'Pupils achieve high levels of sporting and artistic success in local, and sometimes national, events.' Ofsted

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Takeover Day at Didcot Girls' School

The 29th June saw our annual Junior Takeover Day arrive at Didcot Girls’ School which was, as always, an unforgettable experience for all of the girls that took part.

Takeover Day is both important and brilliant fun because it gives us a fascinating insight into what life is like in the work environment and also helps us to develop life skills like leadership and public speaking. In addition to the girls taking over roles in school, there were also over 100 girls taking part in out-of-school work placements in the community, taking over roles ranging from vicar to Chief Development Officer of a major multi-national company!

Personally, we were lucky enough to be chosen to take over Mrs Warwick and Mr Goodenough, Headteacher and Deputy Head respectively. We were very excited for today as we really wanted to see what it is like to be part of the Senior Leadership Team. We started the day in an SLT meeting where we discussed important upcoming events in the school. The staff were very friendly towards one another, always willing to help each other – this surprised us and showed us how lucky we are to have such caring teachers who not only help us but also support each other so well.

We then had a strategic meeting with the Takeover Day students from the other senior staff where we discussed the school’s priorities for next year. Mrs Warwick let us say whatever we wanted, enabling us to be independent and to give our views as students on a diverse selection of issues ranging from the food in the canteen to how to do the serious business of improving exam results. It was nerve-wracking to chair such a big meeting but a really great experience, and we hope some of our suggestions can help teachers improve the school in the future.

Next came a ‘learning walk’ where we got to drop into any lessons we wanted and see what lessons are like from the ‘other side’. It was excellent to be able to observe our teachers at work and we were really impressed by the amount of preparation that went into lessons and the high standards of both behaviour and teaching in all classes. Of course, students do not really get to see many lessons other than their own so seeing so many other classes was a really interesting experience. 

For the rest of the day, we worked with Mr Goodenough preparing the annual pupil survey to find out the students’ view of the school and discussing how students could be more involved in improving teaching and learning. It was fascinating to have a conversation about what really works in the classroom and to understand why teachers do what they do. Giving our feedback on what we would like more (and less!) of from teachers was excellent and we hope that some of our suggestions make it into the classroom!

Finally, we went on a site walk to discuss how the physical environment could be improved for students and we hope we gave Mr Goodenough some good ideas for ways to make the school an even better place to learn.

Overall, it was a great day and we can’t wait to take part in next year’s event!

Hermione Jewell, Abi Morrison and Lily Gilmour

 


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