Why invest in CPD?
In a time of shrinking school budgets and demands on teacher time, we might be wondering why the Department for Education have released a new Standard for Teachers’ Professional Development. Surely school leaders have more pressing things to spend their limited budgets on than the odd course here or there? But then that is the point, and there-in lies the problem. For far too long CPD for teachers has been viewed more as a ‘jolly day out’ rather than for the potential that it clearly has for generating whole school improvement. The Standard for Teachers’ Professional Development is clear in its recognition that not all CPD is equally effective, but in turn it aims to support school leaders in clarifying what activities do generate impact - ensuring that CPD will be a key driver not only of staff development, but also of recruitment, retention, wellbeing, and school improvement.
So, what makes for effective CPD? The Standard outlines a 5-point plan for success:
1. Professional development should have a focus on improving and evaluating pupil outcomes.
2. Professional development should be underpinned by robust evidence and expertise.
3. Professional development should include collaboration and expert challenge.
4. Professional development programmes should be sustained over time.
And all this is underpinned by, and requires that:
5. Professional development must be prioritised by school leadership.
Putting pupil outcomes at the heart of CPD is a strength of the new standard. As the Teachers’ Professional Development Expert Group concluded, there can be no success without a deep commitment to invest time and resources to develop the expert practice that our pupils deserve. After all, developing great teaching everywhere is the route to educational excellence everywhere.
But still, a sharply focused and well planned approach is fundamental. The most effective CPD will be driven by an effective performance management process closely connected to whole-school priorities. The relationship between performance management, CPD and school improvement should be both strategic and strong. Everyone should understand the link between their individual priorities and those of the wider school environment. Head teachers have a responsibility to ensure their staff are challenged and supported towards achieving outstanding performance. This means ensuring a balance between holding staff to account against clear criteria for performance whilst also ensuring that they are supported and developed to ensure that this is achievable.
The standard points out that teaching is the most important profession for our nation’s future and, as such, teachers need considerable knowledge and skill which needs to be developed as their careers progress. A teacher’s CPD is therefore important for schools, teachers and their pupils because it ensures that teachers continue to be competent in their profession. It should also be an ongoing process and continue throughout a professional’s career. Competent teachers are undoubtedly a school’s most important resource. Getting the very best out of them will support everyone in achieving the highest possible standards in work and conduct. If, as the standard sets out, a school’s CPD programme makes the outcomes of its pupils the first concern, then the desired impact will be achieved and outcomes will improve for all involved.
On June 7th Head teachers and Senior Leaders are invited to attend ‘Lifting the Lid off Leadership’ when there will be a sharp focus on why CPD is the key to outstanding leadership and management and school improvement. Located centrally at Entrust HQ, there will be an audience with Rebecca Raybould, consultant at CUREE (Centre for the Use of Research and Evidence in Education). CUREE were instrumental in the development of the Standard for Teachers’ Professional Development and Rebecca will share a valuable insight into how schools can achieve success through their implementation.
Further information can be found here: http://entrust.education/Event/38730
Lead Teacher Consultant for ‘Lifting the Lid off Learning’ events.
Future Browser- Keeping children safe in education
As of the 5th September 2016 online monitoring became a mandatory legislative requirement. This places a responsibility for online safety on all staff, in order to develop a positive digital culture. Future Digitals safeguarding solution allows you to create a flexible digital environment by providing you with the tools to oversee the safe use of technology when children and learners are within your care. Future Browser solutions now extend to a wide range of devices including PC and Mac, and what’s more? the long-awaited monitoring browser for the iPad is also now available to purchase!
The Future Browser app is required to be installed on each IPad device and the Safari browser is to be disabled. All users will then access the Internet via the Futures Browser. Any violations that are created through the Futures Browser will be captured through advance reporting and stored for you to analyse.
To find out more about Future Browser, visit http://www.futuredigital.co.uk/
Our Chosen Charity- Alzheimers Society
We are proud to announce our new corporate chosen charity for this year is Alzheimer’s Society, a partnership where all employee fundraising monies will help Alzheimer’s Society achieve their vision of a world without dementia. We are very excited to kick off the partnership in earnest and make a positive and tangible impact with the Society over the next two years!
We want to kick off our relationship with Alzheimer’s Society in style, so our first big fundraising event will be held on Saturday 13th May. The ‘Hero Challenge’ is a team tournament day where teams of four from all over the business come together and completes a variety of mental and physical activities to compete for the Heroes Trophy. In last year's Capita Challenge, we helped raise over £30,000 and this year we’re hoping to do even better! And we won’t stop there, throughout the year we have lots of fundraising opportunities lined up, including; Charity Bingo, Cupcake day, Payroll Giving, Employee volunteering and Dementia Awareness days- all in aid of Alzheimer’s Society.
This year, we are supporting Capita in working with several charities and community organisations in different ways, both in the UK and overseas. We will be exploring ways of working collaboratively with other charities, volunteering our skills and expertise and allowing us to make an even greater impact in our communities!
