- Teacher Stories
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Cabot Learning Federation educates more than 12,500 pupils aged 3-19 across the South West. Our aim is to deliver excellent educational experiences to improve our students’ life chances and we achieve this by working together across our trust and within and beyond the community. Cabot Learning Federation’s initial use of ONVU Learning has been as part of our project looking at initial teacher trainees’ development in their first term.
I have always been interested in understanding what is meant by great teaching and how we can support all teachers to get better and improve. Over time, I think we've recognised that there is always work we can do to improve pedagogy and how to really develop great teaching. Connected to that, there's work to be done around professional development for all members of our teams. We’ve started to look more closely at professional development of teachers, teaching partners and the range of colleagues who lead learning. We are developing expertise and understanding of the best ways to make sure all teachers should be involved in high quality PD; not because they're not good enough, but because they can be even better. We decided we wanted to try to make that professional development more bespoke and specific to the needs of the individual to support them to the best possible level. By creating a strong professional development programme within the MAT, we can ensure that great teaching is happening across every single lesson, every single day, which is a critical thing for us to be able to uphold our values and school culture.
Of course, we can’t and don’t want to be in every classroom every day to see what is happening. There are 400 lessons an hour, 2,000 lessons a day, 10,000 lessons a week across our trust. 10,000 lessons a week. The cost would be high, the impact low. By utilising ONVU Learning through the research trial we have the privilege of looking at moments of learning right across our 21 schools. For instance, by picking several classes of a year group or subject group we can really zoom in and go deeper on how to make that area strong in terms of great teaching and sustainably improving the pedagogy in those areas. ONVU Learning will allow us to better benchmark teaching to set a standard, helping school leaders be strong in developmental improvements within their departments and schools. All this alongside ensuring all our teachers are committed to our values and culture and see how those values are creating the best learning experience for all our 12,500 students.
ONVU Learning can play an important role in allowing us and our teachers to understand together what they are doing within their teaching practices and how impactful that is. This then helps us to make the classroom experience less of a mystery, upon review. You can see the unintentional but brilliant. The moment you step into a classroom to carry out a traditional observation there are issues and we try in earnest to understand the difference between teaching and learning. ONVU Learning allows us to see through a lens in the classroom what the students are actually learning and taking on board, we can see and assess observable behaviours and understand how we can positively impact long term learning.
ONVU Learning is also going to be very beneficial to our Early Careers Teachers (ECT) training programmes. Mentors work with trainees to ensure they can become great teachers and being able to record that training in practice allows them to see what they've been asked to do, how they're doing it and have those important conversation with their mentor about how well they did or didn't do.
ONVU Learning supports our culture of improving teaching in a developmental and progressive way. We want our teachers to feel supported and ONVU Learning allows us to do this inclusively and non- judgementally. Teachers can use the footage from the classes to gain insight from each other’s practice in a way that feels holistic, creating greater opportunities for peer-to-peer support. The benefits of peer-to-peer learning are clear and we want to ingrain that into our culture, but it’s not always possible to take a teacher off timetable to go and watch another teacher in practice. Through ONVU Learning we have the ability to share clips of teaching practice with various teachers at once, at a more suitable time, allowing them to collaborate and unpick them together. We have the opportunity for teachers to really understand, explore and unpick feedback in context, which can be difficult with traditional techniques as much of what happens in the classroom can be forgotten once the lesson is over and you take things out of context.
ONVU Learning can enable us to see learning taking place at any time and scale, which by engaging in secure collaboration across all our academies means we can truly accelerate school improvements MAT-wide; it can give us all at Cabot Learning Federation a kind of superpower!
Read more of our Teacher Stories here
The School of the Future Guide is aimed at helping school leaders and teachers make informed choices when designing the learning environments of the future using existing and upcoming technologies, as they seek to prepare children for the rest of the 21st century – the result is a more efficient and competitive school.
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