Tag Archives: CPD

Sign up for the Falkirk Learning for Sustainability Showcase!

Word cloudFalkirk Council Education Services will hold a Learning for Sustainability Showcase event in Camelon Education Centre on 4th June between 4-5.30pm.

Jane Jackson and Yvonne McBlain are working with colleagues in schools and in the Service Support and Improvement team to make the programme for the event as rich as possible.

So far, we know that Scotdec will be there to share the professional learning they can offer and lots of wonderful resources teachers can use with their pupils. We are thrilled that Anthony Hutcheson, development officer from Education Scotland will welcome everyone AND will be sharing the new LfS professional learning area in Glow. Organisations like Opal, the John Muir Trust, Royal Highland Education Trust are all coming along to share how they can contribute to learning for pupils and for staff. CATCA will be there, and members of the Outdoor Learning Network will show how they have developed learning outwith the classroom.  Wosdec will also attend to help us celebrate the achievements of teachers and pupils taking part in the Global Storyline training programme.

We know that Falkirk teachers and early years officers use the Learning for Sustainability theme across many areas of the curriculum and are pleased to have a growing number of applications to share this work at the showcase. We know there is lots more good practice out there though so please click here for an application form and instructions if you would like to share your work too. The word cloud above shows just how diverse Learning for Sustainability is, and with your help, we are keen to show as wide a range of work as possible. LfS snip

Don’t worry if you don’t have anything to share this year at this event – you can always sign up using code LfS1 in CPD Manager. We would love to see you there to help build a strong and appreciative audience at the event. The more, the merrier – we look forward to seeing you on the 4th June!

Falkirk Teaching for Deep Learning – A new cohort of facilitators

On 29th October Yvonne McBlain led the second training meeting for our newest cohort of Falkirk Teaching for Deep Learning programme facilitators. There are 20 facilitators from 13 schools – 11 primary establishments and 2 secondary.

All of these teachers have chosen to make their development of the facilitator role part of their professional learning for the next two sessions.  Most of them are choosing to challenge themselves by taking on a distributed leadership role for their school colleagues. Some are helping build their whole school community and supporting their school improvement plan by using the programme as collaborative whole staff development.

After training session 1, the facilitators used the TfDL Glow group (click to visit) and their private facilitator group to complete follow up tasks. One of these was to say which TfDL session they would like to get to know/experience first. The majority decision was session 9 – Teaching for Deep Learning in an Active and Engaging Way. Click here to view the power point presentation for this session, and here to see hand out 1.

Yvonne was excited to hear how the facilitators are already using the programme with colleagues. They are enthusiastically applying their knowledge and experience  to support colleagues with their ongoing quest to improve classroom practice. Our vision is to move Falkirk schools from good to great!

Falkirk Teaching for Deep Learning Facilitators

On 9th October members of the initial cohort of facilitators for the Falkirk Teaching for Deep Learning programme had their first network meeting for  session 2014/15. The main agenda item for this meeting was a general catch up on how each facilitator was using the programme to facilitate professional learning for colleagues.

The whole Falkirk Teaching for Deep Learning programme is available in Glow (click to visit) and is being used in a variety of ways by teachers and schools across the authority to impact on teaching and learning. Here is a brief outline of what the facilitators are doing now that their initial training is complete.

  • As a result of using session 6 Using Higher Order Taxonomies as part of Teaching for Deep Learning (click to view power point) Iain Farrington and colleagues at Antonine PS have developed this (click to view) High Order Skills poster for their classrooms. Staff will use the chart to help them explicitly plan HOS for one curriculum area per term. Their eventual aim is for pupils to be able to identify the higher order skills they are developing and applying. Iain’s TLC is a voluntary one which he and colleagues choose to attend.
  • Sharon Welsby at Stenhousemuir PS also facilitated session 6 for colleagues and will deliver session 7 Planning Higher Order Skills into Teaching for Deep Learning (click to view) next. Teachers at Stenhousemuir are trialling and sharing how they are building HOS into their practice and are also aiming to build pupil awareness and understanding of which skills they are using when.
  • Charlaine Simpson is very interested in session 3 – Effective Questioning as part of Teaching for Deep Learning. A new Learning and Teaching policy for Grangemouth HS has been launched which gives opportunities to integrate many elements of the TfDL programme.
  • Kim Davidson and colleagues at Bo’ness Public PS particularly enjoyed session 6 in early October and have used all of their sessions so far to engage in really valuable professional dialogue. Kim is skillfully adapting the session materials to tailor them for her TLC and feedback from her colleagues is very positive.
  • Susan Macleod at Bankier PS also had very positive feedback from colleagues following her facilitation of sessions last year. She and colleagues want to take more time over fewer sessions from the programme this year in order to delve deeper into specific areas of classroom practice. Their chosen sessions are built into their SBNC and linked to the school improvement plan.
  • Fiona Caygill facilitated 2 sessions in Bowhouse/Victoria PS last year and will also be using session 6 this year to support development of classroom practice around HOS.
  • Pamela Webster intends to work with her colleague Rosemary McGaw to offer voluntary TLC sessions (1 per term over this session) using the programme. They will consult colleagues in Larbert Village PS about which sessions from the programme would be the most valuable.

