We all experience pressure at some point, whether it is at work or within our own personal life - this is quite normal. However, sometimes pressure can turn into stress and this may mean that we are not able to function at our normal level. Long term stress can impact on our wellbeing and mental health. This academic year, Waterside Primary Academy is working with colleagues to reduce unnecessary workload, so that teachers can focus on their teaching and their own professional development.
This year, we are promoting quality rather than quantity; ensuring that everything we do, we do it to a very high standard. We do not expect staff to do more but to ensure that everything they do do has maximum impact on pupils’ outcome. Our aim is to remove tasks that have little or no impact on pupil outcomes. These are tasks that may cause unnecessary pressure or stress and therefore have a negative impact on teaching and learning. We hope that by removing these tasks, staff will have more time to engage in their own professional development and to plan lessons that are highly effective.
This year, Waterside Primary Academy has addressed many concerns that teachers have over workload. The actions taken by the school (some of benefit to all staff) include:
- Simplifying the planning format and focusing on professional dialogue between colleagues
- Live feedback and marking in lessons
- Reduction in emails - Yammer on SharePoint used to share non-urgent information
- Limited staff meetings, including staff meetings to allow time for assessment and marking
- After school events kept to a minimum
- Teachers limited to one after-school club a week
- One PPA session per term to be taken at home.
- A weekly dress down day sports day – 'Sport Friday'.
- Mental Health Team
- Greater personal involvement in deciding Performance Management Targets
- After school Well-being get togethers
- Termly Well-being sessions
The academy is continuing to listen to feedback from staff and we already have future plans and actions that we believe will make Waterside Primary Academy a work place where everyone can excel and be the best they can possibly be.