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 confidence (efficacy): Why does it matter and how can SLT increase it?

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 21 January, 2019

 Efficacy - or a teacher’s level of confidence in their abilities - can be highly influenced by past experiences or your current school culture. For example, a bad classroom experience or negative work environment can quickly diminish a teacher’s confidence.

Interestingly, seeing students grow and working in a collaborative environment can boost a teacher’s belief in their ability and improve performance. Research also suggests that teachers with a strong sense of self-efficacy tend to be better planners, more resilient through failure, and more open-minded and supportive with students.

 

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Hitting the right notes: improving teaching practice with the Chartered Teacher Programme

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 18 January, 2019

Guest blog from Dr Steven Berryman, Director of Music at City of London School for Girls and Visiting Research Fellow at King’s College London. Also, Founding Fellow of the Chartered College of Teaching.

As a musician, practice is part of daily life. Or I tell my pupils that it is. We practice to maintain our facility at our instrument (or voice), often using exercises to keep certain aspects in good health (such as sound production) because we want our instrumental/vocal skills to be ready when we need them.

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New school CPD budget data: The true cost of teacher CPD

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 9 January, 2019

Research released today from the Teacher Development Trust, produced by education data specialist SchoolDash, shows staff professional development budgets have fallen by 12% in secondary schools, and 7% in primary schools. The drop is the first since their analysis began in 2011 and suggests that tight budgets are forcing schools to reduce essential CPD support for teachers.

Staff training and CPD are key to raising student attainment and improving school's performance, as well as attracting, retaining and motivating teachers, yet, few schools (both primary and secondary) were able to spend more than 1% of their budgets on staff development in 2017. Of particular note is the news that 4.5% of primaries allocate no budget to CPD at all, along with 10.5% of secondaries.

 

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Deputy headteacher's 4 tips on how to adopt video-based CPD successfully

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 9 January, 2019

Sharing practice and seeing others teach are great opportunities for teacher progression, yet the prospect of both can be scary.

Wood Farm Primary School have built confidence in sharing practice and collaboration has become an integral part of their teaching and learning, but how have they done it?

In 2015, Deputy Headteacher, Natasha Ashwin, shared her 4 top tips for embedding video-based CPD in your school that are still valid today:

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8 suggestions for leading a successful school team

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 5 December, 2018

You’ve probably heard of the saying: ‘If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far go together.’

Leading a positive school team that works together harmoniously and productively, where members support each other but also feel empowered to take the initiative and make their own decisions, is no mean feat.

So, what does it take to be a great school leader? How can you steer your team to greatness? Here are 8 suggestions:

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Can you afford NOT to invest in your teachers?

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 8 November, 2018

CPD doesn’t come cheap and in the current financial climate, it can feel like the most obvious thing to cut. But, if improving teaching quality opens the door to raising student achievement, then surely CPD is the key and should, therefore, be a priority on every school leaders list?

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