Many schools reconvene at the beginning of the autumn term with at least one INSET day. The focus of these days will be to address something on the school improvement plan, led by SLT or if you’re really lucky, an external provider. These quite often take the form of lectures. Maybe a couple of workshops. Then it’s off to your own classroom to tackle the extra 101 tasks that have come up; notes from the day carefully filed and never again to see the light of day.
Surely the goal of these INSET days, and of course weekly staff training meetings, must be to improve the effectiveness of teaching. The common model of lecturing with little or no follow up work will not lead to sustained better teaching. It is for this reason that I will be changing the INSET sessions for which I am responsible this year. I have been lucky enough to take part in a research project run by the National Literacy Trust and the model for teacher development, initially from Dylan William, was as follows:
- Brief instruction from an expert
- Chance for teachers to try out strategies and develop with a colleague
- Further meeting to discuss what happened and impact on teaching
- Refinement of strategies
This term, I’ll be giving this a go for some INSET on maths and English. First up: the teaching of place value.
I intend to give some brief instruction on how to do the above aspects of teaching place value. It will be short! Teachers will then be expected to try out and modify the ideas in their classrooms, working with year group partners, ready to discuss impact on groups of children two weeks later.
In this staff meeting, teachers will discuss their own findings, with the end goal of refining ideas and strategies for teaching place value. These refined ideas will be taught as revision sessions and as mental maths parts of lessons soon after the discussion.
I’m hoping that this model of CPD will prove a better way of making teaching more effective. I’ll blog about what happens after each INSET…