Achieving Teaching Excellence Across MATs

Posted by Louie Saunders - Last updated on August 7, 2023

What to expect

Learn lessons and gain new ideas from other Multi-Academy Trusts as they share how they’re ensuring consistently high teacher development standards across their MAT whilst meeting the individual needs of their academies.

Check out three amazing videos from our guest speakers:

Trust-wide Instructional Coaching | Windsor Academy Trust

Presented by: Leyla Palmer

Leyla Palmer, Head of Professional Learning and Talent at Windsor Academy Trust shares insights into WAT’s approach to instructional coaching that strives for optimal balance between high alignment and high autonomy across their schools.

Leyla from Windsor Academy Trust discusses WAT's approach to instructional coaching that emphasises a balance between alignment and autonomy, ensuring teachers receive targeted support while being empowered to adapt coaching to their schools' needs.

WAT believes in supporting teachers to continuously improve their practice. They implement instructional coaching as a mechanism for professional development, providing teachers with regular, bite-sized action steps based on short observations.

The trust focuses on high alignment by ensuring all schools implement core elements of instructional coaching. These include identifying areas for improvement, providing clear models of excellence, and incorporating deliberate practice. They also follow a coaching cycle, consisting of lesson observation, coaching conversations, and implementing action steps.

While alignment is crucial, the trust also values autonomy for teachers and schools. They allow flexibility in selecting coaches, determining the number of coaches needed, and designing coaching models that suit each school's context. Training and development for coaches are provided centrally, but schools also customise workshops based on their specific needs. Resources such as a coaches' handbook and teaching walkthroughs support the coaching process.

Collaboration is essential within the trust. Teaching and learning summits foster sharing of best practices, while leaders collaborate on resource development. The use of video clips filmed with IRIS Connect helps demonstrate the model of excellent teaching and provides a clear reference point for coaching conversations.


Want to know more about WAT's Journey? Check out their story.


Developing a Professional Learning Culture | Hales Valley Trust

Presented by: Kate Hall

Kate Hall, Director of Education at Hales Valley Trust takes us on a journey from conception to culture, showcasing how her trust implemented a new approach to CPD across the MAT that considers the different development needs of their schools.

Kate discusses how Hales Valley Trust developed a coaching culture using the IRIS Connect platform for professional learning. They began by researching how adults learn and applied the principles to their coaching strategy. They emphasised the importance of coaching and continuous improvement in teaching to enhance pupil outcomes. The implementation involved training leaders as effective coaches, modelling coaching techniques, and gradually introducing IRIS Connect for recording lessons and facilitating coaching conversations. The coaching process involves staff recording lessons, reflecting on their practice using IRIS Connect, receiving coaching sessions, and refining their teaching strategies based on feedback and walkthroughs. The coaching culture is now a core part of their organisation, with ongoing support and evaluation to further improve teaching practices.

Kate also mentions future plans, including exploring group coaching and sharing exemplary teaching practices through the IRIS Connect platform to provide additional professional development opportunities.


Enabling Joint Practice Development | Diverse Academies Trust

Presented by: Stacey Aisthorpe & Vicky Purdy  

Stacey Aisthorpe, Strategic Lead for Coaching within the Diverse Association for Professional Learning & Vicky Purdy Assistant Principal at East Leake Academy discuss how their trust supports teachers across their academies to jointly develop classroom practice.

Stacey and her colleague Vicky discussed how the Diverse Academies Trust has implemented Joint Practice Development projects, using tools like IRIS Connect and coaching models. The trust consists of six primary, six secondary, and two special academies across Nottinghamshire and North Lincolnshire. Their core values are empowerment, respect, and care. Joint Practice Development aims to collaborate and share best practices across academies to achieve a high-performing organisation over five years.

They shared two case studies during the presentation. The first case study focused on the Voice 21 pilot project at Wainwright Primary Academy aimed to improve students' oracy skills and language development. The academy successfully used the IRIS Connect platform to share findings and inspire colleagues from other schools to participate.

The second case study was about the Focus Five training programme for teachers in years three to five of their careers. The programme aimed to deepen teachers' thinking about teaching and learning skills, subject knowledge, and professional development. They used IRIS Connect groups for collaboration and discussion, empowering teachers to define action steps and apply what they learned in their classrooms.

As a trust, they remain committed to growing their staff, future leaders, and teachers through Joint Practice Development, coaching, and continuous professional development.



Want to know more about how IRIS Connect can support trust wide CPD?

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