Tag Archives: teacher learning communities

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.

Latest Developments in the Teaching for Deep Learning

Yvonne McBlain of Falkirk Education Services Curriculum Support team has been working with our team of facilitators for the Falkirk Teaching for Deep Learning programme. There are 18 trainee facilitators for the programme – 15 from the primary sector and 3 from the secondary sector. Some are already taking on a distributed leadership role in facilitating teacher learning communities within their own establishments. Others are willing to facilitate sessions across the authority, and anyone wishing to access their services should contact yvonne.mcblain@falkirk.gov.uk . The latest training meeting on 3rd October was the first opporunity for the facilitators to practise delivering the programme content to each other. Kim Davidson from Bo’ness Public PS, Jaime Thomson and Shirley Gallivan of Comely Park PS led the rest of the group through session 12 “Using professional collaboration to reflect upon & support teaching for deep learning”. The group was able to experience this session as participants, and then give feedback to Kim, Jaime and Shirley on their delivery. Read some of the feedback below:

Reflected and developed comments really well; Calm and purposeful

Pace really good – just right amount of time to reflect; Nice conversational feel

Allowed discussion to keep going – allowed it to go deeper; Circulated well

Deep understanding of content;  Made participants feel comfortable

This meeting also gave Laura Wallace, Fiona Caygill and Mary Jalland an opportunity to share how sessions they had facilitated in their schools had gone. Staff colleagues gave these facilitators very positive feedback about the value of the sessions for them. Mary reported that her colleagues had put into practice some of their actions from the session the very next day! This training session was a very positive experience for all concerned, and we look forward to the remaining 3 meetings this year where the other facilitators get a chance to deliver their chosen session to our group. Click here to visit the Falkirk Teaching for Deep Learning Glow group and browse the session materials. * You may have to request permission to join the group – just click and ensure you type a short message explaining who you are and what establishment you work in.

Update on our Teaching for Deep Learning Programme

Yvonne McBlain from Falkirk’s Curriculum Support team has now created a page for each of our Teaching for Deep Learning sessions here in Glow. Five of our secondary schools have used, or are beginning to use these sessions as content for their Teacher Learning Communities and working groups. Nineteen of our primary schools have already accessed at least one of the sessions – sometimes as a whole staff, and other times within smaller collegiate groups. We have 18 TfDL (Teaching for Deep Learning) facilitators who are being trained to deliver the sessions – some want to do this in their own schools only, whereas others are happy to make themselves available across the authority where needed. Four of our secondary schools are modelling a whole range of Donaldson Review recommendations regarding professional learning in their use of the programme. Most have recruited teachers interested in becoming facilitators within their schools, who then attend an information session (Click to view) on the programme from Yvonne. Each school is then deciding how they can enable staff to identify which sessions should be priorities for their professional learning this session. Once these decisions are made, teacher learning communities interested in the same sessions can be formed. The same model of distributed leadership (facilitators) and professional autonomy through self-evaluation is being taken forward by some of our primary schools “in house” too. Feedback from participants of  sessions so far confirms the value of the programme as one of the ways in which we can move Falkirk schools from Good to Great.

Falkirk Teaching for Deep Learning Programme

Falkirk’s Teaching for Deep Learning programme is now available to support school-based professional learning. This programme consists of 19 sessions focused on aspects of effective teaching which are essential to the promotion of deep learning in our pupils. The sessions are active, intellectually stimulating and designed to be experienced by collaborative groups of practitioners such as Teacher Learning Communities.

 “Teaching Scotland’s Future” said that the “foundation of successful education lie in the quality of teachers and their leadership. High quality people achieve high quality outcomes for children.” Without a doubt what it means to be a teacher is being re-conceptualised.  Enabling our teachers to operate as enquiring practitioners and encouraging their self efficacy is at the heart of this programme.

 Trialling in a range of establishments this session has demonstrated how flexible the content of the programme is, and that there are varied ways in which it can be used.  View these variations in the document at the end of this post and consider if any are useful to you as you self-evaluate and create your school improvement plans. 

 The programme was created by Susan Dyer, Head teacher at Bankier Primary School, Gillian Campbell, PE teacher from Braes High School and Sharon Wallace and Yvonne McBlain from our Curriculum Support Team. Colleagues across our service have helped the team revise and improve the programme and we have a team of 16 facilitators currently training to deliver it.

 I am confident that the programme aligns with the recommendations of the Donaldson Review, the new suite of GTCS standards & Professional Update and our own Employee Review and Development process. I recommend it to you.

 To discuss how this programme might support your School Improvement Planning in more detail, contact yvonne.mcblain@falkirk.gov.uk . Click here  to view a summary of programme sessions.