Getting ready for September by Kate Stockings

As the summer holidays draw to an end, I’m starting to think about adjusting back to a life of to-do lists. As a teacher, form tutor and Head of Department, being organised has always been critical for me. There is so many plates to spin as a teacher that I don’t think I could survive otherwise!

So, as we prepare for a return to the classroom, I thought I’d share my September ‘to-dos’ – the things I like to do to start the year to be organised and ready. Separated into tasks for each of my three roles, I hope these might prove useful to anyone new to teaching, new to middle leadership or returning to the classroom.

I’m sure I will have forgotten something so please do let me know of anything else you do in the comments below!

Print my own timetable x3 times: for my planner, for my desk and for reference at home. 
Put key dates from the whole school calendar into my diary.
Create seating plans for each of my classes. If possible, speak to the teacher who taught them last year to help inform this.
Check SEND information and student documents for new classes. Print if required.
Create markbook and homework tracker for each class. Include all key information within this.
Plan my first lesson with new classes: how will I approach this? How will I share my expectations and embed my classroom culture from day 1?
Start a new ‘CPD Record’ document ready to record training sessions that I attend and key takeaway points from each.
Form Tutor
Print my form’s timetable and teacher list for my planner.
Highlight my free periods against their timetable- which lessons will I be able to drop into?
Check in with their teachers- offering support if / when needed.
Start a ‘Report Record’ document ready to record any student that goes onto a report card and for how long.
Start a ‘Praise and Rewards’ document ready to record which students I nominate for praise in assemblies or via weekly certificates etc.
Head of Department
Print the timetables of the other department members & put in the front of my planner.
Ensure new exercise books are in each classroom ready for the first lessons.
Check that each staff members have the stationery supplies needed and top up if required.
Have a 1 to 1 chat with each member of the department: what are their priorities for the year? What do they want to work on? How can I support them in this?
Start a new document ‘Extra-Curricular Record’ ready to record the extra-curricular opportunities that we offer students throughout the year (competitions, guest speakers, trips etc).
Meet as a department to discuss the first schemes of work. What is the core knowledge in each topic?  How will people approach the delivery of the topic? What links can we daw to previous content when teaching this topic?

Kate Stockings is Head of Geography at The Hampstead School having completed her PGCE at the University of Cambridge 2014-2015. She is an author for OUP and has completed her Masters in Education.