The Role of The English Subject Leader
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The Role of The English Subject Leader 'The roles and responsibilities of the English co-ordinator are many and varied.' (Merchant and Marsh 1998:9) I feel that this quote sums up the importance of the role of the subject leader (SL) in one simple sentence. The SL's role requires the person to be dedicated, motivated and organised. English is a core subject in the curriculum and affects every other subject area. Being responsible for this subject sets a challenging and demanding task, and requires successful managing in order to make learning and teaching successful, not only within the English subject, but across the whole curriculum. 'To be responsible for English means we have the opportunity to influence the whole curriculum and the whole of children's learning and this makes it exciting.'
Appropriate planning within the subject is vital in order to ensure effective teaching. The SL must support and guide teachers' in their planning and offer feedback and guidance when monitoring weekly and medium term plans. It is important for the SL to scrutinise every teacher's planning in order to build on their development policy. To ensure effective planning, efficient monitoring needs to be implemented in order to support development. Caddy explains that 'monitoring is a process, which enables us to keep English 'on track' and which triggers new development.' (Caddy in Duncan et al 2002:104) It is important that the SL uses a range of strategies when monitoring in order to gain a thorough insight into the progress of the subject.
Evaluating is a major aspect of the SL's role as it enables weaknesses within the subject to come to light. This then gives the SL a foundation to set targets upon, and also highlights the strengths that are already being displayed within the current teaching of the subject. Planning, Monitoring and assessing are the major aspects of the SL's role. However, to 'work as part of a team... enthusiasm... provide a role model... and dealing sensitively with people' (1) are key traits that make someone a successful subject leader. The scope of the SL's role is demanding and challenging but it is important to remember that the 'central function of the English co-ordinator is to ensure that all pupils realise their full potential...' (Merchant and Marsh 1998:19). Word Count: 552 ?? ?? ?? ?? Sinead Noonan - 1 -
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