Yvonne McBlain is the curriculum support officer with accountability for the ongoing development of the programme. She will add further posts sharing detail and evidence of impact of the programme, and the next facilitator network meeting will take place on 5th February 2015.

Professional Update

Claudia Flynn, Management Information Systems Assistant, for Falkirk Council Education Services would like to share a news article on the Professional Update Process for the attention of all GTC registered staff. Claudia has been involved in the development of CPD Manager to support the Employee Review and Development Process. She has been supporting a pilot group of users who have been testing the new system before it becomes available to all Education Services staff after Easter. This group of users included school based staff and a number of centre based staff.

The following article was recently published on the GTC Scotland website and gives an overview of everything you need to know about the Professional Update process with links for further information.

Professional Update will be introduced for all teachers in August 2014. It aims to support, maintain and enhance teachers’ continued professionalism

The key purposes of a system of Professional Update are:

•To maintain and improve the quality of our teachers as outlined in the relevant Professional Standards and to enhance the impact that they have on pupils’ learning.
•To support, maintain and enhance teachers’ continued professionalism and the reputation of the teaching profession in Scotland.

What do I need to know?

Professional Update is a continual process, which includes the following elements:

•An annual update of contact details to GTC Scotland
•Engagement in professional learning
•Self-evaluation against the appropriate GTC Scotland Professional Standard(s)
•Discussion of this engagement and the impact of this, as part of the PRD process
•Maintain a professional learning record and portfolio of evidence five-yearly confirmation of this engagement to GTC Scotland

We asked a number of leaders what Professional Update means to the profession. Here are some of their thoughts:

Download

Update your details every year

The easiest way to do this is via your MyGTCS account. You can create or access your account at: www.gtcs.org.uk/GTCS-login.aspx

Engage in Professional learning

Professional learning is what teachers do to ensure their professional knowledge and practice is informed, up-to-date and stimulating. It is important that professional learning provides rich opportunities for teachers to develop and enhance their professional knowledge and practice, in order to progress the quality of learning and teaching and school improvement. Find out more about Professional Learning at: www.gtcs.org.uk/professional-learning

We know that some supply teachers can have difficulty accessing aspects of professional learning and the Professional Review and Development (PRD) process. We are monitoring this as part of the pilot programmes, and will publish further guidance for supply teachers prior to the national roll out of Professional Update in August 2014. Equally, some registered teachers who are working outwith the education system may not have access to appropriate professional learning. We are working on guidance for such teachers, to help ensure that they will be able to participate in the Professional Update process. This will be published on: www.gtcs.org.uk/professional-update

Self-evaluate using professional standards

The GTC Scotland Professional Standards offer support for teachers as they develop their professional knowledge and skills through on-going self-evaluation and professional learning. The Standards for Registration provide a gate-keeping function for entry into teaching in Scotland and Full Registration continues to be the baseline Professional Standard for competence. For teachers who have achieved the Standards for Registration, we have developed the aspirational Standard for Career-long Professional Learning and the Standards for Leadership and Management to support their ongoing development. As the revised Standards have been designed to meet the needs of teachers at all career stages working in Scotland’s schools, all aspects of the Standards may not be relevant to teachers working outwith the school system – we are developing further guidance notes and support materials to cover these circumstances. Find out more about the GTCS Professional Standards at: www.gtcs.org.uk/standards

Discuss the impact of professional learning in the PRD process

Professional Update is based on effective, consistent PRD and high-quality professional learning focused on outcomes for a teacher’s own development as well as aiming to improve outcomes for children and young people. We know that, where PRD operates successfully, it provides a valuable opportunity for teachers to reflect on their practice and to consider how they can improve their professional skills and knowledge. GTC Scotland has a validating role in this process, helping to ensure that local authority PRD systems are robust and that teachers are enabled to demonstrate the skills they already have as well as to learn new ones. Guidelines are available on the Education Scotland website: www.educationscotland.gov.uk

Maintain a record

Maintaining a record of Professional Learning, along with a portfolio of evidence, is an integral part of the Professional Update process. We are currently exploring a range of possibilities for recording professional learning, including an online profile linked to MyGTCS. We are working to ensure this process is neither bureaucratic nor time consuming.

