Matea Marcinko, one of our Curriculum Development Leads, reflects on the programme’s induction training.
The filter coffee is hot and the croissants are ready for the eating. The PowerPoint is up and the resources are set at right angles. Jazz music is playing as people come in because it is a day away from school after all. It is the first day of our Induction Training and 250 teachers will be joining us across 12 days from up and down the country. Northern Ireland, Great Yarmouth and the Isle of Wight are all represented.
Our ambitions for this training were high. We wanted teachers to feel excited and confident delivering the programme come September. Figuring out how to do this proved harder. There was just so much we wanted to share and only two days in which to do it.
We settled on these aims:
- To gain a deep understanding of the English Mastery programme and its pedagogical approach
- To know how to implement the programme effectively and take ownership of it
- To provide opportunities for English Mastery schools to work together as part of a scholarly subject-specific community
To gain a deep understanding of the English Mastery programme and its pedagogical approach
The English Mastery programme is built on four pedagogical pillars that combine to drive student progress. Each pillar is rooted in the latest cognitive and educational research. We spent a great deal of time unpicking and explaining the pillars because we feel they are what makes our programme unique.
Take a look at our website programme page here for a reminder.
The Induction Training marks the beginning of the suite of professional development on offer for our subscribing schools. Our termly Subject Mastery twilight sessions and our Assessing for Mastery days will explore these pillars more deeply.
To know how to implement the programme effectively and take ownership of it
The English Mastery programme has the potential to transform student outcomes but only if it is implemented well and only if teachers feel like the programme belongs to them. We wanted the training to give teachers an opportunity to dig deep into the lessons and really immerse themselves in the content. Only then can teachers begin to envisage the changes and adaptations they need to make it their curriculum. The teachers bring the lessons to life and it is a real privilege for us to see this in action when we visit the schools in our community.
To provide opportunities for English Mastery schools to work together as part of a scholarly subject-specific community
We know the value of professional learning communities first-hand. The English Mastery programme was written in consultation with English teachers across our pilot schools. We valued their expertise and insights. We have seen the value of providing a forum for teachers to come together and ‘geek out’ on their subject. McLaughlin and Talbert (2001) say that professional learning communities, where teaching and learning are developed, live in departments. We have found this to be true of English Mastery schools. We look forward to this cultivation and collaboration taking place in departments, and more broadly as we come together in our regional hubs throughout the year. The insights we glean from our school will help us develop our programme further.
‘Please sir, I want some more’
No lesson is perfect and no teacher is ever finished refining their practice. The same is true for training delivery. There are lots of things we want to do differently next time around and we have already begun work on next year’s content.
But the feedback was overwhelmingly positive:
‘A superb day – excellent resources and delivery! Thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.’ James McCoy, Markethill High School
‘Taken aback by how well planned the sessions and resources were. Excellent CPD’ Brandon Franks, The Parker Academy
‘Excellent – well paced, very informative, very exciting, looking forward to implementing!’ Melanie Anderson, Nova Hreod
More than anything teachers wanted more. They wanted more time. More training. More resources.
If you are interested in joining the English Mastery programme, we are opening applications for 2019-20 in October. Register your interest here.