“Positive messages coming out of such dark days; the future is looking bright.” The Road to Recovery - Lessons Learnt from Lockdown Show
A live, interactive chat show for teachers and school leaders was streamed to nearly 300 attendees from the state-of-the-art TV studio at Broadclyst Community Primary School earlier this week on Tuesday 30 March 2021.
“Road to Recovery - Lessons Learnt from Lockdown” was produced in partnership with the Southwest Regional Schools Commissioner Office and The Cornerstone Academy Trust (TCAT), to provide an opportunity to share best practice and ensure a smooth return to full school and high-quality education.
The focus of the event was to build on the investments that schools have made in learning platforms, the upskilling of staff and in new devices to enable a new approach to education.
Hosted by TCAT’s Executive Headteacher, Jonathan Bishop and Head of Education, Dave James, the show began with a summary from Matthew Stevenson, Deputy Director, South West RSC Office, of the investment the Government has made in technology and training, who set the tone for the discussion with his comment that:
“Nobody cares about technology in and of itself; it’s about how we use the technology really effectively to improve things."
In conversation with Matthew Shanks, CEO, Education South West, both Nichola Offer, Assistant Principal, Kingsbridge Community College and Tom Graham, Deputy Headteacher, Coombeshead Academy agreed that there are aspects of remote teaching that they want to build on going forward. These include staff meetings, catch-up for absent pupils, recordings in advance to cover staff absence and revision. Nichola also commented on the advantages of technology for supporting children with SEND, such as using live captions within the classroom for deaf students and working in smaller groups with Teaching Assistants to meet some children’s sensory needs:
“It’s about being able to use the recordings and the live streaming in a lesson but replicating a learning environment that better suits them, reducing their cognitive load in a slightly quieter classroom environment.”
Giles Hill and Peter Bradburn from the Aspire Academy Trust discussed the barriers to implementing technology and shared hints and tips to embed the practice and innovation that was learned during lockdown. Reinforcing their message, Dr Fiona Aubrey-Smith discussed how the same technology can be used differently by different teachers, different children and in different classrooms:
“I think my golden message is focus on our individual teachers with as much value as we focus on our individual children.”
Jennie Walker and Mark Clutsom, CEO and Headteacher from Kernow Learning, talked about the challenges and developments they have experienced with IT in their Trust of 19 schools in Cornwall; whilst Tim Harris and Nik Rorke from Colyton Grammar, shared their journey over the past three years of implementing a one-to-one device programme:
“Technology alone wasn’t going to improve the educational outcomes…It can be a powerful part of the solution but on its own it’s not the answer. It’s about the application of technology in the classroom.”
Speakers also included Gemma Payne, Digital Capability Unit Lead, DfE, who talked about the future of the EdTech Demonstrator programme and Chris Rothwell, Head of Microsoft Education UK, who discussed the upskilling of teachers and the use of hybrid methods of teaching going forward.
The event ended with a lively panel discussion, summed up by Jonathan Bishop as:
“Positive messages coming out of such dark days; the future is looking bright.”
Matthew Stevenson closed the event by thanking everyone:
“Thank you to everybody for their contributions today which have been brilliant. The possibilities for the future are so many and varied. The event itself has demonstrated how dynamic technology can be, streaming to people across the country and possibly across the world.
My biggest reflection is about the CPD around the tech which is critical, making sure staff and students are confident and empowered going forward. The highlights for me today were people talking about real-time feedback on devices to students, the huge benefits of assistive tech for students with additional needs, and the ability to ensure that students’ learning in school and at home are seamless.”
TCAT plans to make this a monthly event.
Thank you to all the Cornerstone English Hub Team and everyone involved in delivering and preparing for the excellent conference yesterday on:
"The Inspirational Power of Words" A title full of promise, if ever there was one!
Participants' goodwill and enjoyment was palpable in this perfectly-timed event as an uplifting end to the Spring Term with hope and inspiration in the air.
Watch out for a news item to follow, including more about Michael Morpurgo's keynote talk as an inspiring author and former teacher and Children's Laureate; along with some of his creative recommendations for encouraging children to read.
We thank Michael for highlighting the joy and importance of reading.
ESW Associate & Strategic Leader of Teaching & Research Schools, Roger Pope CBE keeps colleagues informed about forthcoming Early Career Framework engagement events and the new suite of NPQs...