The system of recording that you will use for the purposes of Professional Update will vary depending on where you are currently employed. Teachers employed in local authorities will receive further information from their employers about the systems in place in their authority. We are also looking at how these may be used by supply teachers working across a number of local authorities and by teachers currently employed in roles outwith the education system.

Five-yearly confirmation of this engagement

Engagement in Professional Update is an ongoing process, with professional learning and PRD at its heart. Every five years, teachers will be required to confirm their engagement in this process with GTC Scotland. Like the professional learning record, this will be completed in a number of ways depending on the system applicable to you – MyGTCS or another online system (e.g. Gateway, SOPRA). We recognise that there will be circumstances which may make completion of the process within the designated timescale difficult, such as career breaks or extended leave, and we are developing clear guidelines for deferral processes.

In April of this year you will receive a letter and information leaflet from GTC Scotland outlining what is required of you in order to successfully complete your Professional Update. This will also provide details on how to contact GTC Scotland if you have further queries.

For more information please visit www.gtcs.org.uk/professional-update/

New Interdisciplinary Learning Blog!

Yvonne McBlain and Malcolm Wilson of Falkirk Council Service and School Improvement Team have created a new interdisciplinary learning blog. Yvonne will develop and maintain this blog as a major element of support for IDL across Falkirk Council education establishments.  She is working hard to fill the blog with useful material and valuable IDL practice. Click here to visit, and contact yvonne.mcblain@falkirk.gov.uk if you have suggestions, ideas or  interdisciplinary learning practice to share.

Primary Probationer Teachers Get to Know the Teaching for Deep Learning Programme

Yvonne McBlain and Sharon Wallace of Falkirk Curriculum Support Team recently introduced the primary probationer teachers to the Falkirk Teaching for Deep Learning Programme. During this introduction, participants experienced programme session 1 “What is Understanding”. This session explores the concept of understanding and has been used by a number of teacher learning communities in Falkirk schools. Here are some of the definitions of understanding created by the probationer teachers:

Understanding is applying and transfering knowledge flexibly as well as being able to teach others.

Understanding is achieved through repetition (perhaps in different contexts).

Understanding is transferring  the skill and  knowledge to another context. Embedding the skill through revisiting.

– apply and transfer knowledge to other areas of the curriculum

– be able to explain to others

Click here to access Session 1 through Glow, and here to see the power point presentation from Sharon and Yvonne’s session with probationer teachers.

Coffee, croissant, controversy Planning Meetings

Yvonne McBlain and Karen Thomson of Falkirk curriculum support team facilitated two lively sessions recently with principal teachers, depute and head teachers. The initial session explored how our establishments were including each element of the NAR planning flow chart in their planning processes. Discussion focused on the numbers of layers of planning being used, and how this was contributing to the improvement of teaching and learning. Participants requested a second session to enable them to bring along and share their planning layers and documentation.

So, on 10th December Julie McKenna shared how Airth Primary are using a digital tool to manage their planning. Staff use this system to create discrete and interdisciplinary units of work in the form of planning wheels with skills and other information noted. They are able to track both the depth and coverage of experiences and outcomes and the progression of skills. At Airth PS, all staff collaborate to create the annual long term plan, and their planning wheels form the rest of their planning structure, with any other detail being recorded in the weekly plans. Julie and her staff now intend to develop how they integrate their  assessment and recording into their planning. 

 Jill Stocks and Andrew Watson from Bonnybridge Primary shared how they use the Learning Unlimited tool “Realistic Record Keeping and Powerful Planning”. Bonnybridge PS staff work from the experiences and outcomes to create annual master plans for literacy, numeracy, and non core learning. Further detailed planning takes place in weekly plans, meaning that the school has two layers of planning. You can click here to see a collection of the master plans for second level. Staff are also using maths pathways to support their planning of progression in specific numeracy skills – click here to view. Jill and Andrew now intend to develop their tracking of coverage and depth of learning within the E & Os. They value the way this planning tool has enabled a significant shift away from a resource-led approach to planning, increased focus on the principles of curriculum design, and a reduction of paperwork for planning. Early years senior managers also shared their development of floor books as their main planning layer  in nursery settings. They value the way floor book planning makes visible the relevance, personalisation and choice and progression of learning for pre and ante-pre school children. It was noted that not all practitioners are comfortable yet with not having additional layers of planning and documentation.

The rest of the meeting consisted of really valuable discussion of how to effectively integrate assessment, manage tracking and monitoring, and how to enhance awareness of when each of the four contexts for learning is being addressed. Click here to see the power point presentation for this second meeting.