It is the first time that the Outstanding Teacher course has taken place at Brooke Weston Teaching School and, halfway into the course, feedback is already been very positive. The course, aimed at teachers who are already achieving good ratings, is very practical and incorporates teaching from outstanding practitioners with classroom observations and discussions.
A total of 11 teachers from six local primary and secondary schools are attending the sessions delivered by Mr Hawksley, Mrs Ainscow and Mrs Taboada-Naya.
Vikki Rudgalvis from Little Harrowden Primary School said: ‘It is really interactive and engaging, and you share ideas and learn to adapt things to take back to your school. It is really nice if you can talk to people in secondary education because you think you face different issues, but a lot of the time you are facing the same issues but you approach them in a different way.
‘It is not one of those courses that is just looking at a powerpoint. It is always active and good for our own professional development. This is our time to sit down and think “actually I don’t do that so well, or I do that really well”. Reflection is a major part of teaching, especially on your own practice and that is what we are asking children to do constantly. If we don’t have the skills to do that then how can we expect children to do so?’
Paula Wilson from Little Stanion Primary School said: ‘It is about picking up all the new ideas, harvesting them and tailoring them to your own class, your own needs and your own school. It broadens lots of horizons to what is actually out there, especially as an NQT, I am learning from people that have been teaching for years so I am learning quite a lot and challenging myself at the same time. One key thing is they challenge you to think about your own practice. What do you need to improve? What else needs to be improved in your set and in your class and how you can accomplish that?’
Joseph Astles, a science teacher from Casterton Business and Enterprise College said: ‘It is nice to interact with people from across all the key stages. There are already some really useful ideas that I have taken and am implementing already like schemes of work so you can apply the ideas straight away.’
Three more cohorts of the Outstanding Teacher course will take place next academic year. For more information visit the Brooke Weston Teaching School website. The next cohort runs from Tuesday 5th November to Tuesday 17th December.