Continuing Professional Development
If you join Harlington School then your professional development which benefits the students and supports your career aspirations will be at the heart of our training programme. We constantly review the needs of the staff and the students and provide high quality training which will equip you to become outstanding teachers. The focus for the school’s training days this year is to continue to develop the quality of teaching and learning by focusing on the following:
- High order questioning techniques;
- Kolb’s Active Learning Cycle;
- Providing challenge and
- Giving effective feedback with which the students engage.
Training is not limited to the five stipulated days per year but there are weekly drop-in training sessions provided by teaching staff from across the school and have included the following topics:
- Hooking the students into learning;
- Talk less teaching;
- Student led enquiry;
- Saturation teaching and
- Providing challenging experiences for more able students.
Education is at the core of the conversations members of staff have in their weekly timetabled Faculty Development sessions. We have a standing item on all faculty meetings in which staff are nominated to share good practice from their own teaching, reading or training.
A Teaching and Learning Area (The Hub) is being created during Easter 2014 and launched for Summer Term 2014. This will be furnished with the latest resources and pedagogical materials. Learning from one another underpins our philosophy of training and development.
All members of staff also have access to mentors and an external consultant to develop their teaching practice further and all good and outstanding teachers are encouraged to develop the practice of others in a supportive and collegiate manner.
Members of staff from all strata of our school are encouraged to embark on active research to develop aspects of their teaching. Here is an example of the successful proposal to develop questioning techniques in the classroom to accelerate student learning.
“Good learning starts with questions, not answers”.
Guy Claxton, Professor in Education and Director of CLIO Development University of Bristol.
Our aims in this area are to:
- enable teachers to reflect upon and assess the students’ understanding;
- encourage engagement and focus thinking on key concepts and ideas;
- inspire learners to embrace cognitive thought at a higher level;
- expand the use of Bloom’s taxonomy and consider other methods of questioning that can engage our wide range of learners’ needs;
- create a ‘culture of enquiry’;
- explore ways in which questioning can be developed within the school, to enable students to grow skills across their curriculum areas;
- help students to become more self-reliant when they are challenged with new subject matter during their lessons;
- use questioning beyond the classroom, to help improve the mentoring and coaching of both students and staff;
- develop the link between progress and learning, through the style of questioning;
As Morgan and Saxton (1991) put it, ‘We learn by asking questions. We learn better by asking better questions. We learn more by having opportunities to ask more questions.’
For those wishing to delve further, we are delighted to share our staff Good Practice Directory.