How to manage a deep dive into curriculum implementation

Dive into a curriculum of discovery and wonder

Take a deep dive into subject specific curriculum implementation

A deep dive into subject specific implementation of a well-crafted curriculum must be part of the role of the senior school or college leader in partnership with subject and curriculum leaders and in collaboration with teachers and support staff.

Senior leaders will not have the relevant knowledge of every subject taught across the school and nor should they.  Instead a senior team must focus on the domain-specific knowledge relevant across all subjects and create for their subject leads and curriculum leads the right conditions to enable strong expertise to translate the aims and content of their specific programme of study into highly relevant and challenging knowledge rich subject content. Time for subject specific and cross-curricular collaboration that leads to a shared understanding of the knowledge, skills and concepts within subjects and across the subject divides will reap richness, breadth and creativity that leads to evidence that the curriculum has substance and the school is delivering high quality education.

Deep dive questions for Senior Leaders

Working together towards a shared goal

The first step in creating a profound understanding that subject and cross-curricular curriculum content is delivered linked to the stated intent is to create a set of deep dive questions that will reassure leaders that middle, phase and subject leaders are consistent in their interpretation of the curriculum intent, their own subject’s specific content, skills needed to access that knowledge and the concepts that knit the curriculum together. These might include,

  • What through the teaching of your subject content inspires pupils to want to learn and find out more?
  • How is learning differentiated to embrace the needs, experiences and aspirations of all pupils?
  • What is the evidence that the planned curriculum builds on prior learning and is sequenced towards clearly defined end points?
  • How are rich texts used to promote a growing confidence and love of reading across all subjects?
  • Where do subject concepts transcend one subject and apply to others?
  • Where are there clearly stated opportunities to develop mathematical fluency where it is essential for the acquisition of knowledge in subjects other than Maths?
  • How can the defined curriculum content create for pupils an opportunity to recognise the generic and thinking skills that will allow them to access knowledge within and across all their learning?

Learning Cultures have two outstanding courses for senior and curriculum leaders

How can subject leaders use deep dive questions to inspire their teams?

Lighting the way through team working and collaboration

The planned curriculum, the intent, must not remain on the shelf, in a folder or in the cloud. It must be the pumping heart of the school’s ambition for all pupils. It must inspire, motivate and excite teachers to deliver high quality pedagogy and create for pupils a sense of wonder and a desire to continue to learn always.

A sample of deep dive questions to ask subject leaders:-

  • How does your planned curriculum build on what has been taught previously and acknowledge pupils’ growing confidence in what they know and seek to find out?
  • How does planned and observed pedagogy promote positive learning behaviours?
  • What are the strengths within the team that will support expert teaching across the subject?
  • What is in place to ensure that all staff have or will receive subject specific relevant CPD?
  • How can the planned curriculum ensure every child whatever their starting point has access to the full curriculum?
  • What is in place that ensures consistency in assessing how well pupils are learning the curriculum and producing high quality work?

This course for subject leaders is invaluable in setting the scene for managing this complex role

A deep dive into cross-curricular collaboration

Cross- curricular illuminates connections

Creating the right conditions that allow pupils to make connections across all their learning, deepen their understanding and retain knowledge requires them see where skills, knowledge and concepts transcend subjects and apply across other parts of the curriculum.

Here are some deep dive questions for senior leaders to share with their subject leaders

  • How do subject leaders work together to create the right conditions for their teams to share their understanding of how pupils learn and how learning is retained over time in the long-term memory?
  • How do teams across the subject divides share their pedagogy and celebrate good classroom practice as part of a CPD strategy?
  • Where is the evidence that subject leaders and teachers know where concepts, skills and knowledge overlap to help their pupils to make connections across all their learning?
  • How are subject leaders and their teams working together to ensure that pupils understand the key concepts that transcend subject learning?
  • How is literacy and especially reading a key part of learning across all subjects?
  • What is the evidence that there is no missed opportunities for pupils to develop their mathematical fluency in subjects other than mathematics?

