The Leading Outstanding Learning Programme (LoL) is a CPD programme for teachers, which provides an opportunity to learn from experiences and best practice in a wide range of schools from across South Yorkshire (including outstanding state and independent schools, rapidly improving and ethnically diverse inner city schools and a newly created ‘school within a school’). The LoL programme is now entering its third year and involves participation in six half-day events based at each of the various schools. The programme aims to enhance the leadership of learning in our schools with best practice then being cascaded to other staff within each school.
The programme involves an alliance of the following schools: Sheffield High School, Firth Park Academy, Horizon Community College, High Storrs School and Newfield School. Each school selects up to four teachers to be involved in each programme and the sessions are led by Assistant Heads from each of the participating schools. The teachers selected for the programme should demonstrate the capacity to achieve outstanding learning and progress from their students and to be able to drive forward improvements in teaching & learning with colleagues back in their own schools.
Successes and benefits
When the programme was first introduced three years ago, participants were required to attend six full-day sessions, however feedback showed that teachers felt this was too big a commitment in a term and required them to miss too many lessons. The programme was therefore amended and now encompasses six half-day events hosted on a range of morning, afternoon and twilight times to minimise impact on class teaching commitments.
The programme includes the following sessions: Best Practice in Teaching & Learning; Differentiation; Student-led Learning; Assessment for Learning; RiskIT; Teachmeet and Celebration.
Each session includes a range of learning experiences such as focussed lesson observations; demonstration of best practice by the programme leaders and fellow participants; discussion panels with students and staff; collaborative learning opportunities with colleagues from the same school and in other schools. As a result of feedback, we have also now established an online learning community for participating teachers to share outstanding practice.
The programme is now entering its third year and we still have a waiting list of staff keen to take part. We would welcome other schools (state and independent) joining the project. In the future, we would also like to set up a similar project for primary schools.
Valerie Dunsford is headmistress at Sheffield High School
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