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.

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guide to improving teacher happiness and wellbeing

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Teacher Tales: Using video to support the recruitment process

Posted by Guest blogger - Chris Harrison on 12 June, 2020

In these most unusual times, school recruitment has had to be adapted significantly, and not only to ensure that schools can still recruit, but to support candidates in showcasing their abilities. Based on a large volume of questions and interactions that have been shared on Twitter, this is clearly worrying both sides when it comes to thinking about how to make it as effective as possible.

As a school we recently faced the same issues and therefore decided to create a streamlined recruitment strategy using our existing systems. Within this blog I will share the template we have created and how the IRIS Connect system has helped to support candidates display their skills, knowledge and experience throughout the recruitment process.

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Can disruption lead to positive changes in Initial Teacher Training?

Posted by Katie Eldridge on 9 June, 2020

‘You don’t learn from experience but from reflecting on experiences’.

OK, I know this is to slightly misquote John Dewey but it is pertinent given the unprecedented experiences we are going through and, I would argue, also the unprecedented opportunities to reflect and make positive changes for the future. 

Amidst the chaos, confusion and tragedy, many colleagues have responded with incredible flexibility and remarkable dedication: I have the utmost respect and I am in awe at the work of so many and would like to believe that their efforts could have some positive outcomes in the future. 

There has been an helter-skelter of innovation and ad-hoc innovation to support both pupils and student teachers. There has been little time to pause and think more constructively but now, maybe, is the time to pause from doing the urgent and focus on building a positive future.

The ongoing challenges for ITT, not just in the current crisis, are significant.

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Refining distance learning with IRIS Connect

Posted by Katie Eldridge on 26 May, 2020

Connect your teachers wherever they are; review and refine teaching however it’s delivered; provide effective CPD, whenever your teachers need it. 

In the last couple of months, it’s become evident that we are experiencing educational disruption likely to last for the foreseeable future. With schools largely closed to most learners, teachers have been forced to think quickly on their feet, and adapt to new ways of communicating with colleagues and students alike. With some teachers remaining in open schools and others exploring their options online, schools are facing unprecedented times.

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TeacherTales: How we created a user-friendly curriculum model online

Posted by Guest blogger - Chris Harrison on 12 May, 2020

Moving to a new school or year group can be a huge challenge; you have to learn new systems, structures and pedagogical styles whilst getting to know your class and the rest of the staff. So, having a central system with banks of resources, lesson clips and templates can be incredibly useful as you settle in school-life and get to know how things work. 

With this in mind, we decided to create a number of curriculum groups in IRIS Connect with a view to creating a school pedagogy and curriculum model for our teachers. We’ve gone from recording lessons and running internal film clubs (these were incredibly useful starting points) to now building banks of lessons that help to quality assure the teaching that’s happening in our classrooms. Our teachers can now refer to the platform with approved resources and teaching clips whenever they need it.

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School return: How do we talk about bereavement?

Posted by Graham Newell on 6 May, 2020

An interesting debate has started: return to school with a strong emphasis on ‘catching up’, or a return that has a greater focus on emotional readjustment?

Whatever the outcome of this debate, when pupils return to school they will be changed.

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5 tips to protect your wellbeing whilst remote teaching

Posted by Alexandra Spalding on 17 April, 2020

As teachers, protecting your wellbeing at the best of times can be hard. It’s especially important that during this challenging time, our mental and physical health stays in the forefront of our minds.

However you are teaching right now, whether that’s still face-to-face, delivering some classes online, or sharing resources with your students remotely, here are 5 tips to protect your wellbeing whilst remote teaching.

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