Build the confidence of curriculum teams

Cohesion requires highly effective and active professional learning communities

Cascade learning through powerful conversations

Searching questions such as the ones above will take time, a collective knowledge and a cohesive understanding of how the curriculum is designed and delivered if there are to be meaningful answers. Where subject leaders and their teams work in isolation, in silos, it is unlikely that many subject leaders and certainly few teachers would be able to answer them with confidence.

Outstanding curriculum planning and delivery is no accident. It is predicated on a culture of distributed leadership where senior, middle and subject leaders work together to build a tapestry of learning within and beyond subjects. There is a focus on professional development through highly interactive professional learning communities that challenge and probe. They exist so participants can learn from each other how pedagogy, knowledge and skills development are intrinsic in the development of a sequential, broad and balanced curriculum.

We have a complete range of coaching courses for all staff in a school or college, have a look at our Coaching in Education section on our website.

Creating a deep dive culture

Team working and collaboration inspires deep learning

Building a consensus on what is taught, how it is taught, and how learning is assessed to ascertain how well learning is assimilated requires all those with a pupil facing role to share their own practice and learn from others. This can only happen if there is a well-defined strategy that creates the right culture of collaboration and opportunities for professional learning conversations to take place. There must be a curriculum of CPD for curriculum leaders, teachers and their support teams. Time is essential but even when time is set aside much more is needed in terms of strategic commitment, including the following essential ingredients:-

  • Introduce or continue with professional learning communities that focus on powerful strategies for delivering curriculum breadth and balance, progression and deep learning
  • Introduce coaching and in particular some of the techniques related to instructional coaching that will help to guide and support all staff
  • Reflect on the purpose of lesson observation to ensure that it is an integral part of CPD where opportunities for feedback and a sharing of good and improving practice are the focus
  • Ensure that all subject leaders and their teams are clear as to how their planning and delivery reflect the aims that are fundamental to their specific National Curriculum programme of study
  • Subject meetings focus on learning and the evidence that all teachers are building on prior learning, sequencing the learning and deepening understanding over time
  • Assessment of learning is formative with regular opportunities for teachers to work together to moderate pupils’ work and share how they feedback to pupils
  • There are staged opportunities prior to a new academic year and throughout the year for cross-curricular CPD sessions where teachers can share their pedagogy, define concepts that transcend individual subject curriculum and focus on generic learning and thinking skills

Leading a coaching culture in a school or college is profound and achieves the results that other processes rarely do. We have the expertise and resources to build dynamic strategies that will lead to positive impact for pupils and staff. Have a look at some of the services we offer for leaders.

 

 

High quality Science is an essential element of curriculum design

High quality Science is an essential element of curriculum design

Working in synergy

Building the systems that will deliver high quality science across the primary school is essential in the design of the curriculum. Science is a core subject along with Mathematics and English but is often given less prominence or timetable space. It is mandatory for pupils to begin their science education in the early years foundation stage and the continuation of a deep and rich science schema is an essential element of the National Curriculum.

In order to have the evidence that Science is given high prominence and prepares pupils for the next stage of their education does require a profound understanding of the concepts that underpin scientific knowledge and the skills pupils need to build their understanding over time. Inevitably, this means someone within the school must be given the role of science lead who has the time to understand the aims and content of The Programmes of Study for Science and their importance within the wider curriculum offer.

Delivering high quality science from early years to year 6 and beyond

The designated lead for science has an important role as a leader of curriculum design. They must lead on how pupils develop a wide range of vocabulary as an essential part of the EYFS curriculum that lays the foundations for building a complex scientific vocabulary over time.

Creating wonder through science

The role of the science lead is to support teachers to work together to plan a sequential pathway that ensures pupils can make connections, deepen their learning and understand the concepts that underpin science in the widest curriculum contexts. Science subject quality is underpinned by the need to ensure systems are sufficiently robust to create the space, time and resources for meaningful science to take place. They must have a sound understanding of the pedagogy that defines high quality science teaching and create with their teams an assessment methodology that allows all pupils to progress well, that corrects misconception and encourages challenge, enquiry and problem solving.

The Classification of Scientific Knowledge Essential for High Quality Science delivery

It is acknowledged by many commentators that the primary science lead may not have deep scientific expertise such as that required of a science teacher in the secondary phase.  However, whoever they are it is true that their own education will they have achieved at least a GCSE and maybe even an A level in one or more of the sciences.

