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Structure and alignment


Gerard Tully – Rector

We have three deputy rectors. There’s the deputy rector of pastoral care, deputy rector curriculum, and then Jeanette’s role is deputy rector teaching and learning, and that’s a role that we established in the fourth term last year. Jeanette’s been leading the teaching and learning push in the school, but to me it’s just essential that, you know, we’re a school and we’re about teaching and learning.

Nicola Potts – TiC Food & Nutrition and Specialist Classroom Teacher

We have a fantastic leader in Jeanette Duffy – she is amazing. She gives us a structure to work with, and then we personalise it for each PLG. We’ve been given this time from the school, an hour a week to do it, and it’s counting towards our RTCs, our registered teacher criteria. And so it’s not an extra, it’s something we have to do.

Jeanette Duffy – Deputy Rector Teaching and Learning

Another one of our developments this year was really starting to try to align the learning with appraisal, and so that was something we felt again: we had this fantastic learning happening and people were engaging and that, but then the appraisal process was sitting separate to it. And again seen as a bit of a tick box exercise, not a meaningful exercise that aligned with the learning that teachers were engaging in. So our structure this year really is trying to bring those things together, allow people to have their own inquiries but through that be attending to the registered teacher criteria and then gathering the evidence they need. And then we’ve constructed these professional learning portfolios so people can house their documentation, their evidence if you wish, towards their RTCs and for their appraisal and their attestation and re-registration. So trying to streamline the process somewhat, trying to get people to see the links, the connections, that engaging and learning is part of being a professional teacher. It’s part of our ongoing commitment to the profession.

Serena Lawrence talking to a group

So the first thing we’re going to do is start by sharing and developing our personal inquiries with the group, so to make sure we all are able to have some sharing time today, we’re going to have 3 minutes each. That’s not very long, so I hope you can all be nice and succinct.

Peter Hicks talking to a group

So my inquiry is to move away from teacher centred so that it becomes more student centred. So I’m going to try a thing using my quality five. Ah recap, so quality five start-up at the start of every session. So the kids are going to write their own questions, and therefore they’re going to take charge of that. And then they’re going to sort of present as a teacher from the front. And hopefully get the kids to give them the answers back.

Jeanette Duffy – Deputy Rector Teaching and Learning

The leadership of the group I think is quite key at this time. I like to think that perhaps, in a couple of years’ time, we won’t need a leader, that the culture has evolved such that when we come together in our group we understand what inquiry really looks like and we just work together – we don’t need someone to lead that process. But, in its beginning stages, I think the leader is quite key, and a leader who is passionate, who is really passionate about leading learning with others but also in their own classroom with their students and, I think, are effective practitioners, so they have that respect of their peers. I’ve felt the first 2 years it’s been quite heavily driven by myself and by some of the keen leaders. And I’ve felt that, if I were to leave the school, then perhaps it would not continue, and then what’s the point? So I’ve always sort of had a little bit of a 5- year vision around the work we’ve been doing, and so for me this year it was around still trying to keep growing the internal capacity, so we’ve got some new leaders coming on stream and some people who have been able to step back from leadership, which has been great. But it’s getting to that point of “This is just what we do here, inquiry is part of what we do, coming together to learn is part of what we do”, and I’d like to think by the end of 2014 that that’s where we are. And if I were to leave, or if other key players were to leave, that this would just continue.

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