cbleadinglearning-3275758This issue of Curriculum Briefing focuses on a coherent and comprehensive approach to developing the professional development of all staff as a key way of improving teaching and learning in your school

To secure ongoing improvements to teaching and learning across your school, you need to ensure all of your staff are equipped with the skills needed to deliver what is required in practice.

This issue of Curriculum Briefing brings together experts in learning leadership to show you new ways to manage the learning that goes on in your school, so you can be sure you have seized every opportunity to empower your staff constantly to improve on their teaching.

Leading Learning: Empowering Teaching can help you to access new ways to work with your teaching team, to raise their performance, and to help each individual achieve their potential. It can aid you in finding out how staff can act as mentors to colleagues to take their learning about the curriculum to a new level and discover how to track the learning power in classrooms across the school and then use this information to improve teaching.

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Curriculum Briefing is published three times a year and each issue tackles a different topic to help you fulfil your responsibilities in a specific area of curriculum management. The purpose of Curriculum Briefing is to give you an in-depth look at the main management issues, disseminate research findings, and share innovative practice from schools on tackling different cross-curricular issues.


Professional development: moving forwards to a brighter future

The General Teaching Council for England (GTC) was a radical voice, arguing that investing in teacher development was crucial to raising standards. The climate has changed significantly, with learning and reflection both becoming more and more important within the teaching profession. In the overview, Carol Adams, chief executive of the General Teaching Council for England, charts the advances in professional development, outlining key ways curriculum managers can engage all staff in learning to secure more effective teaching and learning.

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Leading learning to develop new skills

To lead learning within a team, you need particular skills, knowledge and understanding. From how to run meetings and choose the best leadership style, to how best to analyse staff performance and communicate to maximum effect, this article puts you in the picture by showing you how to lead teams to promote more effective teaching among all your staff.

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How to use thinking tools to inspire new learning

To promote powerful professional learning, you need to be a first-class communicator. Former headteacher Oliver Caviglioli shows how to achieve this following the route of business leaders and using visual tools to think and communicate clearly to reach a shared understanding. He describes to us the different types of visual tools and explains in what situations they would be most beneficial.

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Building learning power: improving teaching

Understanding their own learning power is vital to teachers being able to develop their own professional learning and hence improve their teaching. Maryl Chambers, director of development at TrackingLearning:Online, describes how to use a tool that allows teachers to understand their learning fitness, and from their exercise their own learning muscles so that they can gain full benefit from any professional learning opportunities presented to them.

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Improving whole-school professionalism

Understanding the professional culture that exists in your school can help curriculum managers to make changes that will allow staff development to thrive, improving school effectiveness as a result. Headteacher Matthew Baxter shows how, offering a questionnaire you can use to analyse the culture of professionalism that prevails in your school, advising on how to use the results to bring about improvements.

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Helping hand: coaching for success

Teachers report that coaching and mentoring have a positive impact on their classroom practice, but peer support requires careful planning. Education consultant Sue Jenning’s shows how to build successful coaching and mentoring relationships to contribute to your whole-school programme of continuing professional development and offers a variation of different case studies that illustrate how each method of coaching can be used successfully.

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Schools working together for success

It is often proposed that schools will achieve more if they work together than they can alone. The Networked Learning Communities programme has given volunteer schools the chance to put theory into practice. Dr Barbara Spender discusses what has been learned from networked learning communities, and offers practical examples of the benefits of this diverse programme.

Creating your own professional learning community

You know the positive benefits that being part of a professional learning community can bring. But how do you go about setting up such a network within your own school context to improve teaching skills and raise learning to higher levels? This article, drawing on evidence from research, gives you practical examples of the characteristics of effective PLC’s, which will help you to set up or reorganise your learning community to make sure it is benefiting all those involved.

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Talking about teaching: collaborating for improvement

Creating opportunities for teachers to talk together and hold ‘dialogues for improvement’ can be a compelling way to increase professionalism as teachers learn new and more effective ways to do their job. Howard Stevenson, lecturer in educational leadership and management at the University of Leicester, describes how teachers worked together in a project across three schools to develop collaborative networks for improvement.


Recognising professional development

How can teachers receive professional recognition for their own learning and development? The General Teaching Council Teacher Learning Academy is currently creating a national framework that promotes a learning process that is actively supporting learning communities, both within and beyond schools. Keith Hill, TLA systems manager, discusses this framework in terms of how it can benefit your whole school.

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How to assess CPD effectiveness

Continuing professional development helps us to develop a common language of practice and to make the best use of outside resources. Jane McGregor of the National College of School Leadership discusses what makes effective CPD, outlines possibilities for auditing your needs and suggests how you can plan and evaluate your programme.


Peer Mentoring: Coaching success – illuminating path to improvement

Classroom observation can be an enjoyable experience if the goals are coaching and development, without the negatives that monitoring and appraisal can bring. Melinda Hale, lead learning coach at Brislington Enterprise College, Bristol shows how she promoted the benefits of coaching to colleagues at a large city comprehensive school.

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Professional development: Every day a training day

How many of your staff come back enthused by a training course only to forget all about it by the end of the week as the day-to-day pressures of school life take over again? Deputy principal Mary Martin shows how her Cambridgeshire school cascades new learning to all staff to ensure that training goes well beyond the one-off event.