Top Tips: Technology in Early Years
Top tips: Technology in the Early Years
In the Early years foundation stage (EYFS), technology goes way beyond tablets, laptops and computers. Here are some top tips for activities which will support children’s technology skills.
Smile! You’re on camera
Demonstrate using a camera to record children’s learning and teach children to do the same. For more advanced learners, teach children to download an image from the internet or use a video recording device to record a weather report or role-play.
Let’s find out more!
Use QR codes in continuous provision for children to hear or read learning intentions for the area. For more information go to QR codes in the classroom, click here.
How does it work?
Whatever their age, talking about how and why something works encourages children to sequence their thoughts. This will help them to get ready for the key stage one computing curriculum.
Bugs in the system
Change words in nursery rhymes and encourage children to identify when they don’t sound right. This will help them to identify bugs in computer programs later on.
Patterns, patterns, everywhere
Patterns are the precursor for programming and using apps on tablets. Encourage children to make patterns using a wide range of resources. Model and ask children to describe the pattern. What comes next? Encourage children to follow then develop multi-step patterns and routines.
Encourage children to sequence events, routines or events of a story. This will help them with algorithms and computing as they progress.
Wide, wide as the ocean
Involve parents in understanding what technology looks like in the EYFS and gathering evidence from activities at home from a wide range of situations.
Entrust offers a Top Tips to Succeed in EYFS Technology session. Why not book on to find out more?
Supporting Students to make Well Informed Decisions
I haven’t a clue what I want to do in the future. Where do I start?
Most of us want a career that we are likely to enjoy and be successful at and so it makes sense that you should start by thinking about your interests and skills. What do you like to do in school/ outside of school? What are your strengths, qualities and skills and which careers may utilise these? There are careers matching programmes available to help you if you are struggling with this.
My mum says A Levels are best - is this correct?
A Levels have been around for a good while and are certainly a well-respected, academic qualification. They are assessed by an exam at the end of a two-year course. Some people prefer more ongoing assessment or a more vocational way of learning and can therefore be better doing something more work related like a BTEC. These can still provide access to wide range of HE courses and other options. It really does depend on you as an individual learner.
Why do Careers Advisers always talk about having a back-up plan?
If you have seen a Careers Adviser you may well have heard them talk about considering a back-up plan. This may seem rather negative or annoying as you clearly want to focus on your chosen career aim. However, we are realists and understand that often life throws a spanner in the works and having a range of well researched ideas/ options that can provide an alternative or safety net can be valuable. It also means that should something unforeseen happen like you not getting the required grades for your chosen course you can happily run with ‘plan B’ knowing that you have carefully considered this option as well rather than making a hasty decision in a state of panic.
How much will I earn?
Of course, this is a question we all have on the tips of our tongues when looking at careers (though one we should perhaps not ask in an interview situation). Fortunately, there are ways to find this information and all the other essential titbits about careers we are considering using up to date websites. Key facts you may wish to find out about a career you are considering include: the hours, duties, prospects, qualifications and skills required. Remember no job is perfect but going in with your eyes open is vital to making a good, well informed choice.
Useful websites for research include
https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/job-profiles/home, www.careerswales.com and for graduate level careers www. prospects.ac.uk
Which subjects are best to choose for GCSE/ A Levels ?
You need to think carefully about which subjects will be ‘best’ for you. These are usually the ones you enjoy most and are strongest at. It is worth noting that some careers/ courses do require you to have studied certain subjects before so this is worth checking out.
What if I change my mind about a subject or course?
If you have a change of heart over a course then speak to a teacher/ adviser as soon as possible. Depending on how far into your course you are (if started) there may be scope to change or discuss your options. Remember it would be unwise to give something up without a clear plan in place, and sometimes your uncertainties can be reassured after some fact finding.
Which college / University is best?
This is very individual. While some people are very focused on league tables/ Russell group etc it is still important to check first and foremost that the course looks interesting to you and offers the progression opportunities you are looking for as well as suiting you in other ways such as location/ entry requirements. You should ideally visit, ask questions and make up your own mind as to which feels best to you! You may find the Unistats website useful for finding out some of this information https://unistats.direct.gov.uk/
What is an apprenticeship? Is it just work experience?
No, it isn’t just work experience. It’s an actual job with training. Being an apprentice means that you have a job that includes gaining recognised qualifications and essential skills whilst you are working and earning a wage. Find out more at www. apprenticeships.gov.uk
What is the UCAS tariff?
The UCAS tariff is a points system that measures achievement across a range of qualifications. It is designed so that higher education institutions can differentiate between applicants for the same subject, with different types of qualifications. Universities and colleges can also use the Tariff to set minimum entry requirements for their courses. You can find a full list of qualifications covered by the tariff on the UCAS website www.UCAS.com
Can I work part time while at school?
Yes, you can do some part time work once you are over 13 years of age but you do need to take note that there are certain rules and regulations put in place for your safety and wellbeing. It is worth checking these out on your local council website. Remember that your focus should still be on your studies but a part time job can also give you valuable experience and evidence useful skills for your CV.