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Amy Whittall King Edward VI Aston School

VIEWS: 13 PAGES: 13

									  Learning Communities
  A School perspective




Wednesday 4th May 2011
A learning community with a
purpose and a goal.
   Teaching and learning for able, gifted and
    talented (AGT) pupils.
   Teaching and learning at Aston was
    already successful.
   ‘Outstanding teaching for AGT pupils is
    outstanding teaching for all pupils’.
   Continual drive to raise standards for all
    pupils.
   Teacher Learning Communities (TLCs)
    were the key vehicle to target and develop
    this aspect of the school’s provision.
Teacher Learning Communities (TLCs) – Year
One – Setting up a Community
   September, February and June.
   September meeting - teachers received training into five classroom strategies.
   Choose one of the five strategies and trial it with one group of their choosing before
    the February meeting.

   The key thinking behind this approach was:
   To open a dialogue about teaching and learning for the most able students.
   To allow colleagues a chance to receive INSET and then implement new ideas in the
    classroom, supporting the development of a risk taking culture.

   February - cross phase and cross curricular groups with an agenda to discuss the
    work they had carried out since September.
   Sharing good practice, sharing strategies which had been successful or reflecting on
    those that hadn’t.
   Continuing to support an emerging dialogue about AGT provision and teaching within
    the school.
   All members of the school, including SLT and the Head, attended the meetings.
   Staff were asked to voluntarily pair together to conduct peer observations of a second
    lesson using AGT strategies before the June TLC meeting.
   Peer support and evaluations on their developing work.
June TLC – Year 1
   In the June meeting, colleagues were again placed
    into cross curricular and cross phase groups.
   Share the results of the peer observations.
   Given AGT specific lesson observation form.
   Discuss their evaluations of the year, what further
    support they required and any issues or concerns
    still remaining.
   Finally, all colleagues were asked to submit one
    resource or lesson plan they had developed during
    the year.
   A booklet containing all the resources was then
    created and given to all staff.
Impact – year 1
   There was a wide range of strategies and ideas tried
    and shared at the meetings.
   Colleagues talked openly about the difficulties of the
    approaches and the ways in which these had been
    overcome.
   General concerns about AGT provision were aired.
   It placed AGT provision firmly onto the school’s
    agenda and ensured that all staff knew this was a
    key priority for the school.
   Outstanding practice shared in a meaningful way.
   Establishing the Learning Community.
Year 2 -TLCs – Shaping the
conversation
   Departments were keen to have more time to work together on
    this developing agenda.
   Launched with school INSET day, as well as then the further
    three TLCs meetings during the year.
   INSET Day:
   Clear departmental developmental focus;
   Departments were asked to create an AGT departmental policy
   Criteria for identifying students as AGT within their subject area.
   This was designed to build upon the expertise gained from year
    one, with an added departmental focus.
   The third task was to audit their provision against three key
    strands of the CQS framework.
   The results of the audits were analysed and one strand was
    chosen as the key focus for the three TLC meetings.
Year 2 – Supporting the Learning
Conversation
   September – teachers worked in their departments to decide
    upon the ways in which they would develop their teaching
    against the agreed focus area, building upon the work of the
    INSET day.
   February - departments were grouped into triads to share their
    developing practice.
   Set agenda for the meeting with the focus on the sharing of
    good practice and the use of other departments to support and
    encourage the developing work.
   Departments were encouraged to arrange cross departmental
    observations of the AGT work.
   During this meeting, there were also optional INSET sessions
    on questioning and risk taking
   June - staff met again in departmental groups to analyse the
    impact of their work. All departments completed an impact and
    evaluation document analyzing their work. This was then
    submitted for whole school analysis.
Year 2 - Impact
   INSET to develop pedagogy, with both a whole school and
    personalized element.
   Continuing to build upon a culture of sharing good practice.
   All departments had made progress against the CQS audit of
    the key strands for teaching and learning.
   High staff uptake at the optional INSET sessions.
   Open dialogue about the work of Professor Claxton – staff
    evaluations commented on being pleased to have high quality,
    stimulating training.
   Continued improvement in percentage of A&B grades at AS and
    A2 levels.
   Developments in teaching and learning were noted in pupil
    surveys of AGT pupils and further researched through our
    school Gifted and Talented Senior research team.
Year 3 – Embedding the
Conversation
   TLC programme was increased for year 3.
   We arranged an INSET day in September and then seven meetings of the
    TLCs during the year.
   This was in response to requests of subject leaders to continue to have
    dedicated teaching and learning development time within departments.
   The focus for year 3 was ‘Principles of Outstanding teaching and learning’
    and this was also the key focus of the INSET day in September.
   6 principles to focus on for the year – agreed and established as part of the
    learning conversation.
   Excellent Subject knowledge is applied consistently to challenge and inspire
    pupils.
   Resources make a marked contribution to the quality of learning.
   Teachers are aware of their pupils’ individual capabilities, prior learning and
    understanding and plan effectively to build on these (differentiation and
    personalised learning)
   Marking and Dialogue is of a consistently high quality.
   Pupils understand how to improve in detail and are consistently supported in
    doing so.
   Pupils’ understanding is systematically checked throughout lesson and
    interventions are made where necessary (assessment for learning).
Year 3 – Supporting the
conversation
   The focus for the TLCs then became what each principle meant for a department and
    how pedagogy could be improved in this area –
   What does it mean for Geography to have marking and dialogue of a consistently high
    quality?
   The six principles were divided into two per term.
   Subject leaders decided upon the order in which they would approach each principle
    and the task had three key aspects:

   What outstanding provision do we already have which meets this principle? Which
    year group is it in and how can we evidence this?
   Which two areas would we like to develop in this principle?
   What are the success criteria for our work?

   During the seven TLC meetings of the year, there were also optional training and
    sharing sessions arranged led by different departments who had developed
    outstanding practise.
   These included Differentiation and Challenge, Independent Learning and Assessment
    for Learning.
    There were also two opportunities for departments to meet together to share emerging
    practice in key principles.
   HPSS partner schools were also invited to these sessions.
Year 3 - Impact
   Departments are encouraged by having allocated time to
    focus on teaching and learning, with six overarching
    principles as the foundation.
   Performance Management observations from November
    2011 showed that the percentage of outstanding lessons
    has risen by 20% from the beginning of the TLC cycle.
   A tighter focus has emerged on identification of
    outstanding practice in each principle – this
    exemplification will be shared in a resource to be
    developed at the end of the academic year.
   The TLC work has also impacted on our partnership work
    as an AGT lead school.
   This has allowed us to share our practice and the
    developmental work taking place in the school as well as
    forging greater partnership with local schools.
Why be part of a Learning
Community?
   Dialogue about practice and issues
    relevant to your staff.
   Sharing practice in a genuine and
    meaningful way.
   Impact and outcomes
   Centralising school improvement by a
    whole school focus.
   Developing expertise and leadership
    amongst staff.
   Non threatening INSET, evaluation and
    conversation
Contact
 a.whittall@keaston.bham.sch.uk
 Amy Whittall
 Assistant Headteacher

								
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