Identifying new ways to learn – Blended learning is tomorrow’s classroom today

Some Blended Learning Tools for you to download

Blended learning is the new pedagogy that none of us in education can ignore.  In a nutshell blended learning is creating a learning culture that combines learning remotely with learning in the classroom.  The last six months have been a time where many learners have learnt using technology, in isolation from their teacher and their peers. Teachers have also had to learn a whole new repertoire of strategies for ensuring learning takes place for individuals who are working in isolation and where the teacher has little control. We as CPD providers have also had to learn how to continue to provide CPD remotely and to offer answers for education as to how to teach in this new world.

We have produced a Blended Learning Self-Assessment Tool for schools to use to focus on how to continue to use a blended approach especially as some learners are still in isolation. This tool helps to define what is working well and your priorities for change.

Have a look at our fifteen top tips guide for ensuring learners can make the transition from home schools to the classroom.

The latest in our repertoire of live webinars is a course specifically designed to look at blended learning. We have now run this course several times either at prescribed times in the morning or as twilights or where schools have asked us to deliver it their whole teaching staff. Have a look at the course content below,

Blended Learning – Mixing the virtual with the actual: a pedagogy of the future

You may also be interested in our suite of inclusive off the shelf courses that you can buy to deliver at a time to suit the CPD timetable and calendar.  One of these courses is called The Learning Room – a series of strategies linked to metacognition and thinking skills and looks especially at group working, independent learning, comprehension or reading for understanding and enquiry skills. All of which are essential skills in a world that will become increasingly reliant on a blended approach to learning. See the EEF research paper Metacognition and Self-regulation

We have six titles currently available to buy and more on the way.  Have a look in more detail here.

We are delivering all of our courses as live webinars which are virtual face to face sessions for individuals to attend. They offer 4 hours of training split over two sessions with time for reflection in between.  There is a personal presenter and a wealth of resources and materials sent physically and electronically. Find out more.

We cannot ignore the changes to our understanding of ourselves whether we are the teacher, the trainer or the learner.  Learning has a new shape and we must not ignore the fact that for many it is unlikely that we will return to the past normal.  Technology has been our salvation and we have all had to learn how to use it in more innovative ways.


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.


How can teachers capture the unplanned learning of the past six months?

How do we learn?  The past six months have given everyone who educates time to ponder this conundrum. Robert Bjork asks a different question in his forward to David Didau’s book What if everything you knew about education was wrong?

He asks, ‘How do we think we learn?’ He says that where we see learning as what is produced as an outcome it is actually measuring performance and is not necessarily learning that will be retained over time.  Learning is not a one-dimensional process and it is not something that just happens when the learner is in school; it is a life long process built through a myriad of experiences and opportunities for acquiring knowledge and having the skills to apply and access that knowledge. The experiences of the past six months and those that will emerge moving forward from here will shape all our lives and it may be a very long time before we truly realise what we have learnt along the way.

It is essential that teachers at any stage across the education spectrum recognise that their learners have had a variety of experiences and certainly older children will have found out quite a lot more about themselves, how they have made use of time, learnt to work independently, kept in contact with friends, learnt new domestic or other skills, talked to their parents more, learnt to live more harmoniously with their siblings or grandparents, learnt survival tactics when faced with adversity. Acknowledging that learning can take many different forms needs to be a part of the recovery process and part of building a new normal that does not dismiss that past six months but uses the experience as integral to the learning process for both teachers and their pupils. We have created a 15 top tips guide for ensuring learners can make the transition from home schools learning to the classroom.

Download the PDF here. We have used a variety of pieces of research to put together these top tips some of which will be included in the resources section of our new newsletter.

We have a new online course delivered as a live webinar that looks closely at how schools and colleges can develop a blended learning approach that may be very necessary as we continue to learn how to teach in new socially distanced classrooms where some learners may well have to continue to learn virtually, at home or in other settings within a school or college. See below.

Blended Learning: Mixing the virtual with the actual – a pedagogy for the future

Have a look here at our suite of live interactive webinars that we are running either in the morning between 10am and 12.30pm or as twilight sessions from 3.45pm to 5.45pm.  You can also see the suite of courses that schools and colleges can buy as a package to deliver CPD to staff as an INSET or as single sessions over time.

Our Twilight Series of Live Webinars – Coaching and Learning

August has been a revelation. So many teachers and leaders in education have taken advantage of our suite of coaching training webinars.  The quality of delivery, the in-depth content of the materials, presentations and resources are the same and the online approach seems to have made no difference at all to the learning and to the opportunities for those who have attended to take back that learning to their colleagues to share and cascade.

“I have loved everything about this course. It was informative, interactive and challenging all at the same time.”

