One of the most effective ways to make improvements is through sharing high quality professional expertise, both within departments and between departments. In addition to whole school sessions we offer ‘Staff Projects’ (new in 2018) alongside ‘Top-Up’ sessions including lesson observation.
The biannual observation programme (‘L5 week’) is an opportunity to observe colleagues who are regarded as top practitioners in a specific area. Staff at NTS are already in a strong position and these sessions are made available in order to promote discussion, generate some new ideas and hopefully lead to some “tweaks” in current practice.
Some lessons take place in our unique Professional Development Classroom and a “coach” is on hand in the Observation Room to commentate on and discuss the skills being demonstrated. This is very much a practical exercise and observers are encouraged to use the opportunity to reflect on their own practice and discuss classroom practice with colleagues. We also run a programme of learning walks and ‘open doors’ where staff can informally ‘drop in’ to observe classes learning.
Previous themes have included:
- Independence and active engagement
- ‘Drilling’ to support learning
- Emotional Intelligence, resilience and wellbeing in the classroom
We always provide training on the fundamentals of the Teacher Standards. However, for those teachers who are secure and experienced we offer much greater opportunity to tailor their own CPD. As part of the Staff Projects, we run an innovative in-house approach “Flexi PD” which gives interested staff the chance to direct their own CPD focused on major themes from the School Development Plan linked to their own classes.