As September draws to a close, we are in the midst of setting up programmes, running baseline inductions, and meeting our new pupils. August seems a lifetime away! But during the summer, just because there are no programmes it doesn’t mean your Programme Coordinators are taking it easy. In August we were busy getting together as a whole team to learn, develop, discuss and refine what we do.
We welcomed new staff – including a brand new Programme Coordinator for our new city, Newcastle. Existing staff were trained up for their new roles; some Programme Coordinators became Programme Executives. Staff shared the responsibility of running training sessions amongst themselves, and we enjoyed sessions as diverse as ‘A changing education system’, ‘Overview of the maths curriculum’ and ‘Personal development in curriculum and training’. It was wonderful to hear ideas from new voices, and for us to have time to learn from each other and to ask questions in a safe environment. Sessions were often discursive, and many contained two of my favourite pieces of equipment – flip chart paper and permanent markers!
As the new academic year approaches, we discussed our themes for the year, our targets for the programmes, and our wants and wishes for Action Tutoring in our regions.
One evening, we ventured to Hackney for a team social. In the belly of a pirate ship, kindly sailed for us by The Hackney Pirates, we enjoyed some food and drinks. We had a brilliant surprise visit from CEO Susannah, and Interim CEO Jen gave an awards ceremony in which we won shiny gold medals for all of our individual quirks and eccentricities. I won ‘most likely to be a spy’, so watch out!
We shared a picnic in the park, opposite the office. Everyone from the team provided a delicious treat, and luckily the sun shone for us! It’s amazing to see how the team has grown over the two years I have worked with Action Tutoring.
On the morning of our final day together, we built iconic buildings out of pipe-cleaners, discarded cardboard packaging and brightly coloured sponges. My team had the Taj Mahal – and oh, how majestic it looked! A prize was won for the most jelly babies balanced on the structure and of course token accolades for best team work, most fun had, and most creative design.
As everyone packs up to head back the their respective regions, and we wave goodbye to those who work in the London office, I have time to reflect on the culture the Action Tutoring team has established. It’s inspiring to see everyone has translated the desires they have for their tutors – to feel supported, to feel included, to be able to ask questions and to develop themselves – onto their colleagues.
Now it’s back to school time!
Written by Chloe Lancaster, Programme Executive for Birmingham