The model for professional learning at MACS was redesigned and introduced during the early stages of the 2019-20 academic year. It is explained on this page and is to be embedded over the coming years.
Continuing Professional Development within Teaching and Learning at MACS
Why and how the development of staff matters
Schools are enigmatic and complex communities, unique and similar in equal measure. Ultimately all schools aim to produce happy, confident and successful young people. While many factors differ across schools, those that are successful in achieving this aim commonly have large numbers of great teachers and staff, and the leadership at all levels to support this and to ensure even more teachers become great. Defining ‘great’ is key in itself as it embodies all that is important and valued by a school. In order to consider this we posed a question that first appeared on Twitter some years ago from Tom Sherrington (a former Headteacher, and current education author). In response, at MACS we believe great teachers and staff demonstrate the qualities and behaviours illustrated below:
In considering the design of CPD and professional learning activities or opportunities – in order for this to have the most impact on teachers and wider staff, and, in-turn, learners – the following considerations are to be kept in mind:
- Links: How does the CPD opportunity link to the school’s priorities and/or how does it relate to teachers’ day to day concerns?
- Research: What validates the approaches being advocated?
- Contextualisation: How might this be applied to a range of subjects/year groups/curriculum areas?
- Practice and Collaboration: How could this be put into action, and also shared with others or used as a peer-to-peer professional learning opportunity?
- Feedback and Follow-up: What did participants think about the opportunity or session, and how will they report back about it or its application?
Encompassing all of this is the idea that a school can be a learning organisation and that learning takes place at levels throughout the organisation.
Six principles underpinning Teaching and Learning and self-improvement at MACS
As discussed and explained in full on this site, six key principles resulted from collaborative staff discussion and form the foundations of effective practice, in order to achieve a shared idea about what is important and needs to be embedded within our practice over time. These can be read about and resources can be accessed from here.
CPD as a layered approach
We believe a successful approach to professional learning and CPD should be ‘layered’ with distinct strands:
Layered professional learning menu at MACS
The following outline the key CPD activities available to staff in order to enable them to engage with the six key principles at MACS and to personalise their professional learning alongside whole-school priorities.
In addition to the above it is important to recognise the range of support and development opportunities that could be of benefit at different stages in a teacher’s career as outlined in the table below. For the most part these are purely suggestions around relevant and effective support and development rather any form of checklist or list of expectations.
Associated further reading and references:
- What makes a great teacher? https://teacherhead.com/2012/08/21/what-makes-a-great-teacher/ – Tom Sherrington/Teacherhead (retrieved 03/07/20)
- Schools as Learning Organisations (Welsh Government) – https://hwb.gov.wales/professional-development/schools-as-learning-organisations/
- Personalised Professional Learning at MACS – draft/mock-up ‘paper’ copy. This is distributed as a Google Form and completed on the school’s @macs.uk.net Google system.