Science makes sense of the world

Therefore, all those who teach science in the primary phase have learning way beyond that of their pupils. Recognising this expertise is a very good starting point in beginning to design a high quality science curriculum that creates a sequence of connected knowledge that allows pupils to build their knowledge of scientific concepts and procedures.  The recently published research review of science by OFSTED describes how the distinction between substantive knowledge and disciplinary knowledge make a useful framework for constructing science curricula. Understanding the difference between these is useful and reflects how knowledge is used and arranged in the sciences. Substantive knowledge is essentially the laws, concepts, theories and models and disciplinary knowledge is creating the evidence, knowing how science works and how through enquiry and evidence proof is established or suggested.

Weaving these two elements together is the key to creating high quality outcomes for science learning. Creating the opportunity through high quality CPD to focus on how to blend the substantive with the disciplinary through the use of exciting subject matter, interesting resources and challenging activities will lead the pupil towards deeper understanding where the concepts become familiar and remain as an integral part of the long term memory.

CPD to build high quality science outcomes

Primary scientists are hard to find. However, the best way forward is to build on the substantive knowledge and outstanding pedagogy that will be present within the existing school staff and can form an integral part of any job description and person specification for new staff. Science is an essential ingredient in the construction of high quality curriculum and must be integral to all other elements of curriculum design. We have designed a training day for science subject leads that will focus on the main ingredients of a high quality science education in the primary phase, essentially these include,

  • The vocabulary of science and how to develop a language linked to substantive and disciplinary knowledge
  • A focus on the sequencing of the curriculum and defining attainment targets and learning goals over time
  • Creating opportunities for pupils to make connections within the science disciplines and across the wider curriculum
  • Understanding science concepts and creating opportunities to deepen knowledge and understanding
  • Defining the skills that learners need in order that they are disciplined in their approach to enquiry, data handling, problem solving and experimentation
  • Progression is planned to take account of what is taught in other subjects

Delivering High Quality Science in the Primary School

Visit the planetarium at the Science Museum

Join us at the Science Museum in Birmingham on 7th July for a truly inspirational day focusing on how to ensure the evidence that you are deliveirng a high quality science curriculum. Enjoy face to face discussions, presentations and opportunities to plan. When the work is complete there will also be an opportunity to have a look around the museum. Immerse yourself in science and take a wealth of learning back to share with colleagues.

Mind the Gap – Step up not catch up

Step up not catch up

Step up not catch up has to be the mantra for the future. ‘Catch up’ sounds simple until you unpick the complex layers of learning that are the essential life blood of educating a child. What are schools and other education settings catching up on? Some pupils have continued to learn, some have developed profound and useful life skills as part of organising their own learning and some undoubtedly will have missed the point, lost sight of the facts or misunderstood the task.

Now is the time to throw away the paradigm of constant ‘catch up’ for those who are left behind. It is, as ever, those who are disadvantaged, have less parental or other support and who generally believe themselves to be failures that will be highlighted as those that need to ‘catch up’.

A solutions focused way forward

Instead of ‘catch up’ I would like to offer a solutions focused way forward. There is funding, there is a summer ahead of us and there are opportunities to take a strategic leap into thinking differently about next steps in learning. We cannot look backwards and capture what is lost. We can, however, use the next few months to focus on learning, the how of learning and not the what of learning and create a readiness for learning that we can build on for years to come. If we tediously try to shoehorn in the so-called lost knowledge we are very likely to lose the already disillusioned and deflate those who have succeeded during the last year. It is not their fault. ‘Catch up’ sounds like we are punishing the learner and their teachers.

Instead, let us have a think about some of the obvious issues we have time now to rethink so that we create a future that is most definitely better than before.  Below are a few of the glaring areas that have needed mending for a long time. How about a fresh look at new approaches and a bit of strategic thinking?

