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

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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 – innovative examples of good practice

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. Blended Learning Strategies are the focus for a senior CPD manager who has spent time attending this course so that she can use the materials and resources to train all middle and subject leaders in her school to be more adaptable with their learners. Other schools are using the content to share and cascade to others.
  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. 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
  6. 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.
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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 – 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 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. 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 have had to adapt and change our working practices to be able to continue to deliver the CPD and coaching support that many in the profession rely on.  It was devastating back in March 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.  We have developed a course that looks specifically at blended learning and we have just launched a new course that helps teachers develop outstanding pedagogical skills using platforms such as ZOOM or Microsoft Teams. 

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.

 

 

Online INSET and CPD: Creating cost-effective, accessible and sustainable professional learning solutions

sustainable professional learning solutions

Learning Cultures, the leading provider of CPD for educators have created and continue to develop a range of cost-effective, accessible and sustainable professional learning solutions for all staff to take part in online.

Our expert team have produced the most amazing suite of relevant and detailed training programmes and coaching courses. The reviews we have received are outstanding, the comments on the quality of delivery, the excellent resources and powerful research make us aware that our hard work and dedication is worth it.

**Coaching**Curriculum**Leadership**INSET**Teaching & Learning***

Choose from the flexible range of courses, programmes and services listed here.

The CPD we offer is built on highly respected sector led research that emphasises the need to disseminate the content from a training programme widely to ensure that it has an impact on individual, team and whole organisational improvement. We design all our training so that those who attend can cascade their learning to colleagues through peer to peer coaching.  This ensures that those who attend consolidate their own understanding and share their knowledge with others.  The quality of the resources, the depth of knowledge of the presenters and facilitators and our commitment to using the latest UK and international educational research make sure we are seen as the leaders in CPD for the education profession.

**Coaching**Curriculum**Leadership**INSET**Teaching & Learning***

Use our contact us page and we will be in touch. Read our latest online brochure. Read our termly CPD newsletter .

Blending the Curriculum – Securing High Quality Learning

What is learning?

Schools and those who design and deliver the curriculum need to have the answer to this question. The current reality must link learning to the learner and how they are coping and able to absorb learning especially where remote learning is a new experience.

“Learning….that reflective activity which enables the learner to draw upon previous experience to understand and evaluate the present, so as to shape future action and formulate new knowledge.”    John Abbott 2000

OFSTEDs most recent briefing in their COVID 19 series describes how schools are delivering the curriculum now and when schools were closed. There are no judgements, opinions or suggestions just observations as to what is happening.  However, the examples that are included here do reveal how some schools have made the decision to abandon the planned curriculum in order to deliver more appropriate content that is accessible to the learner.

“For instance, one school had taught a poetry unit during the summer because it was more accessible for pupils who were learning at home than a Shakespeare unit which would be revisited in the autumn term.

Some primary schools had decided to focus on skills….and were teaching historical enquiry skills or mapping skills in place of some new historical or geographical content.”

Research from the Education Endowment Foundation emphatically suggests the focusing on developing skills in this new and challenging world of blended learning is by far the best way to ensure that learning does indeed take place.  School leaders, subject specialists and all those who have a hand in delivering the curriculum should stand back and look closely at the potential for experiential and conceptual learning to take place.

A paper from the National School Improvement Network from 2002 describes the outcomes of effective learning as:

  • more connected knowledge
  • use of a wide range of learning strategies
  • greater complexity of understanding
  • enhanced action appropriate to goals and context
  • increased engagement and self-direction
  • a more reflective approach
  • having more positive emotions and affiliation to learning
  • defining one’s future self as a learner
  • greater facility for learning with others
  • more of a sense of participation in a knowledge community

The messages in the list above mirror those of  EEF, UNESCO and OFSTED writing today about how to ensure positive learning outcomes for all. The curriculum is only useful to the learner if they see that its content is appropriate to their experience, their future aspirations and connects with what they already know and can do. The curriculum must ignite and motivate the learner to want to find out more. This is not possible if the content is inaccessible, the learner can’t read or can’t make sense of what is in front of them. If the subject is irrelevant or out of kilter with their current adversity learning is unlikely to take place.

