The Court of Public Opinion
Here is a selection of the things people (and organisations) have said about CUREE over the past few years. We don't expect praise so it's nice when we get some.
Challenge Guided Pathway
"Upon receipt of your pack, I was hugely impressed by its content. I found the materials to be of excellent calibre both in terms of content and design. I spoke of Curee during the CPD session to which members of the Department responded with positivity having attended many of your courses in the past.
The feedback from my CPD session was glowing! I want to thank Curee, especially Sian and Rebecca, for helping to guide me in the selection of your resources. Your customer service was second to none and super swift, handling my query and sending the materials in the space of one day! I will definitely be purchasing from you again in the near future and I will look to attend any of your future courses that interest me. Thank you for the flyer and your ongoing support"
Comments from National Science Learning Centre, York September 2012
- “All enjoyable, most useful was going through the skills and resources and practical activities
- “I really found the afternoon practically useful. This was because it addressed some needs and provided ideas to help move my practice forward.”
- “Very good resources, really like the risk assessment. Has a number of potential used in CPD.”
- “The final role play really brings home the complexity and usefulness of coaching, the opportunity to use/see some of the supporting resources was very useful.”
- “Ideas on making CPD effective were very useful. I will embed these into the impact process on course I lead. It has been useful to explore coaching from another angle.”
CPD Update, issue 149
- “We really appreciate the depth of the report and what we are able to draw from it... No-one has ever engaged with us in this depth before... We have already spent time really reflecting and already have plans afoot for integrating the learning into our practice.” (Headteacher, Castle Secondary School)
- “The report is great – we are really delighted with it. We are going to move on the recommendations as fast as we can. We are particularly keen to take on board your points about the learning trajectories of staff as individuals and as a group so it will be very interesting to connect up with another Skein school that has an established approach to this. It’s nice to know that we also have things to offer them.” - Gill Maitland, Duchess School.
- "We found the process very valuable as it is an essential part of our self evaluation programme with CPD and PM being now very much on the Ofsted agenda." - Head, Churnet View Middle School
- “We have already spent time really reflecting and already have plans afoot for integrating the learning into our practice.” - Melanie Warnes - Head of Castle School
- “The Skein report is a really deep and meaningful level of analysis of real evidence.” - Melanie Warnes - Head of Castle School
- “We are very happy with the overall judgements and would really appreciate a conversation around the use of tools, protocols and strategies we could harness to develop reciprocal vulnerability as a strategic learning tool.” - Melanie Warnes - Head of Castle School
- “The report was very thorough... We particularly valued recommendations about how, building on our ongoing school improvement work and making small changes to existing mechanisms and structures, we could significantly strengthen our CPD and have better evidence about its impact on our staff and pupils.” (Headteacher, Rokeby Primary School)
CUREE's bespoke Route Maps
- “It is brilliant! The deputy and I have looked at it and discussed its many strengths and uses - it has already saved us time and moved us faster forward than we would have been.” - Ruth Schofield, Headteacher, Blackthorn Primary School
- “It is actually quite hard to stop following links once you get started because the information is so interesting.” - Diana Johnson, Assistant Headteacher, Oathall Community School
- "an extremely valuable and user friendly tool." - Jill Wilson, Headteacher, Oathall Community School
- "It is really helpful to see the interconnections between the research areas we have chosen." - Jill Wilson, Headteacher, Oathall Community School
- "The links work well and the key to the type of document is also very helpful when looking for information to pass on to colleagues. The powerpoints for example are especially useful for groups to view together at community meetings, whereas the tasters can be taken away by individuals or pairs to work on between sessions. The summaries save a lot of time but for anyone thinking of taking the research further there are the longer articles available. As a school we are only just beginning to make use of the routemap and already the feedback is excellent." - Diana Johnson, Assistant Headteacher, Oathall Community School
Kenton, 18th April 2012
- I feel more confident with the idea of using specific, clear questions in a professional conversation
- Use of learning agreement which I think is a good tool for starting a follow-up session
- It helped me to think of it as a “learning” process
- Structuring questions to address, reflex and clarify
- Helped to support and develop my understanding of what a coach needs to be and how coaching can support learning
Great Bar School, 16th April 2012
- Putting what I have learned into practice
- Be confident to use and extend existing knowledge
- Share knowledge with others in my department
- Greater collaboration with other staff
- Reflect more on own practice in 1:1 seminars
- Plan for small group activities
- Collaboration more with other staff members
- To encourage/support independent work
- To use positive group discussion
- Lisa was very good. Made training fun and relevant
CUREE's role in promoting and developing evidence based practice
OECD identified CUREE is one of the two organisations making a leading contribution to England’s premier place in the field of research and evidence informed practice. They “identify and summarise published research findings with particular users in mind, as well as providing quality assurance. The summaries .. are written by specialists in web based communication. The digests serve as standards for access to quality research.
- OECD (2002)
"I have come across others in the past who talk about research etc. and have come away feeling overwhelmed - they made it seem so complex, time consuming etc. But you have a great knack of making it all seem so do-able - and it was. I truly believe that anyone could do a small scale research project - as long they have a genuine interest in improving their understanding of teaching and learning. And I would absolutely recommend it too."