A fresh look at new approaches and a bit of strategic thinking

  1. Transition from primary to secondary school – there is a well-researched average dip in attainment of up to 40% from the end of year 6 to the end of year 7. There isn’t much data yet about the consequences for ‘lost learning’ over the past year but I doubt it will be any higher than this. Turning that dip into an upwards curve is an essential element of our highly rated course ‘Crossing the Transition Bridge’ – Seamless learning from primary to secondary school’. We have gathered some great ideas and powerful solutions. A less dramatic but still worrying dip occurs between key stage 1 and 2, we have the answers here too, Creating a transition strategy that builds a continuum of learning from Key Stage 1 to Key Stage 2 and beyond
  2. Creating a tapestry curriculum – where pupils can make connections across their learning they remember, deepen their understanding and begin to develop higher order thinking skills. Learners need to see the explicit connection between the skills they are learning in English and Maths and how they are applied in every facet of the curriculum and beyond. Have a look at our two courses that create for those with responsibility for embedding these skills with a wealth of innovative and well-researched strategies that work. Enhancing the Role of the Literacy Coordinator – planning a strategy to ensure literacy is woven through the curriculum and Enhancing the Role of the Numeracy Coordinator – looking at where Maths is integral to learning across the curriculum
  3. Metacognition is about learning how to learn and how to think deeply about learning. Where these skills are added to the tapestry a picture emerges that the learner can understand and the learning is strengthened. This requires planning and the opportunities for professional conversations about learning in subject specific contexts and in cross curricular forums. We have just redesigned our two outstanding curriculum courses, Curriculum Futures for the Primary School- Defining the vision and delivering impact and Curriculum Futures for the Secondary School- Defining the vision and delivering impact they both provide outstanding resources, activities and presentations all built on our commitment to research led CPD.
  4. Formative assessment as an essential pedagogy for learning – There is such an imperative to ensure that all teachers have the skills to challenge positively, feedback constructively and allow the learner to understand what he or she can do to make progress, deepen their understanding and learn more. There may be gaps to fill or extra work to do to raise morale or concentrate on relearning some skills; where the teacher or teaching assistant can encourage, promote self-esteem and ignite a passion those gaps will soon become strengths. Spending time now ensuring all staff have the questioning, influencing and listening skills to empower learning and foster progression will reap huge rewards. We have superb off the shelf asynchronous training opportunities for schools to use with their staff. The future is formative and not summative, certainly for now, Formative Assessment – Creating the pedagogy of challenge, progression and deeper learning in the primary school and Formative Assessment – Creating the pedagogy of challenge, progression and deeper learning in the secondary school
  5.  Creating professional learning communities to share, collaborate and innovate – The expertise in a school is amazing but how often do we have the time or the structure to share that professionalism and knowledge more widely? Planning a strategy that ensures positive futures for every learner, every leader, every teacher and every school is essential. We know at Learning Cultures that the most successful way forward is to create a coaching culture that promotes high quality learning conversations and creates opportunities for the sharing and cascading of best practice, learner successes and teacher innovation. Where professional conversations lead the way, change happens. Start your coaching journey with the professionals at Learning Cultures. 

 

 

Coaching for the Pastoral Team- an essential skill for all those with a pastoral role

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Coaching and the pastoral process has a symbiosis that should not be ignored. Coaching is about allowing individuals to find solutions, reflect on their own behaviours and have resilience when faced with difficulties. Delivering the pastoral system requires a range of skills that will nurture learners and allow them to grow and progress throughout their education.

Learning how to coach is a gift that creates a culture where individuals know their limits and are challenged to take responsibility. It is the opposite to telling individuals what is best for them, instead it is a collaborative process that leads to independence of spirit and fosters high levels or self-belief.

Stepping into the harsh reality of returning to education in the classroom will be a difficult process for many. The routines, the spaces and the management of learning is different in the home environment. Even for those who have remained in school things will change as class sizes grow.  There will be a wide range of different experiences that learners have faced and their ability to cope will vary as a result of many different factors. It will be for the pastoral team to work together in synergy to ensure all learners thrive, return to learning in the classroom as easily as possible and begin to find their equilibrium.

Learning how to coach will enhance the skills of pastoral leaders and tutors. They will become more intuitive, challenge limiting beliefs, use deep questioning to raise self-esteem and probe for clarity and understanding. Coaching is non-judgemental; a coach is a critical friend who will not disapprove, disagree or impose. A coach is there to listen deeply, to offer clarity and to give reassurance for anyone struggling with their own confusing reality.

