Helenswood celebrates becoming an OLEVI DOC
Helenswood has been a strong advocate of the OLEVI programmes for over three years, having used them as part of their own school improvement strategy and becoming outstanding facilitators of the OLEVI ITP and OTP within HACA – The Hastings Academies and College Alliance, and throughout the Hastings region.
Earlier this month we visited the school to ask Principal Lucy Monk, and Director of HACA, Rachel Tizard, what it means to them to be a Designated OLEVI Centre.
“Three years ago we took a step back to see what we needed to do to shift the culture of teaching and learning in our school. We wanted to do it in such a way that staff felt empowered by other professionals, and not by going on a course that was a tick box system. It was important that our staff were developed from within, with a sense of leadership from within. This approach was going to be crucial to our school and also crucial to the development of teaching and learning in our town.
Our vision was very much aligned with the OLEVI programmes, which is about developing and empowering teaching staff to know and understand what good and outstanding teaching feels like in their classroom.
We saw that by using the OLEVI programmes, the OLEVI culture and ethos and being part of the OLEVI network, we would be not only shifting the culture of our own school but in the wider town as well. It is that philosophy – that is all pervading through everything – which creates a mindset where everyone thinks about: ‘How can I build on that moral capital in my role/part of the organisation?’.
We very much see ourselves as role-models and feel that we are able to role-model what OLEVI stands for. Our commitment to follow-up those who go through the programmes embeds what is learnt and ensures a lasting impact on day-to-day practice. Whilst, the peer-coaching model helps develop an environment of open exchange and engagement where everyone is valued and is part of the journey.
As a DOC we will be able to develop and widen the schools we can work with which is really exciting. It will not only benefit other schools but also us as we bring back knowledge from working with other people, which in turn will help us constantly move forward and be right at the cutting edge of discussion about teaching and learning.”