Learning enables you to see your life as a draft that can always be improved
(Claxton, 2008, p.89)

All teachers at TQEA see themselves as lifelong learners and continue to seek every opportunity to develop themselves. In our last Inspection Ofsted reported that:

Good-quality training has been provided to help teachers improve the range of teaching methods
(Ofsted, 2013, p.6)

Continuous Professional Development

“In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.”

Here at TQEA we pride ourselves on the fact that we are at the forefront of new initiatives and strategies in teaching. We place enormous importance on staff development ensuring that teaching and learning is of the highest standard for the benefits of the young people in our community. Teaching is, as a result, exciting and active and students’ progress and results show how successful we have been. If you ever wondered what happens on staff training days, then wonder no more! They are vital to improving the already excellent education that our children receive. We regularly share knowledge and outstanding practice utilising the excellent teachers we have and sometimes outside agencies.

This year we have continued to build on the successes of last year and are working hard to focus on areas which we feel will improve the quality of learning and teaching at TQEA even further.  All training for staff links closely to what our students need in order to be the best that they can be. This year, so far, our staff team have worked together to look at how to ensure that every student in our school makes the progress they deserve to, with training on ‘Quality First’ classroom teaching.  Many other areas have also been covered on training days, such as developing effective assessments, interrupting the forgetting curve and interleaving to enhance teaching and learning.

AT TQEA, learning is at the heart of everything that we do and this extends to staff as much as it does to our students.  In our quest for excellence, we believe in developing each individual member of staff through a personalised CPD approach.  Our staff development programme supports the appraisal process and drives the raising of standards in all areas of the Academy Improvement Plan.  CPD also responds to Ofsted recommendations for development and QA findings on a daily basis.  We do not believe in a “one size fits all” approach to CPD.  Teachers at TQEA open their doors to others, sharing good practice, ideas and resources.  They have a genuine desire to be the best that they can be and we are proud of the learning ethos that is apparent in our staff body.

At TQEA, staff are actively involved in delivering CPD in a range of different ways, from morning briefings, Pedagogy groups, speed dating events, 360 departmental reviews and fortnightly torchlight bulletins.  Focuses of these events are linked closely with our Improvement plan to ensure that we are all working together to raise standards for our students.  It is not only Teachers and TAs that are involved either, with key members of our Admin team delivering on issues such as Attendance and Pastoral support.

Staff enjoy a wide range of CPD which includes involvement in National Programmes such as NPQML, NPQSL, NPQH.  Staff are developed through PIXL and examination boards and we support and encourage staff in pursuing external qualifications, recognising excellence and aspiring to this for all colleagues.

As an Academy, we welcome and support the next generation of teachers, fully endorsing NQT and trainee teachers from a number of Universities and School Direct placements.  New staff are helped to feel at home quickly through a thorough induction programme, beginning with a pre arrival induction day and continued in twilights.  As staff careers develop, we are a school dedicated to talent spotting and we enjoy nurturing and growing our teachers, whatever stage of their career they are at.  There are opportunities for all staff that are looking to develop leadership skills, whatever their position in the school.

Teaching Assistants follow a bespoke programme at TQEA to keep abreast of key changes in SEND education and to ensure that we offer the best inclusive education to our students available. The SENCO delivers high quality training to staff and the team support departments across the school in their curriculum meetings.

Staff benefit from high quality coaching at all levels in TQEA and all teaching staff, including the Leadership Team belong to Pedagogy groups to encourage the sharing of skills and strategies.  These groups have been developed and run by staff for staff.  They meet regularly to make the discussion of teaching and learning the key to moving TQEA forwards. Staff discuss and share innovative teaching and learning ideas, before embedding this into lessons through team teaching, creating new resources and observing each other.  This has proved to be an excellent vehicle for sharing teaching and learning practice across the school. Groups are focused on Personal development and Life Skills, Raising Boys Achievement, Closing the Gap – Language, Effective use of the TA to Close the Gap for disadvantaged and SEND students and Developing the effective middle leader this year.

We place high importance on training days, inviting key National and International trainers such as Gary Wilson (Raising Boys’ Achievement) and Pivotal Behaviour into TQEA to enhance our skills.  We share and host training days with other schools in both the primary and secondary sector to gain a greater holistic understanding of education, and training is also delivered internally by TQEA staff. All departments have forged cross school links to support our development, moderate assessments and share ideas.  Our staff regularly attend meetings across our MAT to develop our teaching and learning further and we have been involved in Full Academy Reviews across the Trust.  This enhances the excellent, innovative practice that is consistently being delivered day in day out, and that works at our school with our students.

Sharing good practice to improve learning and teaching is commonplace in TQEA and as such is an agenda item in every department meeting.  Editions of Torchlight are written by all members of the teaching team on topical Educational issues and these are copied to all staff.  Staff are actively encouraged to team teach, take risks and try new and exciting strategies to enhance learning for the students.

Recent CPD sessions have included the following:

  • Child Protection, safeguarding and PREVENT
  • Raising Boys’ Achievement
  • Closing the language gap
  • Pupil Premium Students
  • Interleaving
  • Stretching the more able
  • Effective and efficient assessment
  • Reward, Challenge and Intervention
  • Differentiation
  • SEND students
  • New Ofsted framework
  • Ensuring all students make appropriate progress.
  • What does good learning and teaching look like?
  • Effective Intervention
  • Minimising low level disruption
  • Effective examination strategies
  • Interrupting the Forgetting Curve
  • PIXL unlock
  • Power of language
  • Reward systems
  • Effective Use of TA
  • De-escalation techniques
  • Moderation of marking
  • Team teaching
  • Joint planning
  • Sharing of resources
  • Epipen use
  • Attendance
  • Exam invigilation
  • New staff induction
  • 360 review

All staff belong to TALK groups which meet half termly to collaborate on areas of learning and teaching that will benefit the students in their lessons, sharing good practice, joint planning, team teaching and visiting other classrooms. Currently 8 of our Curriculum areas are taking part in a 360 review and this will extend to the whole school by the end of the year. Each year we produce a teaching and learning book, produced by the staff for the staff to ensure that we stay at the forefront of good practice.

Whilst our staff are excellent at sharing good practice within the school, we also seek opportunities to gain knowledge from colleagues across the Country. Curriculum leaders contribute to middle leader networks across Warwickshire and many staff have links with other schools.