Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Got my mojo workin' (Muddy Waters)

Who knew that moderation meetings could be such fun?

The students have sat formal assessments (tests) this week in Arabic, English, Islamic studies, science and maths. Of course it is necessary to have moderation meetings to guarantee some consistency between the markers.

In my NZ and UK experience, these take place after the marking has happened and then marks are supposedly adjusted. But this is always a haphazard process, very unscientific and of little benefit to anyone.

Here I have stipulated that the moderation meetings take place BEFORE the staff get into marking.

I've had two of them - one with the English Dept and one with the Arabic teachers (until I have a full team in place I am advising both of these faculties). Both were exceptionally positive and fun experiences. The English one resulted in some great vociferous debate from the English teachers before we could settle on some benchmark papers.

Unfortunately I forgot to take my camera but I remembered for the Arabic meeting. This one was of equal value but with Abdulla's input it was also screamingly funny. Left to right, in the two photos below, we have Abdul, Shaban, me, Abdulla, Farraj (Salem is the 5th member and he's seen in a photo below). Also pictured (in the photo immediately above) are Nadal and Khalifa who helped me out with translation and advice.

After the meeting the teachers are relieved of their normal timetable and stay at school until they have finished marking!! So, on Monday, five English teachers marked 200 scripts after our moderation took place and on Tuesday it was the five Arabic teachers' turn. The next day all scripts were checked by other faculty members. A very robust system all around.

I was both fascinated and impressed by the organisation and smooth operation.

We learnt a lot from each other and isn't that what it's all about?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Bring your good times, bring your laughter too, we're gonna help you celebrate (Dragon)

National Day at school was a glorious occasion - lots of games, singing, dancing as well as the serious stuff. I was dragged into some dancing and the games which was fun (I was an early exit from the balloon popping game and we - the staff - lost the tug of war to the boys who had a little help!). All great fun!

Here are some of the many photos taken , starting with Principal Mohammed addressing the boys.