Our directed pathways are underway and it is not costing a ringgit. The whole school CPD programme covers: Aspiring Leadership; Teaching and Learning Team (Coaching); and, Lesson Study.
Fancy course titles, a trip overseas or a sit-down relaxing three-course lunch with a certificate at the end does not always equate to effective CPD. With this in mind, and after much planning, re-planning and preparation in Term 1, our whole school CPD programme has been officially launched.
Although last year’s #CPD programme had an impact we realised it needed to be more focused and appropriate for every member of staff, raising moral, improving opportunity for collaboration between us all and to improve the quality of teaching and learning.
Optional and blanket CPD sessions have been scheduled throughout term 1 for our CPD programme this year. The blanket #Speeddating #BringAndBrag sessions created our weekly optional #15MinForums and as a response from Heads of Department we have provided more blanket department CPD sessions for implementing or developing initiatives according to their own action plans.
It was imperative that the CPD reflected the direction of the school and supported our action plan. The appraisal system had to be supported through the CPD programme to develop staff. Our assessment cycle has become more embedded this year for the reporting process for staff, students and parents. The close link between each helps to ensure all these initiatives support each other which was really important to get balanced this year.
With a staffing body of almost 70 you can imagine the range of teaching and learning happening across the school. Careful research was needed to ensure our CPD provision this year would make the biggest impact on colleagues so far in the school’s short life. I knew that we had the skills within our team to facilitate certain pathways and I was very aware of our staffs needs for their own personal development. This ruled out certain models and brought others to the top of the list.
It was important before our directed pathways were launched that members of the SLT spoke to all staff to discuss the most appropriate pathway for them due to their experience, responsibility and career direction. From January colleagues were on one of the following pathways:
- Aspiring Leadership
Our Head of Secondary Iain Sallis is facilitating the programme over the next two terms. The pathway provides eight hours of directed time for the members of staff new to middle leadership at our school or those members of staff who have the potential to take on responsibility within a subject or pastoral role in the near future.
As an experienced facilitator having worked at the IOE providing training for the NPQSL and ML, Iain is able to pitch the directed time at a bespoke level for our staff. Relevant scenarios and ensuring our staff are challenged to reflect on their own skills and performances is important for their development as new leaders in our school.
Colleagues have really responded positively to the course content. They are keen to learn from one another, sessions have had everyone completely engaged and sharing their experiences of their early days of leadership so far.
- Teaching and Learning Team
Facilitated by me, our teachers recognised for their outstanding classroom practice were invited to be part of our new T&L Team. They have gone through the coaching model training as part of their own CPD and are assigned a member of staff to provide one-to-one coaching. The process works over a half termly cycle with the coach dedicating time to support a colleague. Coaches are encouraged to observe and be observed by colleagues, offering opportunities to see excellent practice in action.
There is no specified time for the Teaching and Learning Team to adhere to as their commitment comes through their own school day with observations and feedback. It has been planned so that the team commit the same amount of time to their directed CPD as the other pathways.
The team have also agreed to help with one or more of the blanket or optional CPD sessions to model good practice in our upcoming TeachMeet, our ‘Teaching the Teachers’ carousel or one of our weekly #15MinuteForums.
A fantastic team of teachers who can make a real impact on our colleagues in the classroom and ultimately our students experiences and progress.
- Lesson Study
Our largest group of staff. Experienced teachers who have established their teaching strategies, their behaviour for learning, maybe they have responsibility in the way of leadership through their subject or maybe a year group. There needs to be a new focus…the learners and their learning in the classroom.
After plenty of research into lesson study (initially through @lessonstudyuk) it was decided that this would be an exciting opportunity to develop and inspire our staff and provide opportunities to plan collaboratively, observe and reflect on their own and others practice. It’s often the case in school’s that our weekly calendar does not allow time to observe colleagues, yet through our lesson study we have given staff the freedom to have lessons covered where necessary in order for the study to work effectively.
We are in currently in cycle one of three. The research proves really interesting and the planning of triads and timing of the study tried my organization of the whole school CPD programme, but the real challenge as the facilitator is to inspire, transfer my knowledge and influence others to achieve excellence through this professional development. Teachers have shared how excited they to be working with colleagues outside their department and how much they are looking forward to observing each other’s practice in a very non-judgmental way .
Of course, reflection time is initiated from the feedback directly from the case students and our next CPD session will promote discussion on the effectiveness on the learning and the lesson content according to our students. Colleagues must be prepared to be honest but tactful where necessary in their feedback, a skill in itself!
Scheduling all the sessions in our busy school calendars was a task in itself. The assessment schedule with data collections, department meetings, leader’s strategy meetings, sports fixtures, productions, parent-teacher conferences and public holidays meant tactful placing of the sessions to ensure they were spread evenly with consideration of each pathway’s needs, such as the reflection time for my lesson study. Anyway, I think we are just about there now so unless I’ve missed out one of the 18 public holidays (Malaysia loves a public holiday!) then we are on target for the rest of this academic year…then it starts all over again!
If you would like a copy of my supporting documents for the lesson study and coaching pathways I would be happy to send. Please leave a request or DM me on my Twitter site @missclokePE