Focus on the learner and the current reality, re-define the learning goals to be much more about the skills learners need to learn such as reading for meaning, listening actively, enquiry, sharing learning with peers or parents, teachers or siblings, making connections with their own experiences, using their interests as starting points for conceptual learning or subject content. Much of the current commentary and research evidence points to the need to focus on the learning and not simply on the curriculum content. Where learners have the metacognition that allows them to think, reflect and learn the content is far easier to access.

Join us at one of our live webinars for an in-depth look at Blended Learning.

Blended Learning: Mixing the Virtual with the Actual – a pedagogy for the future

Buy our In a Nutshell course that focuses on the transition from home learning to the classroom

Planning a learning curriculum that will translate between home schooling and the classroom

Buy our off the shelf five section training package:-

The Learning Room: Exploring metacognition and the tools that knit knowledge and learning for progression

We have a range of other online off the shelf courses, live webinars and In a Nutshell sips of training that cover a wide range of relevant and essential CPD for schools and colleges. Remember that the research also makes very clear the absolute importance of ensuring all staff have access to professional development.

Changing perceptions of learning: Recognising the learner voice

What is learning and how do we change our perceptions when learners are working away from the classroom? 

Remote learning means that learners are in control of their own space and are responsible for how they manage their time in terms of learning.  Focusing on how learners learn in the absence of the teacher and the processes involved is essential if we are going to continue to deliver quality outcomes for all.

A continued emphasis on content is impossible to deliver. The protocols that exist in the classroom do not apply in the same way and if we continue to put the teacher in charge we may well be missing profound opportunities to provide for the learner a new set of skills that will allow them to find their own route to the content and give them a whole suite of essential life skills.

Evidence suggests that taking account of learner voice has a profound impact on motivation, concentration and the desire to succeed. Creating for the learner a sense that they own their learning and can understand how they learn has a significant impact on outcomes. The list below is taken from an article I wrote in 2011 about curriculum decision making and the importance of learner voice and emphasises what the learner says they want:-

  • More emphasis on skills, and on personal and social development
  • More practical work linked to a skill or vocation
  • A more obvious link with the curriculum and real life
  • More connections made across different areas of the curriculum
  • A balance between academic subjects and those that are more creative, practical, or vocational
  • More choice, especially at Key Stage 4
  • A variety of approaches to teaching and learning
  • More emphasis given to how they can progress to achieve the next level
  • More opportunity to take responsibility for their own learning

This wish list still stands today and resonates even more when we look at some of the points that are pertinent to the need to create a blended learning approach.

Let us concentrate on one of the points above and link it to shifting the paradigm from content to experiential and conceptual learning.

‘A more obvious link with the curriculum and real life’

A focus on what learners are experiencing through enforced isolation such as looking at a lack of contact with peers, fear of loss, an imposition on their freedoms, having to be resilient, to reflect on their own ability to learn, enquire and draw conclusions are all a part of wider learning curve.

Applying some of these to concepts that overlay subject specific curriculum content may provide a rich and deep vein for delivering the curriculum and creating breadth and balance that recognises the importance of the learner. Freedom is a concept that learners will understand and can relate to a history topic focusing on slavery, emancipation of women or conscription during war time. Disease is a concept that in science might allow a narrative about previous vaccines for smallpox or polio.  How about baking bread, growing seeds, making models out of waste cartons, all of which allow for conceptual learning linked to specific subjects. I could go on and on with the connections that exist and that relate to the learner’s own experience.

We expand on these essential messages in our ‘In a nutshell’ course, Planning a learning curriculum that will translate between home schooling and the classroom and our live webinar about blended learning Blended Learning – Mixing the virtual with the actual: A pedagogy for the future

Have a look at all of our online CPD and other services by going to our website.

