What did we learn from Leading Learning?

13 June 2018

Author: Susi Waters

Last week we completed our first Norwich Research School CPD training course, Leading Learning. Originally developed by the Research Schools Network, the course focused on developing and implementing effective CPD for teachers. Roger Higgins, Director of Norwich Research School, took the original training materials and adapted them for our specific context here in Norfolk – both in Norwich Opportunity Area and the wider county.

We’ve said it before: the best thing about being part of the Research Schools Network is the opportunity to collaborate with some of the best practitioners in the country, and we were thrilled to be able to do this with Leading Learning. The generosity within the Network – with both time and resources – was a real benefit, and we were particularly grateful to Alex Quigley from Huntington Research School for the time he gave us to talk through our plan for the three days.

Another highlight of being a Research School is the opportunity to work with some brilliant facilitators. While it’s somewhat intimidating to have Stuart Kime from Evidence Based Education pick apart a training delivery plan, the benefits far outweighed the discomfort and we’re very grateful to him for his time, expertise, and difficult questions!

Finally, we were incredibly fortunate to have such an interested and dedicated group of delegates. A three day course can be a big commitment for busy teachers and school leaders, and we were conscious that we had to make that commitment worthwhile. So we were thrilled with the level of engagement we got – and even more thrilled with the feedback we received at the end of the third day (excerpts reproduced below).

So what have we learned from Leading Learning? Well, first of all: take any expert help offered – it can only strengthen both content and delivery. Secondly: have confidence in your delegates that they will pick up and run with the ideas you give them. Thirdly: venue matters! Taking the course out of school for the second and third day made the whole experience markedly less stressful (and the food was better!). And finally: have fun. It can be such a rewarding experience once you stop worrying about being perfect.

“The course has been extremely well planned, led and resourced. It has enabled me to think critically about the direction our CPD plan is taking and reflect on all elements of planning, implementation and evaluation. Crucially it has placed evidence informed research at the core of my practice.” – Rob Speck, Vice Principal at The Wherry School

“I would recommend highly: knowledgeable delivery, good balance of group activity and listening, and structure helped CPD planning.” – Samantha Barlow, Head of School at St Benet’s Catholic Primary School

“An excellent course led by expert, well-informed facilitators.” – Andy Lockley, Department Head at Reepham High School and College

“The training has provided an invaluable opportunity to formulate and clarify my thoughts; has provided a sounding board for ideas; and has facilitated the opportunity to share ideas and experiences with other CPD leads.” – Richard Greenhalf, Assistant Headteacher at Hobart High School

“Expert delivery and networking with other colleagues has really changed our CPD provision.” – David Hyett, Assistant Headteacher at Taverham High School

We will be running Leading Learning at Norwich Research School again next year – you can book your place here.


Posted on 13 June 2018
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