"The Government rightly wants 'a Golden Thread' of professional development from ITT to NPQQEL and we are here to help you weave it."
In addition, you can read more and book your place at this year's TSSW Summer Conference with a stunning line-up of speakers.
There's more information about Early Career Framework School Engagement Events for school leaders to find out more about the national roll-out from September 2021 and opportunity to be part of a Teacher Research and Innovation Work Group about Parental Engagement in Maths with the CODE and Jurassic Maths Hubs.
Plus the latest offers and events from our partner Teaching School Alliances and Curriculum Hubs.
We hope you enjoy reading this issue.
If you would like to be added to the mailing list, please email TSSW Project Co-Ordinator, Jude Owens.
"Events on the Teaching School Hub (TSH) front are moving as fast as the green shoots of spring..." begins ESW Associate & Strategic Leader of Teaching & Research Schools, Roger Pope CBE.
This issue welcomes Colyton Grammar School, as one of these new national Teaching School Hubs and features offers and events from our partner Teaching School Alliances and Curriculum Hubs - including two exciting CPD events with literary heroes hosted by the Cornerstone and Ilsham English Curriculum Hubs.
There's dates for your diaries with Early Career Framework School Engagement Events in April and the TSSW 2021 Virtual Summer Conference at the end of June/beginning of July.
We hope you enjoy reading this issue.
If you would like to be added to the mailing list, please email TSSW Project Co-Ordinator, Jude Owens.
Looking to the National Roll-Out Next Year
From September 2021 new teachers will be supported throughout a two-year statutory induction programme of professional development and mentoring and TSSW will be working as a delivery partner with one of the National Providers to ensure all Early Career Teachers, and their Mentors and schools, access and benefit from the Early Career Framework programme.
As part of this process, TSSW will be running some Early Engagement Events on the following dates:
Monday 26 April 2021 | 1530 – 1630
Wednesday 28 April 2021 | 1300 – 1400
Thursday 6 May 2021 | 0900 - 1000*
The aim of these events is to share information about the National Provider that we will be working with and our programme’s structure and content. We will also be able to outline our delivery model that will focus on local facilitators leading groups of up to 25 Early Career Teachers and their Mentors.
Following our involvement in the Early Pilot roll-out this year, we believe we are in a very strong position to ensure that the experience for your ECTs and Mentors, who join the programme in September, will be the best it can be!
We will be contacting schools in the near future with an invitation to attend one of our events.
In the meantime, you can read here about the experiences of one of our Early Pilot roll-out schools from this year.
*N.B. this date replaces 22 April 2021 | 0900 - 1000 due to a Dfe embargo.
Early Career Framework | Case Study on this year and moving forwards
John Stanier | Development Lead | TSSW
As we are a small, rural, secondary standalone Academy Trust, we are very mindful that we may not have the expertise in-house to support new teachers coming into the profession. We have been fortunate to have recruited well in recent years, but we are constantly aware of our vulnerability in this area. Young teachers are simply less likely to want to work in North Devon, compared to the pulsing metropolises of Exeter and Plymouth.
To ensure our offer to potential new recruits is as attractive as possible and to ensure we keep hold of those strong new teachers that we have managed to recruit, it is essential that we can offer the best support to teachers in the first few years of their career. This was even more essential considering COVID. The training of our NQTs was severely curtailed by the first lockdown – achieving QTS with only a few weeks actual teaching experience.
This all made engaging in the emergency roll-out of the Teach First Early Career Framework very attractive.
It provides a complete course of support and material that could fill any gaps in our NQT’s training and also develop them in their first year on the job. It had the added benefit of being delivered online, outside teaching hours. This relieved some strain on our cover arrangements when other members of staff had to self-isolate. The online delivery made the training easy to access for our teachers, living in the remotest parts of Devon.
We also think that the training and support of mentors alongside NQTs is a real strength of the programme.
At Great Torrington School, it seems we operate slightly differently to many schools with a member of SLT acting as a Mentor for NQTs. This does not seem sustainable, so the offer of high quality CPD will help encourage other members of staff to act as Mentors next year.
It was a happy coincidence that we began a whole-school initiative to introduce instructional coaching at the same time as our NQTs embarked on the Early Career Framework. Instructional coaching is very effective, but does involve direct truths being spoken about a lesson and some role play to address weaknesses. This is so contrary to traditional methods of observation and feedback that actually this double helping of training really helped us to get over the initial awkwardness to really make it work.
As their Mentor, I now have instructional coaching meetings with each NQT for about 15 minutes a week on top of a 50-minute meeting per fortnight. This is not quite the commitment outlined in the ECF, but these little and often points of contact are having far more impact than a longer fortnightly meeting.
I was very pleasantly surprised by the quality and depth of the online course that the Teach First ECF provides. There is input from all the big names in education – Tom Bennett, Rob Coe et al. The content is really the most cutting-edge, evidence-based strategies and techniques there are. There are also lots and lots of helpful videos of best practice teaching to illustrate the content, which my NQTS have said has been invaluable to them.
The content is concise and easy to work through for both mentors and NQTs. Neither of my NQTs see the online content as a burden, but a helpful additional resource to help them. If I am honest, one of my NQTs is very studious and works through the content at the suggested pace and completes all exercises. My other NQT binges the content from time to time, but neither say it is a needless addition to their workload.
Engaging in the Early Career Framework has really made me reflect on the weakness of out NQT provision in previous years. We would enrol our NQTs on an externally provided course for NQTs and completely separately, offer them a series of meetings and observations in school. These would be unstructured a depend on an individual NQTs strengths or weaknesses. The Early Career Framework provides a holistic approach to early teacher development. It provides a clear programme of study and development for the teacher to follow, which runs in tandem to a framework of observation and discussion with Mentors.
The NQT now gets a professional, joined up package and I hope that it gives them the sense that they are entering a profession where they are really valued.
I did have a little difficulty persuading some of my SLT colleagues that we should use a programme provided by Teach First. In rural Devon, they are seen as an urban brand – fast-tracking city types into teaching. They were reassured by the fact that the programme would in fact be delivered by TSSW. The programme lead is someone who works locally and has run programmes for our NQTS before. They really know our context. Any issues that we have are dealt with in a quick and friendly way by TSSW. This aside, it must be said that the quality of the Teach First training materials is exceptional, whatever the negative connotations some may have with the brand.
Being involved in the emergency roll-out of the Early Career Framework has made me redesign our entitlement for NQTs next year. I shall ensure that I appoint Mentors for our NQTs that have daily interaction with them. I know that the quality of training and support from the ECF will help me to recruit suitable people.
I will also ensure that time is set aside at the same points in the Mentors and NQTs timetables to ensure regular instructional coaching sessions. Beyond this, by simply enrolling our NQTs into the programme next year, I know that they will be receiving and exceptional package of support to ensure they have the best start to a long career in teaching.
The Impact on Learning and Well-Being during the Lockdown - ImpactEd publish longitudinal study findings
ImpactEd have published today the results of their seven month national research project - the largest ever of its kind in the UK - looking at the impact of the pandemic on pupils’ well-being and learning.
"Lockdown Lessons" is based on the work undertaken by teachers and leaders in ImpactEd partner schools to support their pupils throughout 2020. The report catalogues the impact of lockdowns, remote learning and school re-openings on pupil learning and well-being, and features responses from over 62,000 pupils aged 6 to 18 years over a seven-month period from May to November 2020.
Some of the key findings from the report include:
1. Challenges with remote learning were felt much more strongly by pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds, incorporating a range of issues beyond access to devices. For example, only 45% of Pupil Premium pupils agreed that they understood their school work whilst learning remotely, compared to 57% of non-disadvantaged pupils.
2. Overall, pupil well-being was more stable than might have been expected, particularly during the first period of remote teaching. However, there was a significant gender divide. Girls were more anxious about returning to school than boys, and reported higher anxiety throughout the period by an average of more than 10%.
3. Exam year groups (particularly Years 10 and 11) faced the most significant challenges in terms of learning motivation, both before and after the summer break. One in four pupils at Key Stage 4 said they could not get help from their family if they had questions about their work.
A non-profit organisation, ImpactEd supports schools and education organisations to evaluate their impact, learn from it, and prioritise what is working best to improve outcomes for young people.
Connecting STEM Teachers (CST) Programme Network Meeting
Tuesday 16 March 2021 | 1600 – 1700
OR Wednesday 17 March 2021 | 1240 – 1340
The Royal Academy of Engineering are inviting teachers of STEM subjects to an online meeting of CPD, networking and sharing of good practice.
Engineering in a pandemic focuses on the contribution engineering can make to saving lives in the face of a global pandemic and aims to inspire pupils to consider engineering as a career, by bringing their learning to life through thematic problems and challenges.
Colyton Grammar School are hosting two dates for teachers who are looking to develop the STEM curriculum in their school and build the knowledge and confidence to engage more pupils with STEM learning.
Attendees will receive free training on the Academy’s latest resource: Engineering in a Pandemic.
Teachers will receive a resource box containing teacher and student guides and distributable packs of equipment and materials to deliver these activities to pupils, whether they are in school or learning remotely.
Resource boxes will be allocated on a first come first serve basis.
Any STEM-related teacher from your school can attend to receive the training and resources.
Send a Message to Space on Astro Pi Mission Zero and CyberFirst Role Model Talk with West Country Computing Hub
This month, West Country Computing Hub will be looking to the skies when they share details of how students can send a message to the astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS).
Astro Pi Mission Zero, led by Raspberry Pi is an exciting space challenge for students aged 14 years and under. Learners have the opportunity to write a simple programme to take a humidity reading onboard the International Space Station and communicate it to the astronauts with a personalised message to be displayed for 30 seconds!
Entries are open until Friday 19 March 2021.
Raspberry Pi are also offering the opportunity for schools to host a CyberFirst role model talk for students to find ways to address the gender disparity in Computing.
Part of the Department for Education's Gender Balance in Computing (GBIC) project, this new programme of research will be the largest national research effort to date to address gender balance in Computing.
More than 700 schools have already begun working with Raspberry Pi to explore the different approaches to finding out what works to encourage girls to develop an interest in Computing during their primary and secondary school years, and thereby increase the number who choose to study the subject at GCSE and A Level.
There are still places available to join the non-formal learning trial for Year 8 students starting in April.
The aim of the non-formal learning trial is to strengthen the links between non-formal learning and studying computing at GCSE or A Level. Girls are often unaware that their non-formal learning about Computing can help them in their formal studies.
Girls are also better represented in non-formal Computing clubs than in formal settings where Computing is taught, i.e. they are engaging with Computing beyond the classroom, but not in their formal studies.
In the non-formal learning trial, Raspberry Pi have created specific resources for schools running Code Clubs and Apps for Good programmes, which signpost the links between non-formal and formal learning of Computing, and how these can lead to future career/subject choices later in life.
Further to our RSHE Secondary progress report it is now pleasing to report that the RSHE Ready Primary programme has supported over 2,000 school staff from across the South West in preparation for the statutory changes in RSHE.
Overseen by TTSA Director & Strategic Partner of TSSW, Lisa Toms and delivered by TTSA SLE & RSHE Ready Delivery Lead, Kim Mason, the programme has also been supported by five Mentors from across the South West delivering to Subject Leaders, Senior Leaders and School Governors in the following areas:
All schools have had a Mentor who has supported them through the implementation process and have had cluster meetings to unpick the different aspects of RSHE to consider how these will look within a Primary classroom.
Schools have also benefitted from personalised meetings with their Mentor to build bespoke CPD support to each school.
In total, there have been 223 members of staff who have attended the CPD package from 123 schools in the South West. Every school that has participated in RSHE Ready and attended the live training has rated the CPD as being of a high quality.
Thank you to TTSA SLE & RSHE Ready Delivery Lead, Kim Mason and TTSA Director & Strategic Partner of TSSW, Lisa Toms for their report.
In this second issue, ESW Associate & Strategic Leader of Teaching & Research Schools (Education South West), Roger Pope CBE contemplates the DfE "hanging onto the tail of the Covid beast, struggling to respond to its latest twists and thrashings."
In this final week of January - with the usual and additional challenges of this winter month - as "the bulb shoots are thrusting up through my lawn" he urged partners to "look for the positives!" Indeed we do.
As well as some of the latest and forthcoming offers from our partner Teaching School Alliances, you can also read an update on our work with the Early Career Framework, and a year on, read the report on the RSHE Ready Secondary programme and more besides.
If you would like to be added to the mailing list, email TSSW Project Co-Ordinator, Jude Owens.