In this course we look at how pastoral leaders can create highly effective teams that will support both their learners and their colleagues. We show how the development of a coaching culture will bring strength to the team and provide the model for ensuring there is a professional dialogue that fosters the celebration of good practice and where all those involved can learn from each other and collaborate successfully.  We create the opportunity for those attending to learn and practice some coaching skills including deep and rich questioning, active listening and influencing skills. We want the picture to unfold to reveal just how powerful coaching can be in the desire to develop within all learners, resilience, strength of character, a belief in fairness and a range of independent learning skills that will prepare them for a positive future.

This course is part of our suite of coaching courses. It can stand alone, or it can be part of a planned CPD strategy where all staff have the opportunity to learn how coaching can support them in their role. Making sure pastoral staff learn and practice a range of coaching skills and can see how coaching will enhance their role is a profound step in supporting all learners. The next few months will be an important journey where the pastoral team and the learners in their charge can cope with the realities of returning to the classroom, recognising there has been a cohesive learning journey over the past year and making strides towards discovering they have the confidence to move forward positively.

As with all the courses designed by the Learning Cultures coaching team the materials, resources, activities and presentations are all created so that those who participate in the training can take their learning back to their colleagues and cascade it. It is our sincere belief that any form of training must be sustainable and cost effective and by providing opportunities for others to share in the content of the training is essential. The delegate has the opportunity to pass on their knowledge to others but will also consolidate their learning through the process of discussing their learning with others.

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Leading a Coaching School or College: Coaching is the key to exceptional leadership

Listen to this newspost as a podcast.

Bringing staff and pupils back into school will bring its challenges and require exceptional leadership skills. Learning CulturesLeading a Coaching School or College live webinar is the place to start for senior leaders to focus on how they can create a collaborative culture that delivers outstanding learning, powerful pedagogy and a shared commitment to the highest quality education for all.

Making coaching an essential part of the strategy for the future is the best decision a school or college leader will make.  Coaching equips the leader with the skills to empower others, to influence change and to unlock potential.  The coaching leader will create a culture of reflection where he or she engenders trust and a belief that everyone can achieve what is crafted in the vision, rationale or ambition for all staff and learners.   Where a leader believes that everyone has the capacity to continuously improve there is a motivation to uphold high standards of performance and for each member of staff to accept challenge and find their own solutions to issues and problems that arise.

To build new futures, leaders will need to re-evaluate the ambition for continuous improvement, curriculum rationale and the best way to ensure that learners make the transition from home schooling to the classroom and continue to thrive. Focusing on using strategies linked to coaching will ensure that the imperative for change is the collective responsibility of all staff. Incorporating learner voice into the mix can only strengthen the outcomes.

For this to happen, the senior leadership team need to make the commitment to build a coaching culture and allow others to share in the responsibility to make sure that all staff and pupils can recapture their enthusiasm and motivation to learn and enhance their self-esteem.  Where the process of change is driven by collaborative professional learning communities who share a common goal, the team can build on what they know works well, identify barriers that might need to be overcome and carefully refine the options they can choose to ensure success.

Essentially, coaching leadership must be highly visible so that there is a constancy of purpose that is built on a culture of trust and respect. Opportunities to foster collaboration must be inherent in all aspects of team and individual planning. There needs to be a commitment to ensuring the highest quality implementation leads to desirable and positive impact.  Coaching must be about learning through a process of continuous improvement where there is a willingness to share success, where individuals know their strengths and their gaps in professional learning and where they accept failure as part of the process and reflect on how mistakes lead to learning.

Leading a Coaching School is a training course that will provide senior leadership teams with the skills they need to begin their journey towards creating a coaching culture. However, this course goes much further than that, challenging those in attendance to focus on how they can implement a strategy that leads to transformational change.  We challenge senior leaders to focus on their sense of urgency and how this drives the vision for excellence and continuous improvement. We ask that leaders know how to delegate, how to empower and influence others to take increased responsibility for how they set and achieve their own goals and targets that flow from the whole organisation improvement plans.

