Lessons from Leading Learning
14 November 2017
Across the country schools spend hundreds of thousands of hours every year planning and delivering important sessions that address complex topics such as assessment, curriculum, metacognition, feedback and pupil outcomes. Everyone wants these hours to feel valued and useful, but as practitioners we sometimes might not have the time, information or best resources to go about planning a truly meaningful CPD programme, whatever our best intentions.
Leading Learning is a 3-day programme designed to support schools to develop evidence-informed CPD in order to improve teaching and learning and student outcomes. It is for staff who have a responsibility for and/or interest in improving continuous professional development opportunities.
Leading Learning was first offered as a programme at Huntington School earlier in 2017 and I caught up with a few of the delegates to find out what impact the course has had on CPD and teaching and learning in their educational context so far this year:
Rob Newton, Deputy Headteacher Pickering Community Infant and Nursery School – Leading Learning helped me to work with our in-school change group to evaluate our current CPD offer, understand what quality CPD would look like and develop plans that were more likely to meet the standard. The result has been a much more focused, coherent approach to CPD for all staff which has clear and purposeful links to the school priorities – answering real problems in real time. Leading Learning was instrumental in making this change and feedback from staff so far has been overwhelmingly positive. They are much clearer about what we are doing and why and continue to take more ownership of their own CPD. Within our ‘school specific’ CPD we have also built in time for the whole staff team to stop and reflect on what CPD is, how we use it and what we expect from it. The level of engagement with appropriate research (both action and theoretical) continues to increase.
In summary, I would highly recommend that programme to others but particularly those who are willing, able and motivated to make changes to their CPD as a result of their learning.
Sue Watmough, Manchester Communication Academy – MCA first connected with Huntington Research School through a desire to engage teachers in real evidence-informed practice that leads to real student improvement. The Leading Learning programme gave us a great opportunity to go back to the start and question why we were offering CPD in its existing form and what difference it was having on student performance. The research team at Huntington were open, honest and true experts in this field of work. As a result, the professional learning model at our Academy has been overhauled. Our training sessions are focused around pedagogical approaches that are grounded in recognised educational research. These are explored, challenged, applied and regularly returned to so that the offer has a rhythm and provides sustained improvement. The performance development process has also been modified ensuring that all teaching staff conduct a disciplined inquiry to provide that crucial ‘golden thread’ from staff development to student outcomes. Our never ending mission is to find the best ways to improve our teaching so that our learners reap the benefits with the best possible outcomes. Huntington Research School have become crucial partners on this journey.
Day 1 of Leading Learning in Sheffield was on 10th October and it was fantastic to have a wide range of colleagues from different Sheffield schools engaged in the activities during the day. The key outcomes on day 1 were to investigate the evidence base for great teaching (including the DFE 2016 Continuous Professional Development Standards) through unpacking the EEF Toolkit and interpreting the latest research evidence.
We are running a further Leading Learning course at Learn Sheffield next year, so if you think that you or someone in your school would benefit from attending then please do not hesitate to get in touch and reserve a place.
Jane Elsworth, Assistant Director of Huntington Research School14 November 2017
Posted in: Blog
Tags: CPD, CPD standards, EEF Toolkit, Learn Sheffield