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.


guide to improving teacher happiness and wellbeing

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TeacherTales:  What is oracy and why does it matter?  How to help pupils find their voice

Posted by Paul Coffey on 12 September, 2019

Guest blog by Paul Coffey, St John Bosco Arts College

What is pupil Oracy?

It means that pupils are able to break down complex tasks; create and then implement possible solutions, and then convince others of them. It allows our pupils to articulate complex ideas and gives them confidence in themselves and their abilities. It provides them with the tools they need to compete and thrive in the world. 

what is pupil oracy?

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TeacherTales:  Is this the answer to improving teaching and learning?

Posted by Angela Easton on 6 September, 2019

By Angela Easton Assistant Principal T&L, The Hathershaw College, Oldham

How can we be focusing on improving teaching and learning in a time when workload and wellbeing are such a major concern? At The Hathershaw College, we know that focusing on teaching and learning is essential to improving outcomes, so we use video CPD in a variety of ways to support teachers and ensure they are able to find work/life balance. 

My blog takes you through our journey of how we use IRIS Connect to enhance lesson observations and self-reflection; creating a safe and developmental CPD culture within the college. 

twitter image hathershaw

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TeacherTales:  My journey to becoming a certified video CPD leader

Posted by Hannah Bailey on 30 August, 2019

Guest blog from Hannah Bailey, Drapers Mills Primary Academy, TKAT

In this blog I'll be sharing my experience of becoming a certified video cpd leader and the benefits of this at Drapers Mills Primary Academy.

In my opinion, if you see yourself as a learner, you will be a better teacher. 

I have always been interested in reflecting on my own learning paths in order to improve professionally; IRIS Connect  (a video-based professional learning platform) has helped me to spread this philosophy and build a professional development culture within our school through their IRIS Lead Certified programme.

video cpd leader benefits

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11 ways to ensure you provide better support for your NQTs this term

Posted by Alexandra Spalding on 23 August, 2019

Retention is our problem, not recruitment. Research states that nearly half of all teachers in the maintained sector leave the profession within 5 years of qualifying. 

This clearly indicates the importance of providing effective support to help develop teachers in their first few years. The loss of a new teacher is more than an inconvenience. It’s also a serious drain on your school’s precious financial resources. 

So with that in mind, we’ve put together 11 ways you can support your NQTs when they need you most.  

support your NQTs

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TeacherTales: 6 Tips I wish I’d known before becoming head of department

Posted by Ash Drury on 23 August, 2019

Guest blog written by Ash Drury, Head of Science, York High School.

As I sit here looking around my empty classroom during the final week of term, a lot goes through my mind. 

Most of those thoughts are looking ahead – we have a great teaching team and wonderful pupils, and I am incredibly excited to be working with them in the next academic year. But some of my thoughts invariably drift backwards to the year that is coming to a close, and I reflect (as all teachers do) on the wonderful year I’ve had, but also on the lows, the maybes and the what-ifs. 

If you are anything like me, you will spend the final few months before starting a new teaching or leadership position frantically googling things like, “How to be a good leader”, “What to do before starting as HOD”, or “top tips for new heads of department”. Maybe that is how you found this blog. 

So, below are a number of things I wish I had been told a year ago which would have made my first year as a HOD that little bit smoother.

Tips for head of department

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Reality Check: How reality TV can help you embed video CPD at your school

Posted by Claire Probert on 15 July, 2019

Guest blog written by Claire Probert, Lancot Challenger Academy

CPD. So often associated with death by PowerPoint, as a room full of tea-drinking teachers subtly write ever expanding to-do lists to be completed later that same day, if not during the training!

I don’t find this acceptable; I firmly believe that we should practice what we preach. For our pupils, we rightly demand that our staff eliminate passive learning, develop active questioning, promote pupil-led learning and all within an engaging, safe and positive climate. At my school, my staff deserve exactly that too and myself and my IRIS Connect Lead, Jenny Fraser, are passionate about offering this to our team.

sunset on the beach Takamaka, Mahe island, Seychelles

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