Let’s face it, it’s been a tough year for us all.  Starting the year with the pretty awful exam results, then the resignation of the head teacher, followed by an interim head and then finally in the last couple of months a new permanent head…… Not forgetting DFE, Ofsted etc in between………… It’s been a crazy year.  But Stockley Staff have dealt with the highs and lots of lows with stoicism.  It’s a team spirit and resilience that I have never experienced before in any staff community at a school and I’d be surprised if I ever experience it again.  A huge well done to our Teach Firsts and NQTs who survived this year which is the most difficult in anyone’s career let alone with a tumultuous year that we have had.  I am going to miss our wonderful colleagues that we are losing but I am also looking forward to new beginnings in September. What we have desperately needed is stability and I believe we will have this next year. I thought a nice way to end the year would be to ask staff what they have gained from this year in terms of the professional development and support they have received.  So over to them:

CPD training this year (2014 – 2015) has given me the opportunity to liaise with fellow practitioners to share good practice. To feel part of the learning community and being aware of T & L across the school. The impact this has had on my students progress (Significant in KS4)  has been due to gaining confidence through sharing strategies that have been developed, reaffirming my belief in my own practice. The coaching course has also developed skills to recognise strengths in students and staff allowing a firm base in which they can  develop and progress with confidence.                                        Katie Potter – Art Teacher: @potterkatiehook

I really enjoyed the marking gallery this year. It was a new format for T&L and a great way for teachers to pick up new ideas and for the favoured idea to be carried forward as a whole school. The delivery of CPD has been varied and differentiated this year and allowed teachers and their managers to focus on their needs.                                 Laura Liddle – Curriculum Leader for Humanities

The graphic organisers training (led by Laura Liddle) that I went on at the beginning of term has had a huge impact on my teaching especially my exam classes. They have helped me to develop pupils answers and also allowed the pupils to clearly structure their answer before writing this up. I have explored this through group, pair and self-work and it has proved a great success in my lessons, as the pupils have given me some great feedback. The middle leaders training course has really inspired me as second in charge of  the department it has taught me how to  address difficult conversations within the work place and also allowed me to understand not only my leadership style but the leadership styles of others. The external course that I went on this year looked at Outstanding teaching at Btec Level 3. From this course I have changed the assessment layout for Btec at level 2 and level 3. I have adapted schemes of work so that they are more interactive and hands on and I have also developed tasks that allow for more independence at both level 2 and level 3. Overall, all of the courses that I have been on this year have either impacted my teaching directly or inspired me to become a better leader and these will both impact on the development and achievement of the pupils that I teach.                                                                                            Brittany Berry – 2IC PE

It was quite hard for me to think, as a lot of the CPD opportunities that have run this year I have been involved in running/presenting/planning rather than participating in (Marking stalls, session on progress checks with Achita, Teaching tips with other LPs, NQT sessions, CPD sessions after school for staff, RAG123, Literacy CPD with Franki @frankifaux). However, I have racked my brain to think about the sessions that I have been a recipient of, rather than a presenter of, and the following have been of use to me.

  1. Tara Ashe’s session on self-efficacy in September – it pushed me to think about how to plan tasks and activities that raise self-esteem and encourage confidence. In my practice I now ensure I always reflect on prior learning in order to build a sense of confidence before moving onto new learning.
  2. Marking CPD run by Mal Krishnasamy– I plan many opportunities for student redrafting and self-reflection. I use different colour pens to showcase student progress. I use RAG123 to track progress and ensure immediate feedback.

Jen Parkin – Lead Practitioner English @jen_missparkin

I have learnt a lot from you regarding literacy and developing their written communication. Through installing the ‘PEER’ practice in my lessons across the year groups, I have seen a significant improvement in students’ ability to argue and discuss controversial issues. Your resources have really helped me to install in the students that practice and redrafting pays off. I have a much more open mind to teaching – it’s not about the sing song but about drilling the basics and getting them right.

I really appreciate your support Mal and feel that my practice has moved forward.                                   Jenny Hunt – Citizenship Teacher & Head of House

Both my teaching and outcomes have benefited significantly from the T&L sessions this year.  I have been more conscious of structuring my lessons using Bloom’s taxonomy;  ensuring that tasks are graduated to show progression and learning from both questioning and activities.  This has also allowed me to personalise learning more for individual students; differentiating more  effectively for their needs, hence all students making progress.  I am now marking smarter and more effectively, where students are actively responding to feedback and closing the loop to show progress.  I have also benefited from discussions with colleagues sharing behaviour management strategies for whole-class and for  particular students.  As a result, I now have a better working relationship with my year 9 class, and in particular, Yusuf, Sydnie and John, who were of great concern at the start of the year.                                     Michelle Sweeney – English Teacher

I felt I learnt a lot from the NQT training sessions this year.  The training on how to use teaching assistants in the classroom by Tom Killigrew was particularly helpful.  The group session on looking at outstanding marking was also  very useful.  Getting to see how other people mark during the Marking Gallery  helped me to sample different techniques and to find out which suited me the best.  RAG 123 was also good to see, as it was helpful to hear about the different ways that teachers used it and to come up with ways that you could incorporate it into your lessons.                                                              Shona McManamon – Geography NQT

This year as a teacher at Stockley Academy, I have benefitted from many teaching and learning tips delivered by Mal Krishnasamy. Since starting at Stockley Academy, it was made clear to me the importance of showing students progress. However, i struggled a little with this at the start of the year. The first inset training day was extremely beneficial as I was given over 50 different activities on how to show progress with students. I was able to take these ideas back with me to the classroom. From this training, I now have different methods of showing progress readily available for all of my classes. I was also invited to share my marking with fellow teachers at another training session as different stalls were set up in order for teachers to share good practice. I received positive feedback on my code marking, which gave me great confidence. On top of this, I found this session extremely beneficial as I was able to look at other teachers techniques, and apply this to my own marking. 