- Sam Alvarez
“I am in the process of developing a coaching team within our school and since September have set up a series of workshops developing the teams coaching skills, using the CUREE activities, which have been really well received”.
“Thanks for your advice, it really helps to get an outside perspective and reassurance that we are on the right track!!”
- Rachel Parnell
Comments on effective mentoring and coaching
EM&C really does produce results, but don’t just take our word for it: at CUREE we are always glad to hear feedback, and we are happy to say that many would recommend EM&C. Here are just some of the many positive comments we have received (and we would include some negative ones too, if we had any, honest!)
- The Effective Mentoring and Coaching Packs? - In a word – GOOD – I’ve used the packs several times now and they have always gone down well. In particular I’ve found it very easy and very useful to put together different programmes together for different participants and for different time allocations. So I’m very pleased. - Graham Cotgreave, The Learning Institute, Callington College.
- Thank you for an interesting & thought provoking day! - B Hewitt-Best from Owton Manor Primary School, Hartlepool
- One key thing I have learned is the importance of co-coaching and its relevance to enjoying teaching as well as reaching targets.
- We have fundamentally changed our CPD to facilitate the need to co-coach.” A quote from a Leicestershire school at a recent presentation day for their local authority programme.
- Your ideas on mentoring prove that supporting someone to find the answers within themselves can be much more effective and sustainable.
- As a small LA becoming involved with CUREE has proved to be a very fruitful and positive partnership for us. The materials have been created to powerfully support schools’ engagement with developing their own coaching and mentoring practice. They appeal to teachers, and because of the way the materials are structured and presented, they help schools to focus on key approaches and work on these so that they can see how they are progressing and understand how coaching (and mentoring) supports their CPD and the growth of their staff as part of a learning community. The CUREE Coaching and Mentoring suite offers schools the chance to explore coaching and mentoring more deeply, with a starting point that they themselves have chosen, and with materials that illustrate, exemplify, and illuminate the thinking and reflection that their community need to engage in as they take their coaching practice forward. - Ruth Chalkley, from Hartlepool LA
- For testimonials on individual packs from the Effective Mentoring and Coaching suite of resources, click here.
Lead Practitioner Coach Programme
- The activities we did (on Friday), really made me rethink what kind of a leader I want to become. Your ideas on mentoring prove that supporting someone to find the answers within themselves can be much more effective and sustainable. - Alex Savage Director of Training School Notre Dame High School email on 2nd December 08
- I should like to congratulate you on the tasters. I’ve thought for some time that, as a profession, we needed a broker between educational researchers (whose work is, I’m afraid, not widely read outside the world of educational research) and hard-pressed teachers. CUREE seems to be providing just such a service. - Peter Emmerson email
- Research tasters “encourage the use of high-order questions. This style of questioning models good practice to ITE students. It allows mentors and students to reflect upon their wider professional role, as well as having many links with subject teaching through the development of skills such as speaking and listening. It has relevance to all practitioners, regardless of their experience and the age range at which they teach. - Ally Daubney reviewing on behalf of the Teacher Training Resource Bank.
The Research Informed Practice Site (TRIPS) digests
- What a good initiative! The comprehensive summary is better than we could have produced: informative, adequate and practice oriented. The implications section contains most relevant questions for further thinking. - Gert Rijlaarsdam
The NQT Mentoring Programme
- The course helped me develop the confidence to push meetings on and be more business like through questioning skills.
- As a co-coach it has totally transformed the way in which I see “mentoring”.
- I’ve learned a lot about how the mentee influences the meetings and how co-coaching is led by questions.
- I have been thinking more thoroughly about group work – how to use it to the maximum – talking really helps!
- Any educational establishment that can engender an atmosphere of mutual respect and learning can only ever benefit staff and students. The more we help each other as learners, the more we help the most important people: our students.
- I will be able to create more open relationships between teachers – more forum discussions.
- A goal for using the programme and resources is to make everyone who is involved have better lessons, enjoy teaching more with the student getting more from lessons.
- What on earth have you done with my NQTs? They came back to school on fire with ideas and full of confidence about managing and taking risks. - a head teacher in Tower Hamlets a week after the second programme day.
