1. Overestimate the training time needed
There’s no doubt that Introducing new content is most effective when time is allowed for discussion and practice – just issuing teachers with lesson plans or other resources is likely to cause major problems. But even when you’ve worked out this time, remember to add at least 10% more for teachers being called away to solve day-to-day problems or other management issues arising.
2. Ensure you have an expert to lead the process…
Projects can be successfully delivered by internal or external experts, but they need to be prepared and available. So if you’re looking for one of your teachers to lead the process, send them on relevant training courses in good time and give them time to plan, launch and manage the project. If you are using an external consultant, make sure that they are committed to do more than an initial INSET day – at the very least ask (and pay) them for a few hours more time to answer questions that arise and evaluate the project.
3. … but set aside time for peer reflection and coaching
Teachers will start finding new problems when they start teaching any material. Many teachers will wryly agree with Prussian general Moltke who said, ‘no battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy’! Set aside time in every department or staff meeting for small group conversations (ideally referencing actual lesson experience) – and if there are common problems identified make sure they are addressed centrally.
4. Share the impact your change is having
It’s well known that many projects fail in schools – whether that be introduction of new IT systems or new behaviour policies – and one key reason is that people start to assume they are not working. So, when you’re introducing new classroom content and curriculum, ensure that you capture the impact on teachers (‘I found that lesson really easy to deliver’) and students (‘we can see clear progress in test scores’) and let everyone involved know about it! As you can see in the case study below, there can also be significant changes in how people work.
5. Use video to capture and share best practice
Well, we would say that! But we’ve found that discrete video capture and sharing has a major impact on the success of projects. Teachers can share real examples from real lesson with experts and receive targeted and practical advice, and experts can quickly pick up misconceptions and areas of weakness in the classroom and provide accurate and timely feedback. And the use of video saves huge amounts of time observing lessons – see the case study below for more details.
Case Study – Amberley Primary School
ONVU Learning has been working with Amberley Primary School in Newcastle upon Tyne to embed Government-supported ‘Maths Mastery’ across all year groups. Initial feedback includes the following comments…
‘ONVU [Learning’s Lessonvu system] is a very time effective way of observing classroom practice. In fact, we have staff wanting to use the room to teach and film their own practice as well as requests for [Maths Lead] Emma Barker to film particular strategies so they can see them modelled for example, the Key Stage 1 based practice modelled techniques and variation.’
Tony Rigg, Headteacher, Amberley Primary School
‘We’ve used [Lessonvu] to change the Maths language used in the classroom by pupils, student teachers, staff and even the Head!’
Emma Barker, Deputy Headteacher And Maths Lead
To find out more about how ONVU Learning can help your school improve its teaching and learning using our innovative teacher training and development solution called Lessonvu, please get in touch with our team now.