Letitia McInally – History Teacher & Head of House

One key aspect of training that has really improved me as a teacher, this academic year, are the sessions I have attended on questioning. This has been one of my targets throughout the year and the training has made me approach it from a different perspective. This has had a huge impact on student’s contributions to class discussions as they know when they are picked for a question it will be differentiated. In turn this allows them to be more confident in their answers and encourages them to offer answers more often.

Paul Mulvihill – Supported Curriculum Teacher

The training that has had the biggest impact on my teaching this year was the Literacy CPD that was delivered by Ms Krishnasamy in November. In Humanities, our students have often found discursive writing quite a barrier to their attainment. The session detailed the benefits of giving students a model to work with that can help structure their writing. Particularly we looked at the PEER (Point, Evidence, Explain, Refer) model. On the back of this session I created a Literacy menu to support students in lessons when completing an extended writing activity. As a result of using this menu for the past 6 months, I have witnessed enormous progress in my KS3 classes and every lesson I am seeing more confident writers. literacy menu

James Bate History Teacher, Acting Head of Humanities.

During the NQT meetings and CPD as a whole, I feel I benefited a lot from the different types of marking which was displayed as part of the Marking Gallery. The 5 minute lesson plan and the CPD where Mal Krishnasamy organised T&L workshops that we could opt in to were really useful. For e.g. I remember attending Wajid’s class on literacy and AFL. Here I integrated much of his teachings into mine. His resources were extremely useful, such as tutor2u. The CPD meeting on homework was also helpful with James Bate, another resource which helped with my own teaching.            Sukhi Ranu Philosophy & Ethics NQT

There are a number of different strategies I’ve picked up on my training that I have used effectively in the classroom to improve upon my teaching. These include: Sessions with Ms Faux were extremely useful in improving my teaching and marking of literacy, they made me aware of the importance of literacy in every subject and gave excellent tips to aid in this. I learnt to place literacy ‘challenges’ within science work, pupils found this fun and were enthusiastic about doing them. This contributed to a real literacy focus in many of my science lessons and an improvement in their interpretation of science keywords and questions. Sessions with Mr Killigrew have been very effective at helping to deal with challenging pupils and utilising support staff. This has a great impact on my teaching, allowing me to dedicate more time to other members of the class whilst confident in the knowledge some of the most challenging pupils are on task. This has had an immense impact on both my teaching and the students attitude in my classroom, contributing to a positive learning environment. The introduction and training of the use of RAG123 by Ms Krishnasamy has been extremely helpful in both allowing me to assess the understanding of the pupils, but also to allow the pupils to reflect on their own progress and effort. This lead to pupils taking ownership and responsibility over their own learning as well as allowing them to see the gaps in their knowledge. In addition throughout the training I have picked up a number of different behaviour management strategies, this has allowed me to diffuse potentially volatile situations. The number of detentions and number of ‘exits’ I have issued has dropped due to the behaviour management strategies I have picked up to deal with situations before they escalate. This has helped contribute to a safer and more learning friendly environment within my classroom.                                                                  Ed Campbell Science Teacher

As an NQT this year I have found that the training I received in school has had a positive impact on my practice. For me the marking CPD sessions have had a strong impact on my practise. It has helped me to understand the importance of feedback that is immediate (as immediate as possible) and personalised. Furthermore, AFL sessions from November helped me to realise the importance of a clear success criteria for every task and how it can help to show progress within lessons. Furthermore, with the focus on ‘progress over time’ this year I got the most out of the marking sessions. The NQT sessions on formative feedback and peer/self-assessment have helped me to develop different strategies when it comes to marking now. For example;

  • I now use peer and self-assessment so regularly that students always have a very in depth knowledge of what skills they need to progress. This has ensured that they understand the mark schemes they are assessed against.
  • My pupils now regularly use feedback to redraft different aspects of their work. In this way they can see their own improvements.

Also, the whole school marking CPD allowed me to reflect on how I mark in order to develop new strategies. For example:

  • I developed a marking code that I used to encourage higher standards of literacy. This I found helped a lot of students that were continually making minor literacy errors in their work.
  • Also RAG123 has helped me a lot to mark both effort and understanding and clearly show the students the link between the two. If I know students have been working hard but their understanding is still low then I must go about teaching that topic in a different way.

Farihah Dean – NQT English

  It’s heart warming to read that so many have gained so much from the CPD that has been on offer this year.  Perhaps  more staff would like to add their comments below?

Have a great summer everyone!!