It is difficult to maintain a well-balanced and exciting scheme of work not only in languages but in all subjects. Not the least because a scheme of work is a ‘living’ thing. You want it to be a tool to guide your colleagues so it has to be fairly attractive and easy to use with files to match. Also it has to be differentiated and it should include SEN and Gifted and Talented files as well. Did i say files to match?
The schools financially secure allow their heads of languages to use the e-products matching the GCSE and A-level courses. The others wait for teachers to drop what they prepare in the Shared Area, a difficult task that requires the Head of Department or a Second in charge to check them and advertise them. It is difficult to manage because as you know, the Head of Department has other responsibilities. One of the beauty of the teaching profession is its creativity. Nobody wants to teach a lesson using standard files that somebody else created five years ago so all responsible teachers will spend invariably a huge amount of time designing their ‘own’ files. The schemes of work are then neglected, only reviewed when in the worst scenario, management declare that the drop in the grades mean that there is a flaw somewhere.
Improving the scheme of work sessions can lead to controversy. One trend is the yes or no to grammar, again! This time, some departments decide that they will not teach formally KS3, the plural form of verbs! The excuses they give are ridiculous, 1- year 7 cannot cope with the pressure 2- they are too difficult to remember 3- it’s too hard. So figure out a cohort of year 10 that cannot conjugate a regular verb. Fortunately, wise and strong head of departments will lead their colleagues and insist that verb endings are learnt in the younger years. Fair enough it takes a bit of time and it is part of homework routine but the result is worth it! You know where I stand, what do you think? Teach verbs from the Je to the ils or not?
Here is a powerpoint I added this morning in my TES shop, free for you to download.