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Schools leading change and growing excellence

Alison Beane, Executive Headteacher, Mary Rose Academy, talks about how a focus on facilitating the ITP and OTP has helped foster a culture of Joint Practice Development and embed an “open door” approach to growing excellence in schools.

‘The Mary Rose Academy first became involved with the OLEVI Improving and Outstanding Teacher Programmes in January 2012, when the school decided to take the opportunity, offered by the Portsmouth Teaching School Alliance, to train three of our leadership team as facilitators.

Having previously been identified as outstanding classroom practitioners, and completed the OTP programme themselves, these staff members became convinced that having our own facilitators could help to transform teaching and learning across the school, and contribute to raising standards across the city of Portsmouth.

Within weeks of becoming OLEVI facilitators each led on either the ITP or OTP to enable them to develop their face-to-face skills and become confident with the wide range of resource materials offered by the programmes.

We quickly began to utilise the learning models, materials and activities within our school and adopted the philosophy and principles of the OLEVI programmes, leading us to make a radical shift away from CPD to Joint Practice Development (JPD).

We formed learning trios within the teaching team, using each other’s expertise to move teaching forward within the school. Teachers were given the opportunity to visit other classrooms reciprocally, working cross phase and often cross subject. Each observation had a focus, identified by the teacher being observed. Staff positively embraced the OLEVI ethos “developmental not judgemental“ mantra, focusing on the positives and suggesting an “even better if” to enable colleagues to improve their practice. Feedback from teachers has been overwhelmingly favourable.

A really good opportunity, much more useful than formal observations as it was focussed on only one aspect of my teaching. It created a positive discussion afterwards which has resulted in some clear developments for me to implement in my classroom practice.

Delegate, Mary Rose Academy

GROWING OUR STAFF

Having facilitators has also enabled us to include the ITP and OTP in our teachers’ professional development entitlement. All teachers access the appropriate programme on a rotational basis and we are already seeing impact in terms of the judgements in teaching standards across the school. So far 8 teachers within the school have accessed one of the programmes and, of that 8, all have shown improvements in teaching and 7 have recorded consistently outstanding formal lesson observations.

All recently qualified teachers take part in the ITP as part of their ongoing training even if their teaching is consistently judged to be good or outstanding. It is seen as an opportunity to share good practice and learn from other settings.

IMPACT

We believe the impact of the programme has been hugely significant in raising the standard of teaching and learning within our school. In 2012/13 formal observations included 20% outstanding lessons, in 2013/14 this number increased to 75% outstanding. This was confirmed in our Ofsted Inspection in October 2013 where inspectors reported: “Outstanding teaching in the vast majority of lessons is the key to pupils’ high quality achievements. Teaching typically enables all groups of pupils to make excellent progress in their learning and behaviour.”

Outstanding teaching in the vast majority of lessons is the key to pupils’ high quality achievements. Teaching typically enables all groups of pupils to make excellent progress in their learning and behaviour.

Ofsted 2013, Mary Rose Academy

In December 2013 we engaged with the Challenge Partners programme, having our first joint review within the school. in January 2014. Challenge Partners recognised the impact of the programme on learning and teaching noting that: “Teachers are very clear about what it is they want the pupils to learn and are very creative in the way they plan tasks which capture their interest, engage and motivate them. Learning is fun for both the staff and the pupils and risk taking alongside reflection is encouraged. Coaching, mentoring and other strategies are used in order to promote consistency of approach and outstanding teaching.”

FUTURE PLANS

We plan to build on the success of the OTP and ITP programmes this year. We have now trained two teachers to enable them to deliver the Power of Coaching module from the OTP. Learning trios have now become coaching trios, with an emphasis on using coaching skills to enable colleagues to continue to drive up teaching standards.’