Sauce for the Goose
- I have seen the 'Sauce for the Goose' leaflet and think it is very good. It really makes some serious points in an accessible way. - Mike Waters, QCA
- 'Sauce for the Goose' is a gem! - Jim Rose
Local Authority quotes on Effective Mentoring and Coaching
- Evidence from research about the impact of the role of an effective coach is very positive. Everyday experience tells us how useful it is to have a non-judgemental “friend” who can prompt us to ask ourselves key questions about our performance – what works well and how it might be even better. This attribute is a key set of skills that ASTs need and should bring to their role. In fact it is part of the national standards (P10, E14 and A3) that potential ASTs must meet. Portsmouth LA has used the excellent CUREE training and materials to enhance the capability of its AST team to coach staff, to coach each other and to train others to coach so that we continue to build capacity in our schools. Jerry Goddard, Portsmouth LA
- As a small LA becoming involved with CUREE has proved to be a very fruitful and positive partnership for us. The materials have been created to powerfully support schools’ engagement with developing their own coaching and mentoring practice. They appeal to teachers, and because of the way the materials are structured and presented, they help schools to focus on key approaches and work on these so that they can see how they are progressing and understand how coaching (and mentoring) supports their CPD and the growth of their staff as part of a learning community. The CUREE Coaching and Mentoring suite offers schools the chance to explore coaching and mentoring more deeply, with a starting point that they themselves have chosen, and with materials that illustrate, exemplify, and illuminate the thinking and reflection that their community need to engage in as they take their coaching practice forward. - Ruth Chalkley, Hartlepool LA
Early Years focus groups
- I was invited to attend a research group ...to discuss the planning, assessment of the Early Years Foundation stage in Droitwich. I wanted to express that I really enjoyed the experience of being listened to and expressing my view on the matter of Childcare. I work as a Deputy Manager at a private day care setting. - Kelly McLeod Children's Centre Manager, Droitwich
- It turned out to be most informative. It was wonderful to get the opportunity to meet with other people working with the EYFS. Chatting to them gave us a good insight into how it is being used in other settings and we could discuss any problems we were facing and also what we liked about it!! - Tammy, Busy Bees Nursery, Bromsgrove
CPD Network Day
- “Thank you very much for your time and valuable input at our CPD Network Day.. The feedback was exceptionally good from our delegates who felt that they had gained additional skills and knowledge as a result of your presentation.” - Debbie Horn, Torbay Council
Inside EvidenceHow can assessment help teachers and students to personalise learning experiences?
- This one was particularly interesting in that it alerted me to the idea of effective questioning - raising questions to probe students' understanding. In thinking about how to raise the right questions - I came across reciprocal teaching, where students raise their own questions. I felt that students (with guidance) would know better than I would what questions they needed answering in order for them to improve their understanding of accounting (and more importantly of learning in general).
The same article also alerted me to the idea of comment only marking to structure students' learning. I felt that my students in particular were too hung up on marks - and who had got what - making their learning experience very negative and competitive. They seemed more interested in comparing their performance against someone else - rather than on what they could do to improve their work. I felt that I could build on their need to look at someone else's work (or mark as it was prior to the research project) - by having them read and assess each other's work. This enabled them to compare their work (rather than their mark) with other students - and identify how they might have approached the task differently and possibly better. They were also encouraged to give each other feedback - to help each other improve and develop (creating a much more positive and collaborative - rather than competitive - learning environment).
And again in that same article I was pointed in the direction of sharing the assessment criteria with the students - but I developed that idea further and helped the students work together to write their own assessment criteria. This helped them to appreciate what makes for good writing in accounting and what exactly is meant by the various skills (like analysis and evaluation) in the context of our subject.
- It was this article that made me realise that my students may benefit taking more ownership of group discussions - which meant less involvement on my part. I helped the students to structure their discussions following the assessment of each others work and when giving each other feedback - helping them to appreciate what was important, so that they needed me less and less to direct their discussions and so that they could focus on what they felt would best help them improve and develop their learning. In this way the students became much more involved in the assessment process and giving each other feedback became a more natural part of their learning experience.
- This article was particularly helpful in helping me to appreciate the connection between some previous research I did (for my Masters degree) looking at how to help students develop their analytical and evaluative skills and this more recent research into assessment for learning. In my previous research I identified that students found it much easier to learn subject material than they did to learn about learning (i.e. how to learn). I investigated lots of different strategies for helping students learn how to become better learners (i.e. more critical, independent, reflective)."
Mentoring and Coaching Training
- "I just wanted to say how enjoyable and thought provoking I found the presentation. I will definitely be putting some of your ideas into practice here to make the difference."
- “I went on a coaching course hosted at Weald of Kent. It was absolutely fantastic and really useful for my role as an AST and will also to go towards my own professional development as it is one of my performance management targets”. - Kim Whiddett, Hayesbrook School in Tonbridge
- “My next steps are to introduce ideas into senior dept. Thank you for a very interesting morning”. - Workshop at Dorothy Goodman Special School
Comments on the CUREE website
- “This (CUREE) website is an excellent resource for encouraging teachers to begin to think about how they can improve the interface between teaching and learning in their own teaching situations by engaging in basic research inquiry. The materials promote good practice through the types of questions they pose and the reflective teaching and learning cycle which they encourage”. - Ally Daubney reviewing on behalf of the Teacher Training Resource Bank.
Feedback on Paul Hamlyn Foundation reports
“Please pass on my thanks to all at CUREE who had a role in producing these excellent reports”
“We are really pleased with the hypothesis reports received… and feel they will make an extremely valuable contribution (along with the case studies) to our interim dissemination of the impacts of LA and the writing of our first 'resource'”
“Thank you for these reports, which we have all found to be very helpful and a solid body of material testifying to the impact of the initiative over the first two years. Thank you... for your work on them”