CUREE Newsletter May 2011
Welcome to CUREE's Whitsun Newsletter
It has been rather a strange Spring. The lateness of Easter, the density of public holidays, and the variety of school holidays has disturbed normal working patterns and made it very busy. We were pleased to work with the Pearson Centre for Policy and Learning on their recent contribution to the primary curriculum debate ‘Subject to change: should primary schools structure learning around subjects or themes?’ In addition to contributing some international research analysis, I also spoke at their launch event on 19th April drawing on a lot of evidence about effective curriculum development from around the world and from our own three year research project here at home. Through the wonders of modern technology, you can see and hear my 10 minute contribution on the Pearson TV website here. And on the subject of listening to me, you can do some more of it at the National Education Trust event at the National Gallery on 30th June, called ‘Dare to be Different: Curriculum Innovation Through Art’. Get the programme here and sign up via the NET website from the link under Useful Links.
I am very excited about our new partnership with HTI and the imminent launch of the Skein service for schools. Skein, I hear you say, what’s that? Actually it is the name of the V formation of geese flying collaboratively to preserve energy, increase efficiency and ensure they reach their goal. We think this is a good metaphor for the service described here. We think this will be important for schools considering drawing on support from all CPD providers, including teaching schools, as well as for those offering such support – whether they are Teaching schools or not. Schools offering to support others will need to model effective staff learning as well as effective ‘teaching of teachers’.
By the way, writing this reminds me just how bizarre the notion that ANY school is not a Teaching School really is – and about the pitfalls in focusing on teaching at the expense of learning! You might like to look at the ‘Sauce for the Goose’ pamphlet that sets out pedagogy for CPD – that describes how the ‘sauce’, the extra efforts we have learned to mobilise to engage young people actively in their own learning, also needs to be applied to staff learning. In the spirit of reinforcing and contextualising new ideas and information (a key feature of effective curriculum implementation that you can explore in our series of curriculum workshops), there’s a great recipe for an apple, ginger, chilli and coriander sauce in there too – which works for duck and chestnut loaf as well as for goose! So you can enliven your reflections about what’s involved in securing an effective and efficient professional learning environment by stimulating your tastebuds at the same time.
CUREE and HTI launch Skein – a new service for schools
- creates a coherent CPD approach across your school, which models, and so reinforces, effective learning approaches for staff and for pupils;
- develops your in-school CPD capacity and reduces your dependency on external providers;
- gives you the information you need to make strategic decisions about professional learning goals and needs; and
- links staff learning with pupil learning, enhancing your Ofsted evidence base.
Evidence for learning – connecting CPD with student learning
How was it for you? Student perceptions of the curriculum
Steer your staff, impress your governors
- communicating with governors about your development plans; and
- showing Ofsted inspectors how rigorous your planning is.
Going, going..! Curriculum workshops
- developing appropriately challenging experiences; and
- using CPD to embed and deepen subject knowledge.
In other news...
- implement innovative school-based training opportunities that harness existing staff expertise;
- set flexible objectives to provide staff with bespoke performance management targets;
- provide your staff with collaborative learning opportunities through peer mentoring;
- plan a training system that cascades learning and resources; and
- create a sustainable CPD programme to train staff throughout their career from ITT to SLT.
- Kate Campion, Operational Director, National College for Leadership of Schools and Children’s Services – gain official insight into the national Teaching School expansion
- Liz Francis, Director of Workforce Strategy, Standards and Qualifications, TDA – hear the latest update on the TDA’s new executive agency due to be established in April 2012.