The International Centre for Leadership in Teaching & Learning


OLEVI in the UAE

OLEVI returned to the UAE, this May, to facilitate a bespoke ten-day programme for the RAK Academy. Twenty-five teaching staff, from across the academy’s three schools, and their senior leadership, came together to further develop their understanding of how the OLEVI ethos and coaching approach, has a positive impact on developing quality teaching and learning.

The ten-day programme, facilitated by Eddie Hannifan and Chris McGeehan, saw delegates explore in-depth how the coaching model would work within each individual school and across their academy; its relevance to their unique context; and the benefits it would provide to the school, staff and pupils.

The group attended a delegate-level POC programme to enable a greater number of people to be trained to adopt a coaching model more often – in their classrooms and with their colleagues – and provide a common language to support a coherent and collaborative teaching and learning environment.

During the ten days the group also explored in-depth OLEVI’s big conceptual models: The Four Capitals; Teaching, Leadership and Coaching (TLC); and DR ICE. This ensured a greater understanding of how these permeated through the OLEVI programmes and the models within them.

This gave senior leaders the opportunity to see ‘the bigger picture’ of how the OLEVI programmes form a cohesive structure for professional development, and the value this has to impact on improved learning journeys for their pupils. It lead to discussions about taking ownership around the level of support delegates should expect after attending a programme, to ensure maximum benefit is achieved, and encouraged questions such as: ‘When will those on the programmes meet up again?’ and ‘What support do the delegates have after the programmes to implement, grow and develop what they have learnt?’

“The ten days were very positive – committed to realising the potential, staff even came in on their day off!” said Eddie Hannifan. “There was a strong sense that the programmes were not viewed as an intervention, but seen as an investment in those who wanted to become the best, and then go on to become better than the best. The programmes became viewed as a reward, an entitlement to those who wanted to be engaged in the process and become part of a new, collaborative, open-door, culture.”

“The strength of this ten-day bespoke programme was that it brought together individuals who may otherwise not have come together,” he continued. “It enabled these different individuals, from across phases, departments, and the individual schools within the academy, to get together, maybe for the first time. This helped break down barriers, and gave the group time to just see and focus on what really matters: ‘Why are you here?’. It gave delegates the time to reflect on their practice and think more deeply about it.”

Chris McGeehan added: “Working at a senior level with the executive heads and head teachers of the three schools, helped them identify the good practice that already exists within their schools and see how and why the OLEVI programmes are beneficial in developing this. The schools now have a clear vision about what they want to achieve, but also the tools to go about achieving it.”


A month later, Charlotte Hughes of the RAK Academy said:  “The delegates have been recording the impact the programmes have had. They have started to facilitate what they learned in their classroom practice, using models such as Comfort Stretch Panic (CSP) to engage and challenge their pupils, and sharing and collaborating on ideas at planning meetings. The team is raring to go and we will be introducing OLEVI concepts Academy-wide during our induction week when we return from the summer break.”

What RAK delegates said a month on:

“Inspiring, Positive change through a supportive and encouraging environment.”

“OLEVI – A new way of looking at teaching.”

“Empowered to grow and learn from others to improve teaching and learning.”

“Realised that there were many other like minded colleagues.”

“OLEVI has made me really think about my own goals and how I could make the most of coaching sessions in the future. OLEVI has helped me to help my students get to know their different zones of motivation/stress.”

“OLEVI has got me working on my global listening skills – at home, at school, everywhere!”

“I have become much more reflective and have really developed my questioning skills. I feel I have learned how to make listening and questioning active instead of passive.”

“Improved my working relationships. Enabled me to value contributions other staff can make. Enabled me to constantly reflect on my practice.”

“Motivation by encouraging self-development and professionalism.”

“It inspired me to support others in new and inventive ways.”

“Has made me reflect on my own practice as a teacher and empowered me to use a more facilitator approach to meetings and CPD sessions.”

“It made me more reflective about my teaching. It enabled me to become a better listener to what my students have to say – power of questioning.”

“OLEVI has provided me with more tools that I need to empower my students and deepen their thinking.”

“OLEVI has changed the way I listen to, and respond to, my class and staff. It has made me question the impact and purpose of my teaching.”

“ Made me reflect upon how to make children really think deeply and how to make them aware of their own deep thinking.”

“The OLEVI approach encouraged positivity and self-development.”

“The coaching model is helping me to develop an effective team.”

“Coaching has enabled me to listen, guide, and support others in an open-minded way.”

“It has allowed for me to become more reflective of my own practice and empowered to make changes.”

“It has taught me to be more of a listener and questioner rather a talker and sharer of my own experiences.”

“Reignited my passion for self development.”

“Showed me the way to show students how to focus.”