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The CPD programme at The Fernwood School is designed to improve staff’s attributes, knowledge, understanding and skills. Our CPD programme is not a ‘bolt-on’ or a short term experience, but a continuous exercise in addressing individuals’ needs and supporting improvements in their professional practice over time.
Our vision is that of a learning community where everyone is involved and contributes to a culture of continuous improvement. We are committed to ensuring that the training and continuous professional development that takes place in school is of the highest possible quality. We want staff, wherever possible, to take ownership of their own professional development. We believe that the opportunity for continuous development both professionally and personally improves standards and raises morale through personal and professional fulfilment. We want there to be a tangible ‘Buzz’ about teaching and learning in school.
The Fernwood School has over 1000 pupils and 100 plus teaching and support staff. We have put CPD structures in place which are planned not only to get our new staff up to speed and working at a very high level quickly, but to deepen and further the knowledge of our existing staff. We aim to provide opportunities for staff to collaborate and share their expertise with others both within departments and across the school. In addition, our close links with nearby schools and teaching school alliances, ensure that we can provide opportunities for collaboration and development in a range of settings.
We believe that working in partnership with other schools ensures that we continue to innovate in order to stay at the cutting edge of developments in teaching and learning. We work in partnership with two teaching schools, L.E.A.D. Urban Teaching School Alliance and George Spencer Academy. We are also in our tenth year of partnership and collaboration with a number of Nottingham schools through the Quadrant C Leading Edge Partnership. The partnerships enable us to complement our own suite of bespoke training with that offered through the local teaching schools. We also write and develop training in collaboration with both teaching school alliances and Quadrant C and our membership of the SSAT (Specialist Schools and Academies Trust) enables us to access wider CPD provision through Leading Edge Partnerships.
All staff (teaching and non-teaching) attend a one day induction to the school before the new academic year starts. The programme covers school ethos, policies and procedures and an introduction to our teaching and learning model.
The newly qualified teachers that join us are enrolled on the NQT development programme that we co-wrote and now deliver in partnership with George Spencer Academy.
This group includes all our NQT+1 and any new experienced staff to The Fernwood School. The programme has been designed to deepen staff understanding and expertise in key aspects of teaching and learning at The Fernwood School. In addition to the after school sessions, this group also has the support of our SLEs and Lead Practitioners in the form of coaching partnerships, classroom observations and feedback.
All teaching and classroom support staff work collaboratively in cross-curricular Teaching and Learning Communities. The groups meet 6 times a year with an identified focus that is directly linked to the School Improvement Plan. The TLCs provide opportunities for collaboration within and across faculties and have a solution driven approach to tackling key issues and developments in teaching and learning.
At The Fernwood School we are keen to develop time for Professional Enquiry. The Lead Learner Programme is action research focused and participants work in collaboration with teachers from a number of Nottingham schools. Participants will conduct action research over the course of the programme. Project findings will be shared across partnership schools and the opportunity for Masters Credits is available for successful research projects.
The Co-Development Coaching programme provides extensive opportunities for collaboration and reflection. The participants will work in pairs observing each other, providing feedback, joint planning and team teaching. A minimum of five twilight partnership sessions with colleagues from Quadrant C schools will enable participants to discuss coaching methodology and share effective practice. The opportunity to achieve the AIM Award Level 3 qualification in Coaching is available for successful participants.
Workshops are aimed at developing professional knowledge as well as coaching and training skills. The sessions support the portfolio assembly and submission in order to achieve the SSAT Lead Practitioner accreditation where appropriate.
Once accredited through the SSAT -Lead Practitioner accreditation process our Lead Practitioners will work collaboratively on identified Professional Enquiry research topics. By investing in our Lead Practitioners as reflective, accomplished and enquiring professionals we are creating the capacity to shape and lead educational change.
Staff development and training days provide time for all staff to fully immerse themselves in aspects of teaching and learning, curriculum developments and the latest educational policy and practice. We are proud of the quality of our INSET provision which is always high quality, innovative and designed to meet the needs of the staff and pupils of the school.