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Observation Sheet – School as text
Secondary School
Describe the school in terms
of its demographics,
appearance and resources (be
general here and do not name
the school).
The school seemed quite old in terms of buildings and general exterior
and I think it was built in the 1970’s. I didn’t get much of a chance to view
other departments within the school, only really the area I was allocated
to (Phys-Ed).
The resources within this department seemed quite good and there had
been a few new additions for the phys-ed department in the last few
years, which included some new sheds that were built to cater for a table
tennis area and an indoor gym.
This school ran a specialist soccer program and they appeared to have
quite good resources for all the soccer sessions which included coaching
boards, new balls, training bibs, marker cones and marker manikins (in
the shape of a person).
I asked the head of department how many students were at the school
and he said there were about 1200.
What were the roles and
responsibilities of the
teaching staff you observed?
My mentor teacher’s main role was to run and manage the specialist
soccer program for the boys at the school. A female phys-ed teacher was
in charge of the specialist soccer program for the girls. Along with
teaching phys-ed most of the teachers within this department also taught
Health and some even taught other subjects such as maths and science.
Other than teaching, some of the other roles I observed my mentor
teacher doing (and teachers within this department) were administrative
duties such as organising soccer scratch matches and organising try-outs
for next years year 8 group.
As well teaching, I observed the staff undertake roles that included
coaching, physical training, mediation, planning, being mentors to the
students and motivating students.
What did you observe nonteaching staff doing to
support teaching and learning
in the school?
Some of the non-teaching staff I observed included administrative
support workers, grounds people, canteen staff and cleaning staff. All of
these people played a ‘behind the scenes’ role in making sure the school
functioned and that teaching and learning could take place. Most of
these non-teaching staff seemed quite happy and there was one cleaning
lady in particular that I passed on my way out everyday that always
greeted me with a smile and said hello. This was nice to see.
Observation sheet – School as text: Secondary School, Zoe Kissane
1
Students
You will have observed the
diverse nature of your classes.
How was this diversity
supported?
I didn’t really observe a lot of extra support for classes during my time at the
high school. The only extra support I noticed was the existence of the Intensive
English Centre that catered for students that had poor English or came from
non-English speaking backgrounds.
The general phys-ed classes that I observed were often two classes that had
been combined into one and consisted of about 60 students in total. I felt like
this was perhaps not the best idea, as the students didn’t seem to get any
individual attention or extra support.
Function of Schools
Did you observe the connection
of your schools with the
broader community? How did
this happen?
The one opportunity when I got to experience the schools connection
with the broader community was during an inter-school soccer match.
This match was held after school one afternoon between the Year 9
soccer specialist boys and a visiting team from another school. I decided
to come back after school and watch the match (school finished at 3pm
and the soccer match started at 4.30pm) and I’m glad I did as I got a small
glimpse into the connection the school had with the wider community.
There were some parents and family members that attended the match
along with some other students from the school.
What do you think the function
of school is?
After spending a week observing the secondary school environment I felt
like its function was quite different to the primary school. The focus of the
learning and teaching I observed seemed to be on fostering selfmanagement techniques within the students and getting them to do
activities that encouraged this.
Granted I only really got a glimpse into one department (unlike the
primary school which was a much more wholesome experience) and I’m
sure there were other functions that I didn’t get to observe. It also
seemed like the school had to work hard at keeping kids engaged enough
to actually stay at school.
Observation sheet – School as text: Secondary School, Zoe Kissane
2
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