Diary of a head teacher

19 September 2018 By Sash Hamidi - Head teacher, Priestmead Primary School

School sign

We're pleased to welcome Sash Hamidi from Priestmead Primary School, who gives an insight into cross-curricular learning in his school.

What prompted you to become a head teacher?
My initial passion was just to teach. I loved being in the classroom and inspiring the minds of 30 children and was incredibly reluctant to leave the classroom for leadership. It was then a conversation when I was seconded to another school, who planted the seed of an idea: “If you can have impact with 30, imagine having it with 300 or 600 – what you would do with a class, do with a whole school!”. That resonated with me and a new career aspiration developed. I am now in my 10th year as a head teacher and I love it! I work with passionate staff practitioners, and committed governors, incredibly supportive parents and over 800 little people who are the heartbeat of our school and will be our future world-changers! Why wouldn’t you want to be head???

Have you seen a move towards cross-curricular learning in your school and if so, what have been the benefits of this?
Our curriculum revolves around three vision statements:
- We believe all learning should be purposeful and experiential.
- We believe in learning the values and skills for whatever the future brings.
- We believe we can be world changers.

To do this, the curriculum has to be fit for purpose and you have to take risks. Yes, we are committed to all children being literate and numerate and being challenged, but we go further through a host of trips, visits, in-school activities, extra-curricular activities, residential trips in KS1 and KS2, whole school theme days, enterprise curriculum…we even spent the last three years learning mandarin! Teach skills and give children the opportunity to apply them across the curriculum, through a metacognitive approach so they have resilience, resourcefulness, reflectiveness and the ability to work reciprocally. Life skills across the curriculum – that is the key.

In what ways do you bring a cross-curricular approach into lessons?
Some activities we have done include:
- Exploring the Great Fire of London including diary writing of when the fire started – however linked with DT we built our own Tudor houses, set them up in a street and really set fire to them!
- Residential trips which include a night-walk through a forest, so children have a vivid experience to inspire story writing.

And much more! I have such a talented team of staff who always push boundaries and think about how to make learning exciting, inspiring but also to have impact!

Is there anything else you want to say around the topic of cross-curricular learning, not covered by the above questions?
When reviewing the curriculum, focus on:
- Is it relevant to the children?
- Will it develop skills beyond the core?
- Is it experiential?
- Will YOU enjoy teaching it? (if not, the children probably won’t enjoy learning it!)
- Will it make a difference to their development into being our future world changers?

Get the curriculum right, and excellent teaching will follow and the outstanding outcomes. Enjoy the journey!

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Categories: Education

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