We include a range of tools and techniques that provide those who attend with all they need to continue to learn how to coach and how to use coaching to create a culture where professional learning conversations provide the basis for a collaborative culture built on reflection, the celebration of good practice and the collective desire to deliver a constancy of purpose that insists on the highest quality of curriculum, pedagogy and learning.

Our team at Learning Cultures have all been leaders in education. We know how lonely it can be. The role of the senior leadership team is to be the Captain of the ship, to steer the vessel and the people within it to safe and secure futures.  Where everyone pulls together using coaching as the driver, the leader is reassured that all staff are working as one to weather storms, deal with difficult people, manage behaviour or address poor performance.  Delegation means that the leader or leaders return to being the strategists whilst middle, team or subject leaders deliver and anchor deep learning opportunities for teachers and pupils across the whole organisation.

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Strategic CPD Solutions for Schools – innovative examples of good practice

Strategic CPD solutions for schools

Strategy is probably a long way down the list of priorities for all those leading in education unless it is linked to the issues that crowd every day.  However, an increasing number of leaders are taking the longer view and beginning to focus on the needs of their teams, their teachers and their pupils when relative normality returns. I wanted to share some of the innovative CPD that we have delivered in the past nine months, remotely of course, to individual participants, middle, pastoral and subject leaders and large and small INSETs that have involved everyone. Below are ten areas where we have made a significant difference to how schools are preparing for a positive future.

  1. Transition from Key Stage 2 to 3 – We are training several groups of transition leads from across alliances of schools using our Crossing the Transition Bridge – from primary to secondary school to look at how to ensure partnerships and seamless learning for all year 6 pupils this year as they cross the transition bridge.
  2. Rethinking Appraisal using Coaching has been the strategic focus for one school. They have bought our asynchronous, ready to use course Rethinking Appraisal and Performance Management that focuses on how to use coaching to ensure appraisal clearly focuses on how the individual can play their part in achieving the school vision. They have also completed several of our coaching courses to ensure that the school vision and appraisal this year belong to all staff
  3. Leading a Coaching School or College – Many schools and colleges are using our synchronous, face to face live webinar to start now to look at how coaching will be the answer to reflective and positive futures. This course has the answers that will help senior leaders to support all staff now and in the months to come as we return to whatever normal will look like. Coaching creates opportunities for individuals to find their own solutions, remain positive and self-aware and build resilience in times of adversity.
  4. Leading from the Middle – Many school leaders are using the content of this course to give their middle leaders the coaching skills to ensure that their teams are collaborative and can deliver the strategic plans that need to be carefully crafted now and for the future. This course is a powerful coaching course that develops the coaching skills of those who have a pivotal middle leadership role and who are responsible for the performance of their teams in delivering high quality teaching and learning through a deep and rich curriculum offer
  5. Coaching to Create a Culture of Positive Mental Health – Several primary, secondary and special schools and A MAT are using our course that focuses on how developing a range of coaching skills can support those with a role in promoting well-being and positive mental health for staff and pupils.
  6. Quality Assuring how the Curriculum Design Delivers Impact, Seamless Learning and ProgressionIndividual senior leaders from several schools have attended this course and are using our materials, resources and guidance to develop quality assurance practices that will ensure there is evidence that the curriculum intent delivers high quality learning, outstanding pedagogy and evidence of a positive impact on whole school improvement. We are currently supporting the development of policy documentation and timeline structures to support schools to develop professional quality assurance processes
  7. Key Stage 3 – A Vital Piece in the Curriculum Jigsaw has been a very popular course and resonates with the need to make sure that learning is seamless, planning builds on prior learning and clearly defined end points provide a blue-print for progression
  8. The embedding of literacy and numeracy across all subjects are key elements of a high-quality curriculum offer. Our two courses ‘Enhancing the Role of the Literacy Coordinator’ and ‘Enhancing the Role of the Numeracy Coordinator’ have not diminished in popularity since our decision to move all our courses online. We have the answers to some pressing questions and we provide an outstanding array of best practice examples
  9. Our Coaching Certificate Programme is an opportunity to train to become a certified coach over three terms with expert guidance from our coaching team. We are running this course for several schools, sixth form colleges and FE colleges. We are also now offering it to individuals from different organisations. We are receiving amazing revues for the content and process which leads to a Level 3 Certificate in Coaching from the Association for Coaching.

