Aim: To inspire staff to improve their teaching through engagement with PTI New Teacher Subject Days, engaging with other PTI departments and evidence-based pedagogy changes.

Background: Subject outcomes for History and Modern Foreign Languages were below expectation. The staff were inexperienced teachers, new to the Academy, and were exceptionally keen to attract more students to their subjects and improve outcomes.


Over the two years the team:

  • Collected Average Points Score (APS) data for teachers in the project at the start and at each of the three data points throughout the year.
  • Used additional surveys of staff and students to gauge current engagement with MFL and History.
  • Visited other PTI schools to gain examples of best practice and draw on the vast experience of other PTI departments.
  • Used exemplars from David Kennedy’s (Headteacher of The John Warner School) lecture on visible learning and stimulus material from John Hattie’s work to mentor the subject teachers.
  • Engaged in PTI New Teacher Subject Days and Residential courses for inspiration and further contacts for new teachers.
  • Selected suitable topic areas to use for project teaching. Looked at feedback and marking as well as refresher revision throughout the year for the students.
  • Trialled a new form of diagnostic feedback for students and also a literacy intervention for marking. A new Feedback Policy was implemented.
  • In Year 2 the staff led whole-school CPD on feedback and provided stimulus material for our Teaching and Learning Communities on feedback and marking.
  • Checked attitudinal data post-project.
  • Mapped impact on APS to gauge rates of progress. Looked at variation across the school for students involved.

Evidence: Staff and student surveys, exam results

Impact: APS data showed a steady improvement in Spanish of just over 1 grade (7.5 points) and in History of just under 1 GCSE grade (4.5 points) over the course of the project. Student surveys showed enjoyment of lessons especially had improved and they had become more independent learners.

History uptake improved, doubling the number of groups taking History GCSE. However Spanish uptake remained the same. Staff feedback from PTI New Teacher Subject Days was very positive.

Reflections: We have learnt that we need to continue to fully engage all staff in current research about best practice. We have also learnt that continual use of data, looking at where and when we are successful and how we might share that best practice is paramount.

The main challenge is finding time for groups to meet; we chose working lunches and also afternoon tea slots. This required commitment to the project which was forthcoming, so thanks also go to the staff.

Contact:Jeremy Newnham,