In the April 2018 Easter holiday, teachers visited Elblag to look at narrowing the attainment gap in Poland.
In the May 2016 half term teachers visited Palma and Reggio Emilia, the home of Montessori schooling, to look at Early Childhood Education in Italy.
In October 2015 a number of teachers and leaders visited Sweden and Finland respectively to learn about pre-school education and the Leadership & Management of schools. These Educational Visits were funded by Erasmus +.
Erasmus + supports the implementation of the European policy agenda for growth, jobs, equity and social inclusion.
Europe needs more cohesive and inclusive societies, which allow citizens to play an active role in democratic life. Erasmus+ is an important instrument to promote the inclusion of people with disadvantaged backgrounds.
Well-performing education and training systems help to tackle challenges by providing people with the skills required by the labour market and the economy, while allowing them to play an active role in society and achieve personal fulfilment. Reforms in education strengthen progress towards these goals, on the basis of a shared vision between policy makers and stakeholders, sound evidence and cooperation across different fields and levels.
Our visit evaluations are available to read above.
BERA Ethical Guidelines for Educational Research
A summary of the BERA Ethical Guidelines has been developed to aid staff with various aspects of educational research. The summary can be downloaded here. Please note that the full BERA Guidelines can be accessed from within this document.
Wickford TSA, Billericay & Thurrock held a joint event celebrating success at KS2.
80 teachers spent the afternoon of Friday 18th November discussing successful strategies.
Leader in Me Programme
In January, nine teachers embarked on a 7-month programme to develop their leadership capability. The programme comprises 6 face to face modules on topics as diverse as coaching, crucial conversations and personal productivity. Initially individuals completed the Myers Briggs Type Indicator – a questionnaire designed to assess their strengths and provide a framework for understanding why people behave differently. As well as the workshop, participants benefit from 2 individual coaching sessions and an opportunity to network with and learn from their colleagues in other schools.
Stuart Botwright from Hilltop Juniors described the programme as “It’s been a different experience as its been about focusing on ourselves as leaders. It’s not been a programme where you take copious notes, it’s about exploring ourselves, looking inwardly as to how we can improve. I’ve found that it brings out skills that I didn’t know I possessed – and I’m finding are real and practical It’s so helpful having this opportunity at this stage in our careers as we are learning about and practicing all the sorts of things we are experiencing in our roles on a frequent basis”
Essex conference on Pupil Premium
Wickford Teaching School Alliance was approached to contribute to a recent Essex conference on Pupil Premium Grant families. Staff from Wickford Church of England Pre-School, Little Ted's, and Briscoe's The Orchard wrote Case Studies about how their pre-school provision had supported families from disadvantaged backgrounds. The Head of School from Stambridge then shared this work at a conference with over 350 delegates.
Using lesson study to improve teaching and learning in mathematics
The term ‘lesson study’ carries a number of different guises, ranging from shared planning and teaching, through to formal ‘public research lessons’.
Formal lesson study (not necessarily public) is arguably the most powerful, and exciting form of professional development available because:
A lesson study cycle can typically include:
The outcomes are wide-ranging and include:
Wickford Infant School and Hilltop Infant School lesson study report
For the first round of lesson study, staff from Wickford Infant School and Hilltop Infant School focussed on Year 1 children developing a conceptual understanding around calculating using a number line. We wanted to bridge the gap between the practical, concrete work on addition children learn in EYFS and the abstract concept of addition on a number line. To do this we worked on children becoming a part of the number line. We used carpet tiles to create number tracks with children jumping along them, moving to self-created chalk number lines and then invisible number lines where children were internalising the process. Following this process, many children were able to create their own empty number line jottings based on the practical jumping and actually bypassed using a filled in number line at their desk.
During the observed lesson, staff were asked to focus on whether children were developing a conceptual understanding, were able to reason mathematically and whether they could solve problems and apply previous learning.
We have just begun the second round focussing on developing systematic thinking in Year 2 children to help them with problem solving and reasoning skills.
BERA Annual Conference
In September, the results of a survey investigating the experiences of LGBTQI teachers were presented at the BERA Annual Conference. An anonymous online survey was devised inviting LGBTQI teachers in the UK to respond to questions about their engagement with the school community. Within these questions, the researchers sought to find out whether the experiences of LGBTQI teachers differed depending on whether they taught:
Researchers also considered whether those teaching during UK Clause 28 of the Local Government Act (1988-2003) were more guarded than those entering teaching after its repeal in 2003. The results can be viewed here.
Wickford Teaching School Alliance
Driving a school-led system
Our alliance schools are:
Wickford Teaching School Alliance
2 Mount Road
The Alliance is also made up of The Hearts Academy Trust, within this trust are six schools: