May 9, 2023

5 top tips for new subject leaders

We asked VNET Principal Consultant, Ruth McGlone, what are her 5 top tips to consider when new to subject leadership:

Top Tip 1

Get to know your school’s curriculum and get to know it well.

Find out how your subject fits into the wider curriculum so that you can understand how the golden threads weave between subjects and link learning.

Top Tip 1
Top Tip 2

Get to know your subject and how it is sequenced and what knowledge, skills and vocabulary are being taught in each year group.

If you are a primary then this will be from EYFS to Year 6 or for a junior from Year 3 onwards. If you are a KS2 teacher, get to know how your subject starts from early years and vice versa if you are an Early Years teacher in a Primary. This will allow you to understand how prior knowledge is built upon and be able to answer the questions “Why this, why here, why now?”.

Top Tip 2
Top Tip 3

Keep current and update your subject knowledge regularly with any relevant documents like research reviews.

Be a conduit for colleagues too. If you don’t know, use a professional association and other sources like VNET to help you.

Top Tip 3
Top Tip 4

Manage your time effectively and plan a monitoring schedule at the beginning of the year.

If you are responsible for multiple subjects, think about your priorities and spotlight subjects to that none are forgotten.

Top Tip 4
Top Tip 5

Don’t forget to evaluate what you have found and action plan accordingly to make improvements.

You will want to show all stakeholders what impact you are having as a subject leader.

Top Tip 5

Ruth McGlone – Principal Consultant

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