Training and Staff Development
One of the school’s most successful areas in recent years has been the continuing professional development of all members of the school community.
We were the first recognised training school in Ealing prior to being a strategic partner with the Ealing Teaching School Alliance (ETSA) from 2013-2021.
Mr P Mather (Head of Training and Staff Development) leads whole school training and through this we were given the prestigious award of being a Strategic Partner with UCL IOE for Initial Teacher Education.
We are committed to the continuing professional development of all staff, both teaching and non-teaching, and provide a wealth of opportunities to achieve this aim.
Initial Teacher Training
GHS has a strong partnership with the Institute of Education, University College London, helping to develop cohorts of Student Teachers throughout the year, a number of whom go on to develop successful careers at the school. The programme is overseen by Lisa Leonard, Trisha Soneji and Karishma Topiwalla, as the Professional Co-ordinating Mentors (PCMs); Peter Mather continues to contribute to PGCE courses at UCL IOE. Our commitment to ITT extends to prospective teachers from the local community, and some ex-pupils who visit the school to observe lessons before undertaking their own courses. As a school, we also feel that the experience of working with trainees helps our staff reflect and improve on their own practice in the classroom. We also work in partnership with the following institutions: St. Mary’s College (PE, Maths and Geography), Brunel University, Middlesex University, London Met, The Open University, (flexible PGCE programme) and other ITT institutions. In addition, the school often has members of staff undertaking the School Direct route into teaching; in MFL, Science and English in recent years.
Early Career Teachers
The school has a strong and well established programme for inducting ECTs (Early Career Teachers, formerly NQTs), including a two-day induction process early in July, strong departmental support, regular meetings and training sessions, a team of experienced mentors and a full programme of observations and feedback. Wherever possible, ECTs are employed by GHS from July, allowing them 2-3 weeks induction in departments before each new academic year. Peter Mather and Jo Leaver-Cole are the ECT Induction Tutors leading a team of mentors following the Early Career Framework.
This partnership began in September 2010 with three participants and to date we had trained 30 participants following this route into teaching. Mr P Mather is the school link for this, and has been accredited as a Teach First Advanced Mentor and from September 2017 he is also the Lead Mentor for West London for the Teach First two year programme, now called the PGDE (Post Graduate Diploma in Education). As a highly respected partner school we have also hosted up to 40 Teach First Participants for the last four years for their initial school experience during the last couple of weeks of the summer term.
Weekly CPD Programme
On most Wednesdays, a 45-60 minute training session is available for various cohorts. Sessions are open to all staff although directed to particular cohorts, e.g. ECTs/new staff; support staff; and Middle Leaders/Heads of Department. A calendar of events is available in early September; this is a voluntary addition to regular staff training during our Tuesday evening meeting programme.
Observation and Feedback
The school strongly believes that this is key area in enabling staff to improve on their own practice. Observations take place in many different forms at GHS: by Subject Leaders, ECT Mentors, Senior Leaders, peers, visitors to the school and Local Authority consultants. We also have a system of learning walks that provides us with an overview of learning and teaching practice in the school. Peer observations are a part of the ECT/New Staff induction programme and are encouraged throughout the year.
GHS has a full and varied programme of Inset days and evenings. Recent Inset has focused on such issues as Assessment for Learning (particularly in developing effective ‘learner responses’); Literacy/Language for Learning; and this year looking at developing a more effective behaviour for learning procedure.
The school has an outstanding record in encouraging and enabling staff to attend training outside of the institution itself, believing that this helps us to constantly improve our own practice. Within the limitations created by cover requirements and funding, the school believes that external courses and meetings help to continually bring in fresh ideas to the school.
Mr J Dudman-Jones and Mr P Mather are members of Learnus; this is a community dedicated to bringing educators and those who specialize in the study of the brain, the mind and behaviour together in order to use the insights gained from high quality research to improve and enrich learning for all. Jeremy is on the Learnus Council and trains teachers/school staff, not just our cohorts but also in terms of going out into other schools providing external training, most recently at Ruislip High School who hosted an event titled ‘The Teenage Brain’ and attracted over 300 school staff from across London.
Further Degrees and Qualifications
The school has an excellent record of funding/partially funding applications for further courses, including MA degrees, NPQML , NPQSL, NPQH, and the Ambition School Leadership. We have around four staff starting such programmes each year.
We also encourage support staff to take qualifications and several have gained the following in recent years: IT Apprenticeships, HLTA (Higher Level Teaching Qualifiacations); Level 3 Business; Level 4 administration; as well as completing undergraduate degrees.
We also have staff either continuing with or beginning higher level degree courses in order to enhance the educational experiences of our students.