Why were you drawn to OLEVI?

We were a new MAT of five schools in rural Bedfordshire – two secondary and three primary. It was a time of real transition – Bedfordshire schools have been converting from a 3-tier system to a 2-tier system (lower/middle/upper to primary/secondary). In addition, one of our primaries was a brand new free school.

Our priorities were to ensure that there was a consistent understanding of what fantastic teaching and learning looked like. It was important that this be embedded at all levels, from teaching assistants to senior leaders.

We chose OLEVI over other CPD providers as we were attracted by the cross-phase nature of the programmes, and by the fact that DR ICE provided a consistent language that all staff in our schools could use with one another.

We also liked the fact that OLEVI’s TLC syllabus of programmes provided professional development opportunities for staff at every stage of their career. We were particularly attracted by the idea of “role-modelling learning”. We wanted our MAT to have a strong culture of learning, not just for our pupils, but for our staff too.

How did you use the programmes to achieve your goals?

  • After completing a programme, in Learning 3s, staff were asked to co-plan, teach, observe and feed back to one another, using DR ICE as a framework. They then had to feed back to the whole staff. This allowed opportunities to reflect upon and share best practice – their feed back on this as a CPD exercise was overwhelmingly positive.
  • TAs were visibly more confident after presenting to their OTAP cohort. The OLEVI models meant that they could converse with teachers about pedagogy in a way they were not able to before, and they presented back to staff at their own schools too.
  • All observations across the MAT now use DR ICE as a scaffold.
  • Departments at secondary were asked to unpick what DR ICE looks like in each subject area. Examples were then collated into a handbook, and shared with all staff.
  • Staff meetings routinely revisit a theme from the programmes – e.g. questioning or assessment – so staff can share new thinking and developments

“Research shows that if you want to drive up standards, empowering CPD is the thing that has the biggest impact, and OLEVI offers this in spades.”

Sharnbrook Academy Federation