CPD and coaching – how to lead the way in this time of crisis to creating the right blend of professional learning

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.

 

Accessing Education CPD through a Virtual Learning Platform

Online CPD for educators is undoubtedly the way forward.  Certainly, in the short term.  Here at Learning Cultures we are working hard to bring you our highly acclaimed training courses to a virtual platform.

We have six courses ready to go.  We are discounting the cost of these by 30% to £695.00 + VAT from £995.00 + VAT per school. We intend to continue this offer until such time as we can provide offsite and INSET training again. You will have access to the course and login details for up to 10 members of staff.

Each course you buy will allow up to ten members of staff to access the array of materials, presentations and activities as many times as they want for up to twelve months. Each will have their own log in details and can then use the training for their own use and to share with their teams. Each of our courses has an element of coaching within it. Coaching is by far the best way to ensure that the learning is cascaded and shared widely.

We are watching carefully the unfolding picture as to how we move forward from here towards a more normal way of life.  It is clear that group activities in large hotels and conference centres are unlikely to happen in the very near future.

However, training your staff is still an essential element of school life and all staff must have opportunities to learn new skills, reflect on their practice and work together through professional conversations and motivational dialogue.  Those who have attended our training courses in the past will know that all our training is outstanding, and full of new and highly researched evidence-based learning materials.  Our online platform will offer the same and more.

Have a look here for more details and order your virtual CPD so that all your staff can continue to develop professionally using the acclaimed resources and presentations for which we are justifiably proud.

Online courses from Learning Cultures -Virtually speaking with feeling, style and presence

Virtually speaking with feeling, style and presence

Learning how to coach has given every single member of the Learning Cultures’ team the positivity and creativity to find solutions to this unique situation we all find ourselves in.  We can’t, and probably won’t be able to for some time to come, travel and gather in hotels and other venues for training, meetings, or coaching sessions.  So what we have decided to do is to bring our considerable expertise and wealth of highly praised materials and resources to an online platform.

Continuous Professional Development (CPD) is essential to all those in the education profession.  We advocate that the sharing of good and outstanding practice as part of a process of continuous improvement should be an important aspect of school life. Even that most simple and cost-effective way of learning from each other is not happening for many professionals who are now working from home for much of the time. We have six courses available as part of the first of our CPD on-line sequence which include something for leaders and middle managers, for subject leaders and for teachers.

These courses are broken down into five sections and will mirror our approach to in-house and off-site courses.  They have been designed, recorded and produced by an ex Channel 4 film maker and a producer who has a wealth of technical and creative experience designing high profile on-line courses for some of our largest companies. For all of those who have attended our training courses we offer the same wealth of expert content that is built on high profile and current research.

The first six of our courses listed above are delivered by Glynis Frater who is an expert coach with a wealth of experience of training leaders, managers and teachers for over 15 years. These courses have been carefully reviewed and we are so pleased with the extremely positive evaluations we have received.

“Outstanding, so much material that is easy to follow and extremely informative.  There is enough in one course to use for several online opportunities for all our staff.”

Headteacher from a Hospital School in the South West

You will have training courses that you can use to deliver a whole school INSET or for specific teams within your school or college. If you buy one course up to 10 individuals will have log in details so several members of a team can work together to plan how to use the materials, share their learning and use the resources to support their own professional development and provide opportunities for professional dialogue across the whole school, within teams and departments and for individual members of staff.

We have chosen the above six titles as a starting point. There is something for leaders and managers, (Appraisal and Lesson Observation) for subject and team leaders (the role of the subject leader) and something for all teaching staff (Formative Assessment and The Learning Room).  The current price of £695.00 + VAT is discounted by 30% for the duration of this quarantine period.  Book now and ensure that all your staff continue to have the highly professional CPD that they deserve.