Aim: To share good practice with colleagues in the school and in other institutions.
Background: Following a senior team inspection in November 2013, the Modern Languages department had been commended for good practice and were then asked to share their knowledge and skills with the rest of the staff.
Year 1: A list of successful activities was drawn up and three voluntary twilight training sessions were held for staff. The first session was on starters, the second session was on collaborative learning and the third and final session was on plenaries. These were well received by attendees.
Year 2: The training sessions ran again as part of the school’s official CPD programme which generated higher attendance from colleagues. Links with the University of Cumbria were made and the sessions were delivered to their PGCE students.
Year 3: Another session was delivered to the University of Cumbria Modern Languages PGCE students in May with a view to delivering the session to the rest of the PGCE cohort in late June. This session had to be condensed to 1 hour and 15 minutes and meant delivering a version of the starter and plenary sessions together. Again, the feedback from the delegates was very positive. The data collated shows that, for new teachers, the sessions were a great way to inject lots of new ideas into their Teachers’ Toolkit whereas for colleagues in school, many commented that the sessions had served as a great ‘refresher’ of ideas not used in a while as well as offering some fresh ideas to use with their students.
Evidence: Participants’ feedback questionnaires.
Impact: The success of the sessions came very much from the feedback offered by participants which was overwhelmingly positive, particularly regarding the standing of the MFL department across the school. The sessions have now been seen by at least one member of staff in each of the departments across the school, and certain activities seem to have a universal appeal in the questionnaires, such as anagrams, beat the teacher and sequencing. The Headmaster commented:
“This project was effective in raising and maintaining the positive profile of MFL in the school by showcasing some of the areas of excellent practice to all staff. It raised the perception of the MFL department as an innovative and collaborative department. It was also good to model the value of engagement with outside organisations such as the PTI, and this has supported other departments who wish to do the same.”
Reflections: The project has been invaluable to me in terms of increasing my confidence and encouraging me to progress further in my career, particularly by coaching other teachers by sharing good practice. It has also helped me to develop my skills in collating and interpreting data as well as writing reports and findings for the benefit of colleagues and SLT. Taking charge of this project more than two thirds of the way through the process was a challenge but one that I feel has helped me to further develop in terms of my own CPD.
The challenges have been trying to get our ‘foot in the door’ as it were, in terms of delivering the sessions at other schools and teacher training institutions. Schools are busy places and it isn’t always possible to arrange dates and times to fit in with everyone.
Contact: Jemma Marshall, Head of Spanish, firstname.lastname@example.org