This blog is managed by Shaun Allison, Chris Runeckles and Martyn Simmonds from Durrington High School, West Sussex, England, the lead school in the Durrington Multi Academy Trust. Shaun is also an author – details of his books can be found here. His most recent book, ‘Making Every Lesson Count’, co-authored with Andy Tharby is available here.
The purpose of this blog is to find and share the good practice that exists within our own school and others – the bright spots…
We value CPD very highly at DHS and have developed a variety of ways to support and encourage teacher collaboration and the sharing/development of best practice. These are some of the ways we have done it in recent years – and the inspiration for many of the blogs on here:
- 15 Minute Forums – These are weekly meetings (brief – 15 minutes, every Thursday) where staff showcase and share effective strategies and ideas on a specific area of pedagogy. The topic will be posted on Twitter by @shaun_allison at the beginning of every week with the hashtag #15mf, so that ideas from outside DHS can contribute to the discussion by people posting their ideas on this Padlet page. The schedule for the year can be viewed here.
- Subject Planning and Development Sessions – once a fortnight, subject teams meet and discuss what they are teaching over the next fortnight, and how to teach it most effectively. Further details here.
- Making every lesson count – Teacher Development Programme – based on the book by Shaun Allison & Andy Tharby, this is a 9 month professional development programme for teachers, from all schools. Details here.
- Subject Pedagogy Development Sessions – During INSET days, subject teams will meet to discuss best practice in their area, with a specific focus e.g. teaching difficult topics & misconceptions; modelling; feedback etc.
- EduBook Club – All classroom based staff are a member of a EduBook Club who meet during INSET days to discuss their book – and how it has impacted on their practice. More here.
- Bright Spots – Very simple – walk around your school, go in classrooms and look for effective teaching strategies. Then share them. See here.
- Research Bulletins – Research & Development Leader Andy Tharby produces a half termly digest of recent updates from educational research. Archive here.
- Research Forum – A group of staff meet to discuss a specific educational research paper.
- Learning Development Groups – Cross curricular groups of teachers who meet six times a year to discuss and share good practice, around a specific pedagogical theme. The idea is that after each LDG meeting, each teacher commits to trying out at least one new teaching strategy – and then reports back at the next meeting. A development of Dylan Wiliam’s TLC (Teacher Learning Community) idea.
- Practitioner Research Projects – Teachers who receive a paid bursary to carry out a school based enquiry project on an area of pedagogy of their choice. Further details here.
- The Big Idea – At the beginning of every staff meeting (or INSET day), all staff have to write down one good strategy they have used (or seen used) on a particular aspect of pedagogy. These are then collated into a booklet. See here.
- Marginal Gains Board – in the staff room (by the photocopier) – a board where staff write down and pin up good strategies they have used. See photo.
- Learning walks and talks – many of the best ideas are picked up when simply walking around the school and talking to staff.
- Teach Meet – held annually, in June. A great way to hear excellent ideas from other schools. DHS TeachMeet website.
- Professional Learning Visits – On one of the INSET days in 2012, all teachers went to visit another school, to gather best practice. This was the starting point for a great deal of cross-school collaboration work. Similar visits are still encouraged throughout the year.
- Blog of the week – Every week a noteworthy teacher blog post is distributed by email to all teachers at DHS – to inspire and share the good practice from other schools. Archive here.
- IRIS remote observation technology – We have been developing the use of IRIS connect within our school, as a coaching/reflection tool. We are now keen to develop this further and work on remote coaching with other schools.
- CPD Events – we host a number of CPD events that colleagues from other schools are welcome to attend. Details here.