We have achieved so much in these times of deep adversity and many schools, colleges and other organisations have benefited from our talented and innovative team and our outstanding training packages. Now is the time to start to think strategically, we have the expertise to help you to make a difference to the future of learning and education.  glynis@learningcultures.org 0r 01746 765076 / 07974 754241

Creating a Coaching Culture in Schools – The power of positive learning conversations

Creating a Coaching Culture in Schools – The power of positive learning conversations

There has never been a more important time to introduce coaching as the conduit for managing a future that shines a light on learning for everyone in the education sector.

Leaders can learn the skills that will empower them to instil confidence, self-belief and a shared commitment to look to the future and not dwell on the past.

Middle leaders, subject leaders and pastoral leaders can use coaching to create professional learning communities where they can work closely with their teams to assess learning, progress and well-being for both the teacher and the learner and anyone else who has been a part of creating successful outcomes over the past year.

Coaching in education

Coaching fosters a shared commitment to excellence where individual teachers share with others their successes, their learning and their goals for future development opportunities.  There needs to be a catalyst to make sure that there are opportunities for all staff to come together to share their experiences, talk about what they have gained from having to teach in a very different way and how this change will impact on how they manage learning and their learners moving forward to a new normal.

Coaching creates a foundation that will foster the right culture for positive professional learning conversations that will inspire innovation, provide solutions for how to make curriculum changes or build bridges for those who have gaps in their learning.  The infrastructure for change is much clearer where coaching forms the basis for new beginnings. It gives all staff a sense of belonging, where they can share their successes and feel safe in revealing their fears and concerns.

Coaching is about trust; it is non-judgemental and above all it is about creating the right strategies for continuing professional learning.  Now is the time to choose coaching as the strategy for a learning culture that will lead to excellence for all. See below an example of how you might create a coaching culture.

Coaching for every role in a school or college

The full range of our coaching courses are listed underneath the chart.

Now is the time to build a culture of positivity and reflection

Now is the time to build a culture of positivity and reflection

build a culture of positivity and reflection

Happy new year to all the wonderful school leaders, middle leaders, teachers and support staff who have supported their learners, each other and the wider community through the last few very turbulent months.  Every educator has had to think differently about how they teach, how they communicate with their teams and how they make sure that learning continues to take place.  We are in awe of your resilience and commitment. You are on the frontline and everyone, everywhere should recognise this.

Here at Learning Cultures, we want to build our own culture of positivity and reflection

So we have have adapted and changed our working practices so that we can continue to deliver the CPD and coaching support that many in the profession rely on.  It was devastating back in March of last year to hear that schools were closing. We genuinely thought that we would not be able to continue to trade.

However, as coaches with a can do positive attitude, we decided to change our business model and put all of our courses and services online.  For those who have attended any of our training will, I know, endorse the fact that the result has been outstanding.  There are so many positives that have come out of our new model for CPD that we feel sure we will continue to offer online courses long after this pandemic is behind us. We have stand-alone 5 section courses for you to buy and use when you can. We have live webinars that cover courses looking at the curriculum, at coaching and supporting well-being. We have recently launched a suite of nutshell courses, one-hour bite-size training opportunities that an individual can dip into when they are able.

As I write this, the uncertainty continues, primary schools are doing their best to continue to open in the face of a deepening crisis and secondary schools are working hard to develop Covid testing stations alongside planning to welcome back their learners in a couple of weeks. I cannot help but feel that CPD and training for staff is not at the top of the list of priorities.

However, national and international research and the training and support that we have been delivering over the past year suggests that continuing to value staff through providing them with opportunities to continue to develop as professionals is a vital component of maintaining high-quality learning, wellness and a feeling of being valued.

Learning how to coach builds resilience, fosters professional learning communities and promotes positivity. Leading a coaching school will reap exceptional benefits for all staff in these difficult times. Continuing to develop a well-sequenced curriculum is essential and our curriculum courses provide the resources and learning tools to ensure consistency, outstanding teaching and learning and a shared commitment to realise the vision for continuous improvement.

