of running a department in a secondary school. Particularly interesting to me was, All of these [successful] departments were marked by a clear and shared sense of vision that largely emanated from, and was propagated by, the head of department.(Harris, Jamieson and Russ, 1997, p. 151) It goes on to comment about the leaders of successful departments that, All of them could probably be described as 'leading professionals'in the sense that their own mode of practice was regarded as the model to follow, particularly in teaching.'(1997, p. 151)

[29] My initial thoughts on the NQTs can be read in the section NQT day in school.

[30] Although this may seem a little controversial, perhaps the role of The visionary perspectivehas some influence upon this, as outlined by Bailey and Johnson. (1997) They comment that, The strategy an organisation follows can also be seen as emerging from a vision which represents the desired future state of the organisation, and which is initially and primarily associated with an individual(1997, p. 190), although they do acknowledge that a vision can, 'be associated with a small group of individuals'(1997, p. 190) They further comment, 'vision is based both on intuition and a rational understanding of the organization's strategic problems' and enables innovation to be made through the adding of new, to the well understood, and certainty of the old.'(1997, p. 190) Crucially for my work is, 'for a vision' to develop into strategy it must be effectively articulated and communicated' vision must be shared if it is to be realised.'(1997, p. 190) I feel the nature of my work lends itself to these ideas: the implementation of the NLS at such an early stage could lend itself to this model of basing strategy upon vision. However the importance of ensuring that you have the support of your team is clearly evident.

[31] This idea has been developed by granting time on a weekly basis for the English team to meet together to plan and develop strategy.

[32] This space will help to ensure that I have time to bring all my team on board with my thinking and to gradually phase in the implementation of the strategy, rather than seeming to over-burden staff at once.

[33] Various strategies exist for this but crucially would seem to be taking every opportunity to discuss with colleagues the nature of what is being done within English: ensuring that the positive elements of the work are really talked about to disseminate the practice.

[34] In one sense, this is promoting the implementation of the Action-Research spiral, attempting to ensure that reflective practice is at the heart of the department's consciousness and teaching.

[35] Again aiming to share the vision amongst the department.

 

 

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