Exploring what makes great PD

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.

creating a culture for school improvement

5 easy and effective ways to use IRIS Connect this semester

Posted by Alexandra Spalding on 9/10/18 11:48 AM

Taking on new strategies and technologies is sometimes difficult and time-consuming, but in the long run, usually worthwhile. Whether you're a pro at using IRIS Connect, just starting out, or thinking about investing in video-based professional development in your school, here are 5 quick and easy ways that you can use the IRIS Connect system this semester.

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5 resources to help you become a great leader

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 6/5/18 10:20 AM

So you’re making the transition into a leadership role? Or perhaps you’re already a leader and want to improve your skills? Either way, good for you!

Making the move from follower to being the one who guides, motivates, inspires and manages, can be a challenge. The transition takes time, experience, skills and commitment.  

But fear not! We’ve got 5 resources to help you become a great leader.

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How to build your confidence in the classroom

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 6/4/18 2:24 PM

As a teacher, you’ll often find yourself in situations outside of your comfort zone. In fact, it pretty much happens from day one of your career when you find yourself standing in front of thirty students quaking in your boots as they look expectantly at you.

Whether you feel anxious because you’re new to teaching, are facing the challenge of teaching a new topic, or find you need to make changes to your practice, there are tried and tested ways of appearing confident. Here are 5 confidence boosting tips.

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Growth mindset: what you need to know

Posted by Rosie Neill on 4/10/18 11:18 AM

Over the past few years, the concept of a 'Growth Mindset' has become increasingly popular.  Discovered by Carol Dweck, Professor of Psychology at Stanford University, growth mindset is the idea that our intelligence isn't fixed. Dweck found that students who believe they can develop their basic abilities and improve themselves have greater motivation and higher achievement than those who see their abilities as fixed and unchangeable.

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10 ways to be a better Subject Leader

Posted by Tim Matthews on 3/2/18 11:00 AM

Tim Matthews is Deputy Headteacher at Oriel High School. As well as creating this helpful blog, he has also built a useful group in the IRIS Connect platform,‘Leading A Self Improving Department'. It's a great starting point if you are taking your first steps as a Subject Leader or are looking to review how you are doing things.  It's FREE to our customers. Click here to login and join today >

If you are either an established Subject Leader or are taking your first steps into subject leadership - good luck!

On my first day as a new Subject Leader I remember walking into school nursing an emotional cocktail of pride, excitement, nervousness and an inescapable feeling that I would be "found out" probably by the end of the day and certainly by the end of the first week.

As it happens things were not as bad as I anticipated because the people I worked with were incredibly supportive and not afraid of telling me when things could be done better! Over time I came to realize how important the role of Subject Leader is and the opportunities that you have to influence the learning of students and improve the day-to-day teaching experience for colleagues.  

Here are 10 tips you might find useful if you are about to take up post as a new Subject Leader or are an established Leader reflecting on the performance of an existing team...

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5 tips for how to use video PD in higher education

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 11/6/17 11:24 AM
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Tutors at VIA Health in Denmark, started using video for professional development (PD) because they lacked a concrete tool for developing and qualifying their own teaching, and the time to watch each other lecture.

But with the help of video PD, they have been able to see their own teaching from multiple angles and share specific situations, allowing them to step back and reflect on their own teaching in new ways

Professor of Professional Didactics Birgitte Lund Nielsen is one of two facilitators who set the course in motion. She shares her tips on how to use video PD in higher education:


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Joint Practice Development: the what, how and why

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 10/4/17 11:33 AM

As you're probably aware, one of the biggest challenges for any network of educators, whether it's within an individual school or across a school district, is transferring existing knowledge and new practices, not just from teacher to teacher, but from school to school.

Until now ‘sharing good practice’ via verbal and written presentations has been the traditional approach for knowledge transfer, but despite its popularity, the success rates are low. In fact, coaching and mentoring have a far better success rate than simply listening to other teachers or reading reports. But why?

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5 steps to embedding JPD in your School District

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 10/4/17 11:31 AM

Joint Practice Development (JPD) has a lot to offer schools and school districts. With the right culture, commitment and challenge in place, it has the power to take professional development and wider school improvement to a whole new level.

Here are 5 steps to help you embed JPD in your school or district...


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