This term, 300 teachers, governors and senior leaders from schools in Northern Ireland came together for a ‘Celebration Event’ to celebrate, and recognise, their involvement in the OLEVI programmes run by Teaching & Learning Schools Northern Ireland – TLS(NI).
Spearheaded by Paul McClenaghan, Executive Head of Strandtown Primary School, Belfast, the TLS(NI) is a group of schools which collaborate in the professional development of teaching staff, and the development of pedagogic practice. After much research the group decided that the facilitation of the OLEVI programmes and model of professional learning would give their teachers the best possible professional development, and implemented the roll-out of our ITP, OTP and OFP programmes across schools in Northern Ireland.
This prestigious ‘Celebration Event’, hosted at Stranmillis University College, Belfast, showcased the impact the programmes have had on teachers’ growth and development, their classroom practice, their school’s culture, and the learning outcomes of their pupils.
In his introductory presentation, Paul McClenaghan spoke with passion outlining the history of the three-year programme, its present position and future growth. Keynote speakers included guest of honour, the Minister of Education for Northern Ireland, Mr Peter Weir MLA, Education and Training Inspectorate NI, John Anderson, and members of the TLS(NI) steering group.
Two of the facilitators and two participants in the programmes were interviewed by Paul Bell, Principal of Botanic Primary School, Belfast, about their experiences. The Q & A session gave insight into the effectiveness and impact of the programmes. The facilitators spoke in glowing terms of the colleagues they worked with and about the skills they used in all aspects of their work in senior levels in the school. The participants spoke of how they had enjoyed the time to think, the practical nature of the programmes, and how they had felt energised again in the classroom.
Principals of the schools, where the programmes are in action, shared what mechanisms they had in place to audit data and measure the impact on learners. This enabled principals and heads from schools outside of the programme to hear and see firsthand the impact the programmes have had on the quality of teaching, and learning outcomes of pupils.
The day was marked by all participants of the programmes being presented with certificates in recognition of their achievements, by guest of honour, Mr Peter Weir, who thanked them for their commitment to the children of Northern Ireland. He said that he valued greatly the programmes and the professional development afforded to teachers.
Attending the event, OLEVI MD, Eddie Hannifan, commented: “Great value was placed on the delegates’ achievements. The TLS(NI) really champion the development and growth of teaching and learning. It was a pleasure and privilege to attend the celebration event.”