We are adding a suite of twilight webinars to our growing repertoire of online learning courses. The first of these is an introduction to coaching. The content and the opportunities to learn how to use coaching will be hugely beneficial to all staff and will support the development of a culture of reflection, build resilience and allow for opportunities for professional learning conversations that foster positivity and innovation in a world turned upside down. We are continuing to discount the cost of our online courses to £195.00 + VAT a 30% reduction.

“Excellent day, I have so much to think about. Each of the two sessions has exceeded my expectations and given me the inspiration for the next stage on my school’s coaching journey

Coaching has the power to change practice and to define a culture where all staff are part of a collective desire for continuous improvement for, leaders, managers, teachers support staff and pupils.

Twilight training courses include:-

“I have loads to take back and use, how to set up coaching training for other staff, how to embed coaching in the school and learning how to be more reflective myself.”

We also have a suite of courses housed on a Moodle platform where schools can run their own INSET or training sessions. Everything is there, video presentations, resources, research, activities and other materials. There is even a multiple-choice quiz at the end to check your learning. These are currently discounted by 30% to £695.00 + VAT. Have a look out the titles here.

We will continue to offer the very successful online live webinar courses we have been running since the school closures in March.  These are scheduled for two half day sessions with one week apart from 10.00 until 12.30.  The week between the sessions has proved invaluable in providing time for reflection, the sharing of knowledge and consolidating the learning. You can see what is available here.

Our offsite offer is still available on our website but we have decided to postpone any training in hotels or other similar venues until next term.

Continuing Professional Development – How can it be sustained?

Learning Cultures are a world first in bringing a suite of unique training opportunities for the education profession using several online platforms that will support short course training, certification and whole school INSET. See the full range here. Our latest short course below looks at how to stimulate learning in the new blended classroom. We can run this as a whole school INSET or you can join us remotely for this 2 part course.

We are working with several schools to build their own bespoke  INSET days that are delivered remotely. We are working with multiple school trusts and alliances to develop training programmes for the coming year.  We also have a range of courses that individuals can dip into for face to face training and interaction or that schools can buy to deliver over time or for a full day for the whole school.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) helps schools and colleges maximise potential to ensure there are high levels of achievement for all.  The clue to success is in the first word, continuing. Learning Cultures are helping leaders to create a blue print for how to build a collaborative and cohesive strategy that is continuous and that leads to learning for leaders, managers, teachers and pupils.

Maximising performance through professional learning is essential as all those in education develop new approaches to teaching and to measuring learning both in the classroom and remotely.  Learning Cultures believe that coaching can help to capture the rich vein of experience that working in very different environments has provided us with.  Coaching helps individuals wherever they are to reflect on what has worked well and find mechanisms to share their good practice. Coaching also helps individuals to be precise about what else they need to focus on and learn about in order to capitalise on how this new way of working can bring opportunities to be interactive and collaborative.

The relationship between learner and teacher, leader and manager and pastoral or subject leader and teacher has changed and may continue to be altered as new ways of working remain an inevitability for some time to come.  The Learning Cultures’ suite of CPD is holistic and relevant and will provide the catalyst to manage change successfully. The remoteness we are all experiencing should not mean that we cannot capture the learning that has taken place and build new models of pedagogy, communication and the sharing and cascading of good practice.

We are working with the profession to ensure that the C in CPD transforms practice and stimulates learning. Have a look at our short courses here. Have a look at the courses now available on our Moodle platform. Talk to us about how we can plan your CPD blueprint for the future.


Blended Learning – Mixing the virtual with the actual: the pedagogy of the future

The latest in our repertoire of online training is a course specifically designed to look at how we can use the experiences of the last few months to build our self-esteem, use the expertise we have gained and share how we can move to a positive strategy for blended learning.

From in-depth research and consultation, the following agenda promises to be exciting:-

Blended Learning – Mixing the virtual with the actual: a pedagogy of the future

  • Investigating and sharing teaching and learning strategies that will support independent and distance learning
  • Putting the spotlight on behaviours and the protocols that deliver successful outcomes for both learners and teachers
  • Exploring how to build in challenge that deepens learning and stretches potential
  • Overcoming the issues of engagement for those learners who have limited access to technology, a lack of parental encouragement of who are disengaged from the process
  • Assessing learning through motivational dialogue, positive outcomes and deep reflection
  • Sharing practice and learning strategies through the development of a coaching approach to group dynamics

There has never been a better time to review the way we teach, reflect on how learners can adapt to new ways of learning and build a new approach to the 21st century classroom.

We also have a series of online courses now available.

Our Zoom suite of courses are virtual face to face sessions for individuals to attend. They offer 4 hours of training split over two sessions with time for reflection in between.  There is a personal presenter and a wealth of resources and materials sent physically and electronically. Find out more.

