Worcestershire Primary Strategy Learning Network ... - NCETM by xiaopangnv

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									Worcestershire Primary Strategy Learning Network –
Developing Using and Applying
Primary Strategy Learning Networks (PSLN) were established in 2004 as a
funded programme to foster professional links between primary schools. Their
focus was on learning and the improvement of teaching practice. Each
network agreed a statement of intent. Around half of all primary schools were
involved in a PSLN by 2005/06. Primary Strategy Learning Networks (PSLNs)
aimed to ensure that every teacher in every primary school would have the
opportunity to work within a group of schools, strengthening pupil learning and
implementing effective CPD programmes.

One network set up at this time consisted of 5 schools in Worcestershire; The
Coppice Primary School, Beaconside Primary School, Lickey Hills Primary
School, Holywell Primary School, and Meadow Green Primary School. The
schools formed their network because monitoring of maths teaching and
learning in the individual schools revealed that using and applying and
problem solving were common areas for development. Rebecca Ledgard is
the Maths Subject Leader at The Coppice Primary School and was an active
member of this network. She talked about her involvement and experiences of
being part of a learning network.

Rebecca explained that the schools received support during meetings with a
Worcestershire Numeracy Consultant and then planned an action plan for
support. Maths Subject Leaders and Y4 teachers in each school were
involved with the initial model of support and in the following year, this
extended to other members of staff. In some of the schools this was the Y3/5
teachers to either follow on the initial good practice established or to build up
to it. At the end of the first year of the network, each school shared with the
rest of their staff what they had been doing and how the good practice could
be developed further in their school.

Representatives from the schools met about once a term to discuss the
progress of the network but in between those meetings, individual teachers
from the different schools were pairing up and working together on specific
foci.

She explained that at the start of the project she team taught a lesson with
each of her Year 4 colleagues. All schools involved in the Network taught a
lesson based on the same concept. Staff had time to plan together in pairs
and for discussion afterward, in particular the way the children articulated their
thinking and how this was allowed within the classroom. This was followed up
by a group discussion as a network. Similar lessons then occurred with the
Y4 teachers across the schools. Each Y4 teacher was paired with a Y4
teacher from one of the other schools. They taught one lesson in their own
school and then helped deliver one in another school. The teachers were
given a small amount of time for joint planning and evaluation. After all the
lessons were delivered, the Y4 teachers and Maths Subject Leaders met
again to discuss what had taken place. Using their findings, documents were
produced including; "Guidance Document On Creating A Thinking Climate To
Assist Problem Solving In Mathematics", "8 Steps To Successful Problem
Solving" and "Problem? No problem" (children's version of previous
document). These documents then became the basis of the INSET delivered
in the schools. The Network then continued for a further year rolling out the
same model of support to other teachers.

The PNS funded the initial setting up of these networks, the funds
covered most of the teachers involved to attend meetings and to share
teaching in each other's schools too. Unfortunately, once the funding ceased,
it became difficult to get everyone together and for some of the schools to
maintain their involvement and commitment .Eventually the Network folded.

Rebecca enjoyed being part of the network and believes that “..the biggest
success of the network was the benefits arising from team teaching and being
able to enter one another’s classrooms in a ‘non-threatening’ manner”. She
also feels that it useful to see teaching styles of other teachers, gain new
ideas from them, pool ideas for planning, and have the time to discuss more
critically the learning that was going on in the classroom. The children enjoyed
having another adult in the classroom at times and it was felt that they
benefited from the extra adult support. As a result of the network a number of
children from each school were invited to a practical problem solving day
together which took their maths out of the classroom.

Through the Network, Rebecca now has better links with the other schools
involved in the Network and not long after the Network ended they were all
invited to join a shape and space INSET at Beaconside Primary School. As
for Professional Development, she feels that the paired teaching was the most
important part of this network and it is her belief that the teachers closely
involved gained a great deal from this experience. Weighing up all the
outcomes of the Network, Rebecca feels that the writing of the documents
seemed less meaningful and that it was the practical classroom experience
and the inter-school discussion that was most valuable. She concludes, “ I
would advocate this approach of getting into each others classrooms again
and again. The inter-school discussion was invaluable. “

								
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