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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4 ways to spice up teaching using video

Posted by Stephanie Ann Dudley on 18 March, 2019

Guest blog by Stephanie Anne Dudley, English Key Stage Coordinator at The Excel Academy. 

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10 tips for school leaders on handling difficult conversations

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 11 March, 2019

There are some conversations you’d probably rather not have, particularly if it means delivering unpleasant news, discussing a delicate subject, or talking about something that needs to change or has gone wrong. But, as a school leader, these conversations can crop up fairly regularly so feeling confident about knowing how to handle them is essential.

It’s perfectly natural to feel anxious or nervous at the thought of a difficult discussion, whether it’s with a teacher, parent or child. However, there are a few simple techniques that can help to make them productive and as painless as possible.

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10 must-read CPD books for teachers and school leaders

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 5 March, 2019

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of professional development books on the market. So, how do you know which ones are worth your time or not? We did some research to find out which books education professionals would recommend, and created this list of 10 books that will inspire, motivate and educate. Take a look…

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Teacher wellbeing and CPD, is there a link?

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 4 March, 2019

The teaching profession is increasingly associated with stress and burnout. The Engaging Teachers report from National Foundation of Educational Research (2016) found that high teacher workload is associated with poor health and staff feeling undervalued.

The number of teachers seeking support for their mental health via the Education Support Partnerships’ confidential helpline increased by 35 per cent from April 2017 to March 2018.

This is by no means new news, but as we all become more aware of the importance of talking about and addressing mental health, schools are having to take more responsibility for the wellbeing of their staff.

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Money matters - 3 ideas to help your school's CPD budget go further

Posted by Liam Collins on 25 February, 2019

Guest blog by Liam Collins, Director of Curriculum and Learning at GLF Schools. He also worked for six years as head of a comprehensive school in East Sussex.  He can be found on twitter here @liamhcollins

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Training vs professional development - what's the difference and does it matter?

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 11 February, 2019

When we think of teachers’ continuing professional development (CPD), it’s often the one-off training courses that first spring to mind. But, as well as single training sessions, the term CPD also covers teaching and learning activities designed to help teachers develop their practice; from research, self-reflection and lesson observations to Lesson Study, feedback and coaching.  

Before we discuss the difference between training and development, and their roles in effective CPD, let’s start by taking a deeper look at what CPD is.

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