Our Moodle suite of courses are packages that schools can buy to use as whole school or college INSET, training sessions or twilights. They include video presentations, materials, resources and activities as well as links to research, a bibliography and a quiz. Find out more.


Solving the puzzle of how to run an online INSET and CPD

Normality isn’t happening any time soon in the world of education.  Change is a constant for all of us who are part of this great profession but I don’t think any of us could have predicted the kinds of changes we have all had to make.

CPD and in particular INSET does not have to be one of the casualties of this unfolding drama.  In fact, our experience over the past few months gives us hope that there is a new dawn of powerful opportunities for professional development that will be just as rewarding and certainly as interactive as before.

Coaching is at the heart of the Learning Cultures philosophy and this has given us the resilience to focus on positive solutions to making sure that schools and colleges can still access our fantastic repertoire of courses and programmes. We have developed three solutions focused approaches.

Firstly, we have developed a Moodle platform and we now have six courses available for schools to buy to use as part of an INSET day or to deliver over a series of sessions or twilights. Excellently orchestrated videos created by an ex Channel 4 producer and hosted by one of our expert trainers provide the presentations and there is a wealth of materials, resources and research to tap into for all those involved in the training. We will be developing more of these over the summer.

Secondly, we are also hosting Zoom training sessions for individuals who have specific CPD objectives or needs and these are delivered through face to face interaction with groups of delegates over two sessions of two hours with a week in between for reflection and shared learning.

Thirdly, we have now worked with several organisations to develop virtual INSET days where our input provides the impetus for interaction, team working and opportunities to share and cascade good practice.  Astounding results are emerging. This approach is flexible, personal and cost effective for schools to manage.

There has never been a greater need for CPD for all staff in a school or college. What we can offer is a way forward to ensure a seamless learning platform delivers outstanding professional development.

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 through May and June 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.


Creating Seamless Learning across the Transition Bridge from KS2 to KS3

Transition from primary to secondary school is in the spotlight as never before.  How can you make sure that you can create the right conditions for pupils to make the leap from their primary school to a very different secondary world?

Curriculum leaders, year heads and pastoral leaders should join us online to learn from experts in the field of transition how to ensure that pupils can build on their prior learning, have the confidence to continue their learning journey and feel safe and comfortable with the many changes they will encounter.

We have included a new section looking specifically at some of the issues that will inevitably emerge as a result of the current pandemic and its effect on pupils’ academic achievements as well as their well-being and self-esteem.

The online version of  ‘Crossing the Transition Bridge from KS2 to KS3 – How to build on prior learning and ensure seamless progression as pupils move from primary to secondary school  will provide you with the same resources, activities and extra research and other articles to support the development of a transition strategy that will ensure all pupils thrive and progress during their vital first year in secondary school.

The cost for this online course is £145.00 + VAT which is discounted by 50% of the cost of the offsite course.  We are hosting our online courses as two half days instead of one full day with time to reflect in between. The dates are 23rd June and 3rd July. The only thing missing is the superb lunch we always provide and pastries and biscuits.  That will be up to you!

Other similar courses being hosted this term are listed below.

We also have a suite of courses available on our MOODLE site that can be delivered at any time to all staff. Have a look at these on our website here.

CPD for a Virtual Future – Learning Cultures has built an online learning platform

The Learning Cultures training and coaching teams have their heads in a cloud of learning as we have now developed our first suite of online courses for leaders, managers, teachers and support staff. The first six of these are:-

Each course is broken down into five separate sections.  Each section has videos of the presenter talking and whiteboard animation videos that both do the work of a presenter in the room.  Alongside this there are opportunities for those involved in the learning experience to undertake activities and read research linked to the presentations and materials contained on a Moodle platform.

There is a powerpoint presentation that is sequential and provides a series of graphics and instructions for all of the videos and activities. The materials including card activities, proforma and other documents to read are included as part of the platform.  We have also put them on a USB stick included in a box of CPD that you will receive as part of your purchase.

At the end of each section all of the relevant materials are listed and linked.  There is also a multiple-choice quiz relevant to the learning in each section. We do urge you to complete this as it is there so that you can test your learning and it is also a bit of fun.

These courses mirror a full day of training that we would provide in a hotel or conference centre or as an INSET.  Therefore, the whole of one course could provide a full day of training for staff development.  Alternatively, the course can be delivered section by section over several weeks.  There is a wealth of materials, exercises and activities that will provide deep learning for all those involved in the training. There is also considerable research material and a bibliography of our highly recommended and most well-thumbed books.

We are also offering some online ZOOM sessions for individuals who need CPD and support now.  Have a look at our suite of courses on the website, we can tailor content to suit your needs. We can provide a personal training course for one or a team of several members of staff.  Each session of about two hours will cost £99.00 + VAT. We will provide the same outstanding quality training, handouts and references as we do when we deliver our offsite training.