Exploring what matters

Welcome to the IRIS Connect blog space where you can join conversations and discover free resources, tips and summaries. We hope you find something useful for your professional development and learning.

If you have a topic you'd like us to cover or if you're interested in covering one yourself in a guest post, please contact us.


getting teachers talking about teaching

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Why your school needs a CPD policy and how to create one

Posted by Jane Hyde-Walsh on 11 October, 2018

Guest blog from Jane Hyde-Walsh, Director of The Staffrooma unique CPD planning and recording tool for education professionals working towards best practice.

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How we grew collective confidence in video-based CPD

Posted by North Lindsey College on 4 October, 2018

Guest blog from Sue Lloyd, Quality Improvement Co-ordinator, Phil Whitehead, e Learning Ambassador and Paul Boucher, Lecturer, Sport & Unformed Services/Quality Improvement Coach at North Lindsey College.

For everyone involved in coordinating teaching, learning and assessment at North Lindsey College, coming on board with video-based CPD provider, IRIS Connect, felt like a crucial step in further supporting and developing teaching and learning.

The online platform made sense, the system was easy to use, and it wasn’t difficult to envision areas that it could enhance our staff development practices.

Confidence in video-based CPD

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What is instructional coaching? Is it the best-proven form of CPD?

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 26 September, 2018

At the recent ResearchEd 18 event in London we learned all about instructional coaching, which is, according to researcher Sam Sims, “probably the best-evidenced form of CPD currently known to mankind”.

The evidence he presented was both convincing and compelling. Looking at randomised-controlled trials of teaching interventions in English (from the US-based Investing in Innovation programme) only seven out of 31 had a statistically significant positive effect, with even worse results for maths (three out of 23).

Of the 15 RCTs Sims found on instructional coaching, however, ten had a statistically significant positive effect.

So what is instructional coaching, how does it work and how can your teachers benefit from it?

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How to build an instructional coaching programme

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 26 September, 2018

As coaching trainer Peter DeWitt said in his blog 3 Reasons Instructional Coaching May Not Be Working, and as the Measures of Effective Teaching Project showed, badly done coaching can actually harm teachers’ performance.

Despite educators’ best efforts, the majority of initiatives in schools today fail. Some estimates show failure rates as high as 70%. The main reason for this is poor implementation. Unfortunately, good intentions are not enough when it comes to driving and sustaining growth.

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How to make lesson observations most effective

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 24 September, 2018

Numerous studies over recent years have shown that high-level and consistent performance from teachers in the classroom is central to improving outcomes for learners. So, naturally the education world has begun to examine teacher effectiveness more closely and how it can be improved.

One of the main ways that teachers get feedback on their practice, in order to develop and grow, is through mandatory lesson observations, whereby a headteacher or a member of SLT sits in on a lesson to observe the teacher. However, despite their widespread use in schools, there is a great deal of data that highlights how ineffective traditional lesson observations can be. 

One of the strongest datasets being the Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) project, which confirms that teaching and learning do not improve unless teachers get high-quality feedback from impartial and authentic observations by consistent evaluators. 

But, according to a SmartBrief poll nearly 70% of teachers said that traditional observation processes do not give them the meaningful and actionable feedback they need to grow. And 62% of school leaders acknowledged that the evaluation systems in place at their schools are not effective in supporting their teachers development. 

So, what can be done to improve the effectiveness of lesson observations?

Improve lesson observations, improve your school

 

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How can you measure the impact of CPD?

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 10 September, 2018

If you've invested time, money and effort into a CPD programme, you’ll naturally want to know that it’s having a positive impact on your school’s teaching and learning.

Taking the time to evaluate your CPD is important. It helps you to better understand which CPD activities are beneficial and actually lead to improved teacher practice and which ones don’t, ensuring you feel confident in the opportunities you offer your staff.

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