As the title of this news post says there has never been a more important time to create a culture of positivity and reflection. Investing in your staff with relevant and high quality CPD that is accessible, affordable and receives excellent testimonials will reap untold rewards that cascade widely across the whole organisation.

Thank you to you all, from Glynis and all at Learning Cultures.

 

 

CPD and coaching for Schools

Listening, questioning, sharing, collaborating, co-constructing, talking, reflecting, creating, empowering, influencing

A few of the words that describe the power of coaching as the most desirable way to build a CPD strategy for your school or college.  Back to school does not mean been back to normal and many leaders in education are facing challenges that are unprecedented. Finding the solutions to continuing to provide a high quality of education and ensure all staff have the knowledge, skills, energy and motivation to deliver it is essential for learning for pupils and personnel across the organisation. Coaching is that solution.

The Learning Cultures’ coaching team know from many years’ experience that the most cost effective, innovative and solutions-focused way forward is to set about using the principles of coaching as a starting point for planning CPD for the next year and beyond. For most this will mean using virtual platforms and online tools.

The Education Endowment Foundation have come to the same conclusion, their recent Rapid Evidence Assessment of the efficacy of remote professional development concludes,

Remote coaching, mentoring and expert support can be effective alone or as part of broader professional development programmes (PD)

  • Coaching and mentoring can improve skills and knowledge of professionals when delivered remotely and may reduce feelings of isolation in professionals
  • Remote or blended coaching, mentoring and expert support can be used to complement broader remote or blended PD programmes
  • Collaboration between colleagues may also improve PD outcomes through enabling reflective practice and collective problem-solving

The power of coaching transforms learning and teaching, builds dynamic teams and creates positive and incisive leaders. We have had a part to play in ensuring coaching is at the heart of CPD across many schools and colleges here in the UK and internationally.  We have now spent the last six months finalising our online programmes using an ex Channel 4 producer and an award-winning designer to work with us to ensure our highly-praised and well-researched content is also accessible, interesting and relevant.

We have been astounded by the outcomes from the live coaching webinars that we have delivered throughout the summer and the success of the Moodle courses that we have developed for schools and colleges to buy and use anytime within their CPD calendar. The quality and flexibility of this approach means a whole new world of CPD and coaching possibilities to suit all those who educate across all sectors.

 

Learning how to coach online – Powerful, proactive and personal

Cascading a coaching culture across a school or college creates opportunities for highly focused professional interaction that can empower individuals to accept change and allow them to take risks and find solutions. This has never been more important as we continue to try to find ways to teach and engage with learners both virtually and in very different classrooms.  Coaching brings together individuals who can share their successes, encourage reflection and foster resilience when the going gets tough.

Here at Learning Cultures that is certainly what we have had to do.  Offsite courses where people travel and spend time in groups in hotels and other conference spaces has not been on the agenda.  Survival for us has required innovation and a willingness to embrace change.  The answer has been surprisingly simple and has proved hugely successful. Coaching, we thought might prove tricky to deliver online. How wrong we were.

The Zoom coaching courses that we have run over the time of school shutsowns have been a huge success and provide an intimate and structured dimension to one to one and group interaction.  The impact of our training is just as powerful as it has always been and the opportunities for the development of more frequent coaching conversations with the trainer and with other participants means practising coaching skills is readily available, time friendly and outstandingly good value for all. We have broken down the full day we usually host into two sessions of two and a half hours each with a week in between for practice and reflection. It works so well, it is less tiring, more rewarding and more intense in terms of depth of learning.

There is still a place for face to face coaching interaction and learning but it isn’t happening any time soon and coaching is urgently needed as a means of empowering and motivating staff and learners to continue to be a part of a learning culture. The current coaching courses we have available online through July and August are:-

Have a look on our website at all the other courses we are offering through our Zoom platform. All our Zoom courses are for individuals to work through and currently cost £150.00 + VAT inclusive of both sessions which is a price that is too good to miss out on.

We also have a suite of courses that are now available on a Moodle platform for schools to buy as CPD packages that can be delivered as a whole school INSET, a series of training sessions or twilight sessions across an academic year. Discounted by 30% to £695.00 + VAT they are exceptional value.