“Life as a teacher begins the day you realise you are always a learner”
Teacher Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is such an important part of what we do here at BVIS. It is a commitment that we believe in strongly, to enable our staff to constantly develop their professional practice for the benefit of our students. Research demonstrates that when teachers are themselves learners , and when students see that their teachers are also engaged in learning, that it has a very positive effect on student progress. So much of it goes on throughout the year that is unseen by the majority of our community that I wanted to highlight some of the many things that we have been doing.
This term, twelve staff have been engaged in the Teaching English In The Mainstream Classroom (TESMC) This is a terrific course that enhances teachers pedagogical skills across all subject areas in developing student language levels in English. We have invested in two of our teachers so that they are accredited to deliver this course. In order to pass, the teachers involved have to complete 20 hours of work - both taught and at home - and all of it is directly applicable to their daily jobs. My thanks to John Hennigan, Head of EAL and Debbie Murray Smith for delivering this.
During the year, we have also had staff engaging in Nord Anglia leadership programmes. We were pleased to be able to present the achievement certificates to Angus McKie and Chris Dale in assembly at the end of last term, in front of the students so that they too could celebrate the success of these staff. We currently have three other teachers on the same course and they will be completing this at the start of next term. The middle leadership course is provided by Nord Anglia and involves a residential course, followed by six months of monthly tasks, where each participant is also attached to a global tutor group - engaging, supporting and learning with teachers and tutors from all over the world in the NAE family. We also have two staff conducting Master’s Programmes with King’s College London, also facilitated through Nord Anglia. Participation in all of these courses serve well the staff and student bodies.
Other global resources open to us mean that teachers are able to engage in online and taught courses , through Nord Anglia, and participate in the many opportunities for professional development that we can access through being a member of FOBISIA, where teachers can meet up with other professionals from the region to share great practice.
Continuing professional development is not just about external or accredited courses. Throughout the year, we have an in-depth programme that enables staff to share, present and learn from each other. We have had a focus of professional learning sessions on a range of important topics to support the learning needs of our students, including a focus on learning technologies - and how they can enhance students in the classroom and at home - following the introduction of our BYOD policy. We have also had sessions looking at language acquisition, differentiation and ‘stretch and challenge’ to look at how we can provide appropriate challenge for every student.
We also have a programme where teachers go and observe each other's lessons and feedback to one another. We use video technology so that teachers are able to record themselves teach and reflect on their practice. This is very powerful and directly impacts the experience that our children are getting in the classroom.
My thanks to Mrs Debbie Murray Smith and Ms Emma Corkery for organising our CPD programme this year - and for all our teachers and TAs who have led, shared and participated in this programme of on-going teacher learning.