Dixons_academy_trust-1200x439MicrosoftTeams-image (47)Dixons Academy Trust’s mission is to challenge educational and social disadvantage in the North by providing children with powerful knowledge to enable them to understand and interpret the world. We have high expectations for everyone within our academies and strongly believe in both collaboration and autonomy from our staff and leaders to strike a balance between consistency and self-determination. We do not see talent as innate; we believe it should be grown and developed. All staff have a drive to be better tomorrow than they were today and we nurture this through bespoke coaching and kind, helpful and honest feedback. This is where ONVU Learning comes in.

A variety of our academies are using technology as part of their coaching programmes. We are really interested in working with ONVU Learning as part of the SCUDO project (read about this innovative partnership here) in terms of seeing how that coaching is working, looking at the evidence and the outcomes. It will allow us to gain further insight into teacher development projects and explore new answers to questions such as: is this working? What is the impact of coaching on professional development?

double-circle-child-2In terms of growing our people, we are really interested in mentoring and what makes great mentoring because mentors matter. They are crucial in making a difference to our new trainees and early career teachers and helping them remain in the profession. We want our trainee teachers and early career teachers to thrive and we want our mentors to thrive too and have a positive experience. The SCUDO project with ONVU has raised the profile of mentoring and reflects how much we value and are invested in our mentors. All mentors received training on instructional coaching and ONVU learning has enhanced how this is delivered. Recordings of lessons have been used to enable teachers to reflect on their strengths and areas of focus with their mentor so teachers are not relying on their memory of the lesson. 

A win with ONVU Learning is that it’s not something onerous; it’s not an extra burden for teachers alongside their already busy schedules. Of course, there is initial installation and set- up but, once that’s done, teachers don’t have to do anything with it in terms of set up, it’s there and ready to go in the background. We found this to be hugely beneficial for initial staff buy-in, mentors were happy and excited to find out that they could use technology to enhance their coaching capabilities without the need to set up complex and time consuming equipment in class. As with any recording technology, people can be initially apprehensive. From the outset, we explained that recordings only happen when scheduled, the data is securely stored with permissions they control and the system is used only to enhance their coaching and learning. Once staff understood this, they became open to it.

There really is a lot of potential for ONVU Learning which is why we are excited to be using the technology as part of the SCUDO project. ONVU Learning can allow us to have a regularly updated bank of easily accessible and securely stored clips that can be reviewed at any time to develop individual and group practice. We really hope to enhance the experience of our mentors and students through learning about the impact of instructional coaching on teachers. Without, ONVU Learning, this would not be possible.

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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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