Many of the primary schools in Fareham and Gosport closed on Friday 15 February 2019 for a Common Closure day. This enables us as schools to send staff to a range of other schools to undertake a wide variety of training that is on offer: most of which is being offered free of charge. (Every member of our classroom and lunchtime staff chose training they wanted to attend).
I offered to share some of the recent research on aspects of Effective Teaching and Learning which we have explored at Cornerstone CE Primary, and used to develop our professional understanding and classroom practice.
With the colleagues who attended I discussed:
- John Hattie’s “Visible Learning” meta-analyses
- Our school’s Learning Powers and Learning Quest curriculum approach
- Dylan Wiliam’s work on “Creating a culture where all teachers improve” and Assessment
- The Educational Endowment Foundation website
- Cognitive Load Theory
- Our school’s definitions of Good and Inspirational Teaching and Learning
Some of the key points that came up in discussion included:
- Positives and negatives of streaming / setting / mixed age classes
- That small group learning appears to have a more positive impact that smaller class sizes
- The benefits of team teaching, team planning and coaching. The opportunities to critique each other as long as there is an open, trusting and professional culture
- Adapting plans on a daily basis in response to the learning / barriers assessed in the real time of lessons
- How much choice learners should be given over what they learn and how they learn. That learners are often motivated by being given some choice / freedom within a reasonably flexible planned progression
- That researched evidence doesn’t mean it works with every child in every context, and that colleagues can interpret research statements / findings in different ways
- The importance of having realistic expectations about the differences we can make, and trying to tweak / adapt practice rather than radically transform it every year
What I was most pleased by was that the colleagues who attended seemed to genuinely appreciate the opportunity to have a morning to read, reflect and discuss together. Time is always short in schools, but I think this was professional learning time well invested.
My presentation and handouts can be found below: