An Action Plan Programme.

DTP Triangle (6)

Vision

  • To give leaders the techniques, tools and strategies, to create effective school improvement action plans.
  • To support the leadership of the implementation of action plans that raise the quality of teaching and learning to ensure every student benefits from quality teaching and learning experiences and outcomes.
  • To value action planning as a critical leadership skill.

The AAP has been designed and is led by Peter Blenkinsop, the ex-headteacher of an outstanding school. The programme gives leaders a set of high-level skills and strategies that enable them to act effectively on the information collected on what really happens in their school. This programme is a directly supported activity which takes place in your own school.

Objectives

To provide leaders with the ability to:

  • plan for implementation
  • set milestones, success criteria and identify the most appropriate person(s) to be taking the action
  • monitor the progress of an action plan and take appropriate actions
  • support a school culture where the improving the quality of teaching and learning is openly observed, discussed, challenged and enhanced

Leaders who have taken part will have increased professional satisfaction and will have opened up opportunities for further leadership and career progression.

Impact

The main features of this programme have been used in schools across the country. Leaders who have been trained in the process report being enthusiastic about what it has revealed about the actual learning taking place in classrooms, the atmosphere and operations in places such as dining halls and playing areas. When twinned with the Know Your School Programme teachers see the process as very supportive, particularly with behaviour management.

 

Typical Content:

  • Coaching support for the team writing the action plan
  • Understanding the issue in detail
  • Taking time to consider all aspects
  • Identify the main actions that are needed
  • Clarify what makes good success criteria
  • Date the end point for each action item
  • Create quality success criteria
  • Plan the communication strategy
  • Involve all those affected directly
  • Focus the plan on improving teaching and learning
  • Use of PSTB to brainstorm and develop aspects to consider
  • Use a variety of tools to help develop a vision for the action plan
  • Create a “brown paper” timeline which is visible to all
  • Become known as a leader who is dedicated to improving teaching and learning
  • Discuss the sharing of the action plan
  • Identify any threats to the effective implementation of the plan
  • Plan to manage these threats
  • And much, much more…

 

The style is very open and will engage with participants’ experiences and knowledge.

 

The Programme:

  • is facilitated over a full school day. Half the day will be a taught session. The rest is the supported development of an action plan.
  • clarity over the aims before setting up the action plan is critical.
  • identifying the equivalent of a Gantt diagram will be used to timeline the activities.

Which Teachers?

Leaders who have a need to implement an improvement plan. The discipline of thinking hard about the outcomes sought and the creation of a detailed action plan are themselves, helpful in the eventual successful outcomes of the action plan.

The programme is most effective when schools are able to involve all those affected by the plan and especially those directly involved in the delivery, monitoring and implementation of the steps in the action plan.

Applicants need to demonstrate:

  • a strong commitment to improving Teaching and Learning
  • valuing planning for improvement
  • willing to spend time creating and modifying a plan
  • a significant area identified which needs improvement

Cost is per day, usually one day is sufficient, plus VAT.

 

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Know Your School Programme.

DTP Triangle (5)Vision

  • To give leaders the techniques, tools and strategies, challenge and inspiration to engage in significant and rapid development by knowing their school.
  • To support implementation of the leadership processes that raise the quality of teaching and learning to ensure every student benefits from quality teaching and learning experiences and outcomes.
  • To learn and use a lesson visit process that is not about judging teachers.

The KYP has been designed and is led by Peter Blenkinsop, the ex-headteacher of an outstanding school. The programme gives leaders a set of high-level skills and strategies that enable them to collect information on what really happens in their school. This programme is a directly supported activity which takes place in your own school.

Objectives

To provide leaders with the ability to:

  • understand how to experience the reality of life in your school
  • recognise when INSET has been effective in bringing about change
  • reflect positively on the state of chosen aspects in their school
  • support a school culture where the improving the quality of teaching and learning is openly observed, discussed, challenged and enhanced

Leaders who have taken part will have increased professional satisfaction and will have opened up opportunities for further leadership and career progression.

Impact

The main features of this programme have been used in schools across the country. Leaders who have been trained in the process report being enthusiastic about what it has revealed about the actual learning taking place in classrooms, the atmosphere and operations in places such as dining halls and playing areas. Teachers see the process as very supportive, particularly with behaviour management.

 

Typical Content:

  • repeated visits to classrooms
  • support to take a view about what is happening
  • … and what is not yet happening
  • review the impact of recent training
  • collect information about consistency in classrooms
  • review display across a year group or a subject
  • know the typical pattern of questioning across the school
  • realise the value of “visible” leadership
  • work in partnership with the person responsible for a visited area
  • become known as a leader who is dedicated to improving teaching and learning
  • know how well work is marked using a quick and simple manner
  • use the techniques to improve emergency evacuation of your building
  • check areas for litter, graffiti, etc
  • identify weaknesses and strengths in office processes
  • see how visitors are actually dealt with on arrival
  • note and share effective practice
  • develop others to use the system
  • visit classrooms without making judgements about individual teachers
  • share and collate evidence from different observers
  • Action planning – this can be supported by the AAP programme. See later.
  • leading learning
  • and much, much more…

The style is very open and will engage with participants’ experiences and knowledge.

 

The Programme:

  • is facilitated over a full school day. Half the day will be live lesson visits. The rest is a discussion of what has been seen and how it may lead to further action.
  • Schools need to be able to freely enter classrooms with as little disturbance to learning as possible.

Which Teachers?

Teachers a desire to improve the area they lead and are responsible for. Teachers who are deputy head teachers, members of a senior leadership team, heads of subject or faculty or curriculum area. Those whose role is traditionally seen as pastoral and this programme can support the move from a pastoral year leader to a curriculum focused leader, deputy leaders of the above areas and those whose ambition is to move into one of these roles.

The programme is most effective when schools are able to rely on the trust that teachers and other adults have in the quality of the leadership in the school. Lesson visits, because they have been previously been used to judge teacher effectiveness, can be perceived as threatening. This is a completely non-threatening process. In fact, there is no evidential basis for this being able to judge teachers.

Applicants need to demonstrate:

  • a strong commitment to improving Teaching and Learning
  • that they have the ability to improve as leaders
  • a desire to know their school properly
  • be able to commit time to repeat the process during the school year

Cost is per day, usually one day is sufficient, plus VAT.

 

Excellent Leadership Programme.

DTP Triangle (4)

Vision

  • To give leaders the techniques, tools and strategies, challenge and inspiration to engage in significant and rapid development. 
  • To support the implementation of the leadership processes that raise the quality of teaching and learning to ensure every student benefits from quality teaching and learning experiences and outcomes.

The ELP has been designed and is led by Peter Blenkinsop, the ex-headteacher of an outstanding school. The programme gives leaders a set of high-level skills and strategies that enable them to become consistently and sustainably good and better. Leaders need to be given some time in school to support their development in addition to the time spent during the programme.

Objectives

To provide leaders with the ability to:

  • understand how to challenge and support so that teaching & learning improves for pupils
  • recognise and support improved planning of learning, with a focus on pupil thinking
  • reflect positively on their own leadership successes
  • support a school culture where the improving the quality of teaching and learning is openly observed, discussed, challenged and enhanced

Leaders who have taken part will have increased professional satisfaction and will have opened up opportunities for further leadership and career progression.

Impact

Leaders from several schools, secondary, grammar, comprehensive, secondary modern, primary, special, PRUs, in the maintained and independent sectors, have taken part in the programme originally run in Bristol, covering the South West and South Wales. Responses have been almost exclusively excellent. Schools have reported very positively on the impact on the improvements in the quality of teaching and learning, the school culture where teachers are now actively discussing learning in an informed way.

Typical Content:

  • Understanding the qualities of a good leader
  • Myths about learning
  • Building a leadership model and exploring how it impacts on teaching and learning
  • The features of good teaching and learning including challenge, engagement, and the structure of a lesson
  • Observing and lesson analysis for professional development. We have never graded lessons or teachers
  • How to engage effectively in feedback to colleagues to develop colleagues
  • Skills in reflecting on one’s own work
  • “Problem Solving, Team Building” and other problem-solving techniques
  • Using Twitter for professional discussion and development
  • Recognising planning for learning is about planning for thinking
 

  • Drilling down into challenge, engagement, assessment, differentiation, plenaries, starters
  • Modelling excellent leadership practice
  • Identifying how assessment and marking improvements can reduce workload and increase effectiveness
  • Planning, delivering, observing and feedback practices by working in learning threes (triads)
  • What is effective questioning in a classroom?
  • Plus, Minus, Interesting
  • Issues around making instant decisions
  • The research of John Hattie and effect sizes
  • Action planning
  • Leading learning
  • Developmental homework after each session
  • And much, much more…

 

 

The style is very open and will engage with participants’ experiences and knowledge.

Each programme consists of cohorts of either senior leaders OR leaders, including classroom teachers, whose roles are focused on groups of teachers – such as heads of department, heads of year, curriculum coordinators, etc.

We have found that leaders appreciate working with those who are exploring issues that relate closely to their own role.

The Programme:

  • is mostly facilitated over a half term. Consists of 4.5 full days or 1 full day and 7 half day sessions.
  • is open to teachers with the potential and capacity to develop, and who want to explore their leadership of teaching and learning.

Which Teachers?

Teachers a desire to improve their leadership abilities. Teachers who are deputy head teachers, members of a senior leadership team, heads of subject or faculty or curriculum area. Those whose role is traditionally seen as pastoral, (we discuss whether this is the most effective role), deputy leaders of the above areas and those whose ambition is to move into one of these roles.

The programme is most effective when schools are able to release three teachers who can be allowed to work together for the programme and have time back at their home school. Activities take place in these learning triads; PRUs, primary and special schools prefer to join with other nearby schools to form their own triad. Teachers from these schools should be geographically close enough for collaboration to occur.

Applicants need to demonstrate:

  • a strong commitment to improving Teaching and Learning
  • that they have the ability to improve as leaders
  • they possess a commitment to professional development and the desire to reflect on their practice, including using student and colleague feedback to evaluate the impact of their leadership
  • that they come from a school that has senior leadership backing for such development

Cost is per participant plus VAT for the full programme including supporting materials.

 

The Developing Teacher Programme (DTP)

DTP Triangle (2)Vision

  • To give teachers the techniques, tools and strategies, challenge and inspiration to engage in significant and rapid improvement.
  • To raise the quality of teaching and learning to ensure every student benefits from quality teaching and learning experiences and outcomes.

The DTP has been designed and is led by Peter Blenkinsop, the ex-headteacher of an outstanding school. The programme gives teachers a set of high-level skills and strategies that enable them to become consistently and sustainably good and better. Teachers need to be given some time in school to support their development in addition to the time spent during the programme.

Objectives

To provide teachers with the ability to:

  • demonstrate an improved level understanding of teaching and improve learning for their pupils
  • plan learning, with a focus on pupil thinking
  • support a school culture where the improving the quality of teaching and learning is openly observed, discussed, challenged and enhanced

Teachers who have taken part will have increased professional satisfaction and will have opened up opportunities for further leadership and career progression.

Impact

Over 100 teachers from several schools, secondary, grammar, comprehensive, secondary modern, primary, special, PRUs, in the maintained and independent sectors, have taken part in the programme originally run in Bristol, covering the South West and South Wales. Responses have been almost exclusively excellent. Schools have reported very positively on the impact on the improvements in the quality of teaching and learning, the school culture where teachers are now actively discussing learning in an informed way.

Developing Teacher Programme (DTP)

Typical Content:

Understanding the qualities of a good teacher

Myths about learning

Variety and why we can’t know what learning will actually happen, and what we can do about that

A deeper understanding of ideas such as pace, challenge and engagement

Learning objectives, success criteria, WALT – Use of ‘so that…’ as a way of making learning objectives more powerful

Building a teaching and learning model for use in class

The features of good teaching and learning including challenge, engagement, and the structure of a lesson

Observing and lesson analysis for professional development. We have never graded lessons or teachers

How to engage effectively in feedback from colleagues to develop as a  teacher

Skills in reflecting on one’s own work

“Problem Solving, Team Building” and other problem-solving techniques

Using Twitter for professional discussion and development

Developing planning for learning which is more than identifying activities for a lesson

A drilling down into challenge, engagement, assessment, differentiation, plenaries, starters

Modelling good practice

Assessment and marking, which can reduce workload and increase effectiveness

Planning, delivering, observing and feedback practices by working in learning threes (triads)

Questioning, using Bloom’s Taxonomy. What works and what does not

SOLO taxonomy

Plus, Minus, Interesting

Issues around making instant decisions

The research of John Hattie and effect sizes

Action planning

Leading learning

Developmental homework after each session

And much, much more…

 

The style is very open and will engage with participants’ experiences and knowledge.

The Programme:

  • is facilitated over a half term. Consists of 3 full days or 1 full day and 4 half day sessions.
  • is open to teachers with the potential and capacity to deliver consistently good lessons, and who want to develop their teaching.

Which Teachers?

Teachers a desire to improve their own teaching and learning. Teachers who are mainstream classroom, SEND teachers, key stage leaders, year coordinators, heads of year, full or part-time.

The programme is most effective when schools are able to release three teachers who can be allowed to work together for the programme and have time together back at their home school. Activities take place in these learning triads; PRUs, primary and special schools may prefer to join with other nearby schools to form their own triad. Teachers from these schools should be geographically close enough for collaboration to occur.

Applicants need to demonstrate:

  • a strong commitment to improving Teaching and Learning
  • the ability to improve as teachers
  • they possess a commitment to professional development and the desire to reflect on their practice, including using student feedback to evaluate the impact of their teaching
  • that they come from a school that has senior leadership backing for such development

 

Cost is per participant plus VAT for the full programme including supporting materials.

The Excellent Teacher Programme (ETP)

DTP Triangle (3)Vision

  • To give teachers the techniques, tools and strategies, challenge and inspiration to engage in excellence.
  • To raise the quality of teaching and learning to ensure every student benefits from outstanding teaching and learning outcomes.

The ETP has been designed and is led by Peter Blenkinsop, the ex-headteacher of an outstanding school. The programme gives good and outstanding teachers a set of high-level skills and strategies that enable them to become consistently and sustainably excellent. Teachers need to be given time in school to support their development in addition to the time spent during the programme. Typically half a day per week equivalent for the duration of the programme.

Objectives

To provide teachers with the ability to:

  • demonstrate a higher level of understanding of teaching and improve learning for their pupils
  • coach colleagues and pupils in their own school and perhaps in other schools to raise the quality of teaching and learning
  • create a dynamic school culture where the quality of teaching and learning is openly observed, discussed, challenged and enhanced

Teachers who have taken part will have increased professional satisfaction and will have opened up opportunities for further leadership and career progression

Impact

Over 500 teachers from over 50 schools, secondary, grammar, comprehensive, secondary modern, primary, special, PRUs, in the maintained and independent sectors, have taken part in the programme originally run in Bristol, covering the South West and South Wales. Responses have been almost exclusively excellent. Schools have reported very positively on the impact on the improvements in the quality of teaching and learning, the school culture where teachers are now actively discussing learning in an informed way and many have reported Ofsted outcomes improved to Outstanding.

Excellent Teacher Programme (ETP)

Typical Content:

Understanding the qualities of an excellent teacher

Myths about learning

Variety and why we can’t know what learning will actually happen, and what we can do about that

A deeper understanding of ideas such as pace, challenge and engagement

Learning objectives, success criteria, WALT – Use of ‘so that…’ as a way of making learning objectives more powerful

Building a teaching and learning model for use in school

The features of excellent teaching and learning including challenge, engagement, and the structure of a lesson

Observing and lesson analysis for professional development. We have never graded lessons or teachers

How to engage in feedback to colleagues for effective teacher development

Skills in reflecting on one’s own work

“Problem Solving, Team Building” and other problem-solving techniques

Using Twitter for professional discussion and development

A drilling down into concepts such as challenge, engagement, assessment, differentiation, plenaries, starters

Modelling excellent practice

Assessment and marking, which can reduce workload and increase effectiveness

Working on planning, delivering, observing and feedback practices in learning threes (triads)

Questioning, using Bloom’s Taxonomy and other structures. What works and what does not

SOLO taxonomy

Coaching of staff for improvement – for which practice is essential and is a skill that you might want to utilise in your own school.

Plus, Minus, Interesting

Issues around making instant decisions

The research of John Hattie and effect sizes

Action planning

Leading learning

Developmental homework after each session

And much, much more…

The style is very open and will engage with participants’ experiences and knowledge.

The Programme:

  • is facilitated over a 5 week period in a half term. Consists of 4 full days plus one a 1/2 day session. Other patterns of delivery are possible. 
  • is open to teachers with the potential and capacity to deliver consistently excellent lessons, and who want to develop a culture of excellence.

Which Teachers?

Teachers with any responsibility for quality teaching and learning. So, teachers who are mainstream classroom, special needs, key stage leaders, year coordinators, heads of year, curriculum coordinators, have a departmental or subject responsibility, faculty leaders, directors of learning, members of SLT, full or part-time.

For greatest long-term impact schools need to release three teachers who can be allowed to work together for the programme and in time back at their home school. Activities and some coaching take place in these learning triads; PRUs, primary and special schools prefer to join with other nearby schools to form their own triad. Teachers from these schools should be geographically close enough for collaboration to occur.

Applicants need to demonstrate:

  • a strong commitment to Teaching and Learning
  • that they are inspiring individuals with strong interpersonal skills and who are role models for students
  • that they have the ability to improve as teachers
  • they possess a commitment to professional development and the ability to truly reflect on their practice, including using student feedback to evaluate the impact of their teaching
  • a willingness to develop their ability to influence and empower peers to excel
  • that they come from a school that has senior leadership backing for such development

Cost is per participant plus VAT for the full 4.5 day programme including supporting materials.

(NOTE: There will when published be a series of books available which detail most of the ideas and techniques the programme explores. Expected in September 2018. These books will not replace the collaborative work of the ETP but will supplement.)

Fun, what should we plan in advance of fun?

Media preview

This quote says to me the content matters, is more effective than the attempts to first engage through a potentially fun activity.

And a tweet I liked a lot from @MissSayers1

Screenshot 2018-02-14 at 15.07.31

 

I was thinking about fun and how it can be a distraction for children in a lesson. Should we design activities that are fun? I don’t want to design dour, misery-making activities so fun of some sort must matter. But where should it come in our list of planning priorities?

 

Here is my ordered list:

Plan for –

  1. The requirements of the content. Different content may need a different type of activity.
  2. The learning needs of children. What they already know and how this fits with the ‘new’ stuff.
  3. A context that focuses on the learning content.
  4. The resources. I could always have full experiments using large volumes of expensive chemicals. Is that best for learning?
  5. Curiosity. If I can get children curious I am on to a winner.
  6. Interest. Can they relate to the work we are going to learn? I use to relate and not relevance.
  7. Fun, or enjoyment, or something. But way down the list.

 

 

 

 

Discovery Learning – Why Teachers might believe it works for children.

 

Ok. Speculation piece. But you have to bear with me, as usual, while I go off on a bit of a tangent.

 

Discovery learning has a number of features that its supporters would claim for it. One is that for a child to work something out for themselves means better learning than being told. Why might a teacher believe this to be true. One reason is that many adults work in that way. Take me and computers, as an example.

 

I have a new laptop and while much of how it works is the same as my previous now broken laptop one feature is not the same. My old laptop had two buttons just below the trackpad. One could click the left button or the right button to do different things. My new laptop has a bigger trackpad, nice, but NO buttons to click! So how was I to get a menu up? On my old laptop, the right button did that. I tried to click with two fingers on the trackpad (That should have worked I later learned but perhaps I am two fingers inept). Eventually, I resorted to reading the manual. I had to download it and read it ina PDF reader. I am quite happy to do that. It is the way the world works. I scanned the manual to find how to get a menu up and it was either two finger clicking, or hold the alt key and tap the trackpad. Worked fine. I will always remember how to get a menu up. Discovery learning!!! Super stuff.

 

But … most of what I discovered by discovery was stuff I already knew. The tiny amount that I resorted to the manual for, discovered myself in the manual, was in no way difficult. And because I needed the information and it was useful I learned it well.

 

Now think about a child who knows very little. The hurdles to their managing to learn via discovery are immense. How to find the manual and read it and also, perhaps, that manuals exist. But this is in an environment where they are not particularly literate in the stuff they are exploring. That, after all, is the purpose of school. To teach kids stuff they don’t yet know. If there is too much as yet unknown by the child discovery learning is torture. It just does not work. And it dramatically does not work for kids who are deemed disadvantaged. Possibly because their previous teachers tried discovery methods on them.