This week, as part of our weekly training sessions for all staff, we launched our CPD action research for staff. The intention is that once a month, teaching staff will gather to discuss action research and evidence based practice. In this blog, you will read the rationale and be able to download the full presentation.
Power to the People puts professional development into the hands of every teacher! And as visiting speaker to my school David Weston said:
“Powerful professional development helps children succeed and teachers thrive.”
As an introduction to the CPD agenda in my school, I asked my staff the following questions:
- What does Good CPD look like in schools? In this school?
- What does Good CPD look like for you? How do you know?
- Where is the evidence?
- Will this CPD help my students? This included any fads and gimmicks that have been and gone!
- What follow up support is offered as a result of the CPD offered/attended?
- What/Why/How/When do we evaluate the impact on classroom practice?
I then suggested that ‘effective CPD’ should:
- Include a shared responsibility for CPD and teaching and learning.
2. That professional development should (and must) be an on-going process.
- That everyone evaluates the impact CPD has on their students.
- That colleagues support each other and their professional development, including observing each other.
- That CPD should (but not all) be backed up by research, innovation, and evidence.
This was then followed by a keynote presentation by the inspiring @Informed_Edu, David Weston, CEO of The Teacher Development Trust; a non-profit organisation promoting world-leading approaches to teacher learning and effective teacher development.
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National Teacher Enquiry Network:
NTEN is a partnership of schools & colleges developing world class, evidence-informed professional learning. At my school, we have now become a member of the @NTENetwork. There is a large growing number of schools joining the alliance.
This alliance of schools is growing across England and Wales and offers the following services; notably Lesson Study and a CPD Quality Peer Audit. The network is designed to ‘support teachers to become reflective practitioners, who evaluate their practice with a pupil focus, by helping teachers to embed and contextualise new research and best practice into their schools and classrooms.’
Who can argue with this?
Power to the People:
In part of David’s presentation, he started with the following sentiment; ‘that teachers are amazing!‘ I can only agree with him. We have an inbuilt Toolkit of strategies to fight or flight in our first year of teaching. Take a look at all the strategies teachers already do.
David then posed the following reflection questions:
- How many of you have spent time trying to improve your teaching?
- How many of you have been on courses to improve your teaching?
- How many of you have read printed advice/books to improve your teaching?
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David than shared the following slide regarding outstanding CPD leadership and it’s impact / effect size;
It is clear to see, that teachers, particularly leaders leading teacher learning and professional development has the greatest impact on student outcomes and teacher professional practice. Another no-brainer; one that serves as a vital reminder for all of us …
You can download David’s full presentation by clicking the image below;
Full CPD presentation:
My 1.5hrs CPD session and the Powerpoint includes a reference to our CPD agenda at school. The context and dialogue is shared at the beginning of the blog (see CPD agenda). David Weston and the Teacher Development Trust; I then introduce EduBook Club (see below), followed by MINT class – an online seating plan portal – and an introduction to Blue Sky all formed part of this session. You can download my full CPD presentation by clicking the image below
Following some great ideas on Perfect CPD (one of my current reading books) by deputy headteacher @Shaun_Allison, his blog raises the fantastic idea of EduBlook blog. ‘As part of our Action Research CPD, we want to disseminate 15 educational books.’ Our book list has been selected by senior leadership and options are now being considered by all teaching staff, as well as new suggestions … We plan that during some INSET days, staff are given time to talk about teaching and in some of our Wednesday weekly-CPD sessions, we’ll meet and give time to discuss. As suggested by Shaun, we will also offer ‘transfer windows’ so staff can move groups/books so that they can be in control of their own development.
This is our current book selection.
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After our initial CPD introductions, we then launched two new software tools for teachers to use in classrooms and as part of their professional development. The first was MINT class, which is a powerful tool designed to reduce workload in the classroom. This is my kind of software! We can use MINTclass to see where students should sit and all of their relevant information, for example, reading ages, key stage assessments and SEN/G&T data can also be stored.
This is great for new staff and supply teachers getting to know the school, as well established teachers wanting to see where students sit elsewhere across the school; covering lessons (If applicable). There is no more need for seating plans on bits of paper, in spreadsheets or worse still, nowhere at all! Take a room, a lesson, some students and create a layout template, all with the desired academic and pastoral data displayed alongside the student’s name and picture. The data is migrated form your school MIS (Management Information System). Administrative features include being able to lock down students to seating plans so that students are flagged up in classroom seating plans across the school. Fantastic!
This is a new platform for us, so I will report back later on in the year.
Blue Sky Education:
I have been using Blue Sky Education for over 6 years! Did you know, that Blue Sky has been around since 2000 , longer than Facebook, YouTube and Twitter and is just as successful (in an educational context). Blue Sky is ‘the tool’ for mapping online professional development to build a personal / professional portfolio. I cannot imagine not using it!
BlueSky provides the tools you need to implement, manage and track a clear, consistent and robust appraisal policy linked to school improvement priorities. It not only saves you time and money, it ensures your performance management processes really drive improvement and that individual portfolios ensure all staff take an active role in their progression and development.
Here is an image of my own Blue Sky homepage. If you click this, it will take you to the Blue Sky website. You can also take a quick look at any of my 6-part leadership series and self-review, reflection on the leadership standards using Blue Sky tools.
As David Weston says; “Powerful professional development helps children succeed and teachers thrive.”
I will report back on our CPD agenda after half-term.