Teachers from the Brooke Weston Teaching School Alliance have successfully passed training allowing them to deliver and assess the Improving and Outstanding Teacher courses.
Mrs Angeline Annable, Mr Kevin Glesinger, Ms Kirsty Farrar from Kettering Science Academy and Mrs Amanda Wells from Oakley Vale School were among 13 course participants, who came from a variety of primary and secondary schools across the Midlands.
The three-day course was hosted at Brooke Weston and run by facilitators Sue Winton and Mary Murdoch. The participants observed lessons and took part in lots of practical activities. Feedback, both on the course and Brooke Weston itself, was very positive. One teacher wrote: ‘The benefit to my professional development has been huge. It reaffirms my understanding of all things outstanding whilst giving me personally much more to think about.’
Mrs Annable said: ‘We were very fortunate that we had 13 of us who were all driven in the same direction to run the ITP and OTP and improve the standards of teaching and learning. When you are all driving towards the same goal it makes for a very pacy, intense session and that is what makes it extremely good. The facilitators challenge and stretch you, and sometimes put you in panic situations which you would get in teaching and leadership roles all the time; whether it is a time constraint or really thought-provoking question and you may only have 45 seconds to have a gut feeling about it. It focuses your attention completely on the task. That is pivotal. I have spent three days thinking about teaching and learning and how to make it more successful.’
Mr Glesinger said: ‘The training was superb; I really enjoyed it! It provided an excellent chance to network with colleagues from other schools across the country. The programme really encouraged me to reflect on my own practice while also giving me some excellent tools to take back to my own classroom. It built my confidence in helping others and developed empathic skills essential to the role of facilitator.’
Sue Winton said: ‘Practical tasks were the feature of the programme from start to finish. The strength of it, particularly at this school, has been the classroom observations and ward rounds. In terms of this being an outstanding school, there was a richness in terms of what they learned when they toured the school.’
Mary Murdoch added: ‘What was very unusual was that mix between people who are more experienced practitioners and, unusually, someone who is an NQT who is on the outstanding facilitators programme. That has to be exceptional, so that rich mix of people who are experienced and those who are relatively young in their career, bring wider and different life experiences. It just made it a very lively and vibrant group so, even between sessions, people were still talking about teaching and learning and their schools.
‘Some people are genuinely awed by what they have seen and felt here and that is a very powerful motivation in terms of engaging with teaching and learning, because you think, this is what it can be like and we would all like to create those opportunities for children everywhere. It couldn’t have been hosted in a better environment.’