This term we are starting a new CPD programme with a personalised approach for all teachers.
Our next 3 sessions will be in groups, with all staff identifying an area for development in their own classroom practice. All are under-pinned by the centrality of improving student outcomes.
The 25th April Blog started with this paragraph, and on Wednesday we completed the 3 personalised sessions.
This is what happened…
#Butterfly 1: More Able with Chris Black
In Session one on More Able we looked at strategies for teacher explanation (Lemov’s ‘No Rounding Up’/ Allison and Tharby’s Principles of a good explanation) and strategies for student explanation (Lemov’s Right is Right/@headguruteacher’s Say it again, but better this time) . In Session two we covered strategies for planning for More Able in our Schemes of Work by making sure there is constant revision of key principles/lists/key definitions etc. because studies show students need exposure to the same ideas in multiple contexts on multiple occasions for a thorough understanding. One strategy we covered was Loci/Mind Palaces which we had a go at creating to the amusement of the group! We looked at Flipped Learning and Blended Learning in this session as a means of planning for, stretching and supporting More Able learners. Lastly, in Session 3 we looked at strategies for providing effective feedback to stretch (and to an extent ‘create) More Able students. We looked at different ways of modelling student work, The George Spencer Academy’s ‘Yellow Box’ concept and Carol Dweck’s ‘Not Yet’ grading system as a means of feeding into a Growth Mindset value system.
#Butterfly 2: Assessment for Learning with Sam Cole
This term we have been looking at Assessment for Learning at KS4 and how this can inform planning for younger year groups. We started by looking at how the Art department does this – being a visual subject and one that is perceived as being difficult to mark, it was good to show the staff that students need simple, broken down instructions in order to achieve highly in the subject.
Session 1 was spent looking at the exam specification and rewriting Assessment Objectives so students can access them more readily. This was then used to explore how SOW’s can be planned for younger years in order for them to improve on required skills for GCSE.
Session 2 looked at the idea of a Success Criteria and how important it is for individual pieces of work to be set against them in order to support progress and challenge.
In the final session it was down to the staff to produce a rough draft of their own ‘tickbox’ markscheme for student use. These can then be adapted as they go to use full time in their own lesson or alongside SOW’s.
#Butterfly 3: Lesson Planning with Jodie Vincent and Clara Ampah-Korsah
Three’s a crowd? Not this time!
What will make my lesson ‘outstanding’? Everyday teachers ask themselves this question. We may know what Ofsted are looking for, but how do we easily implement this into our everyday teaching?
According to the School Inspection Handbook (September 2015), for ‘outstanding’ learning a teacher should ‘set challenging work’, ensure ‘pupils love the challenge of learning and are resilient to failure’ and ‘provide children with incisive feedback’. We wanted to explore how we could make this happen at Westfield Academy. Therefore, this became the themes for our three sessions; Engagement, Challenge and Feedback.
We aimed to highlight the importance of engagement, challenge and feedback within the lesson and provide teachers with the knowledge and resources to embed these key themes into their own teaching. Teachers experienced what it felt like to be engaged, challenged and critiqued. In addition to this, teachers were given set tasks to use within lessons and were able to give feedback on how well different activities worked for them. We explored the difference between a growth/ fixed mind set and how we could help children maintain a growth mind set.
What we loved most about the session was the learning ethos of the group. All teachers were hard-working, honest, and reflective. The feedback we received helped us to improve our training sessions and reflect on the effectiveness of our own teaching. Discussions helped us to explore our ideas in more depth.
Overall, the response from staff was very positive. They ‘enjoyed the engaging activities’ and could see where training would help ‘lead to pupils’ progress’. A huge thank you to all teachers who took part! You made the three sessions very enjoyable for us and we learned lots from you too!
#Butterfly 4: Differentiation with Chloe Sefton
In the ‘How to differentiate your teaching at Westfield’ we looked at strategies to challenge and enthuse top set learners, strategies to challenge and support lower set learners and, lastly, strategies to support and challenge all learners in large and complicated middle set classes. I was really impressed with the group of staff I had who were very enthusiastic and passionate about learning new things and sharing their best practice. A real highlight was getting staff to complete an online Socrative quiz on what they had learnt. I would recommend this brilliant and free website (Socrative.com) to all teachers out there – it’s a great, great way to assess students in lesson and for homework and they love it!
So there we have it. 3 Wednesday sessions, 4 Personalised groups and all teaching staff involved having chosen their areas of interest and development.
Thanks to everyone, including the associates above who planned and delivered the sessions.
To go back to our TeachMeet vision,
The best classrooms are those where nobody feels anonymous, unsupported or undervalued- and that includes the teachers & teaching assistants
All of the sessions, and our joint learning during them, have addressed this fundamental vision, and challenge, for our students and staff.
And I think we made a pretty good job of getting the great professional development below:
Happy Father’s Day. I’m watching ‘Deliverance’.