Bangkok Patana School are now entering their second year of using the Great Teaching Toolkit (GTT). Following an initial pilot, the school are now rolling it out across all Secondary colleagues, underpinning their Professional Growth Programme. We spoke to their Secondary Principal, Matt Seddon, Assistant Principal, Luke Jones and Great Teaching Lead, Eleanor Richards about how they’re using the GTT to help staff become even greater.
How did you get started with the GTT?
Matt said, “I was already familiar with the Model for Great Teaching and GTT from previous CPL work. When I moved to Bangkok Patana School, I wanted to ensure that we had a clear and consistent articulation of teaching so that our staff could have rich conversations about our students, their learning and what happens in our classrooms. The Model for Great Teaching enables us to have a shared language across all of our staff about the most important aspects of our practice.”
Luke added, “we initially piloted the GTT with around 20 volunteers. This allowed us to organise regular meetings to discuss what was working well, and how we could approach scalability. As with many new initiatives, there were some colleagues who were more sceptical at first, but it became apparent that the tools contained within the GTT could be really powerful for leveraging improvement. That’s not saying there wasn’t great teaching happening in the school already – it’s acknowledging we can always get even better.”
How have you used the tools & features in the GTT?
In the first year, staff were given free rein to choose whether they wanted to use the student surveys to get feedback from those who matter most in their classrooms. One of the members of staff described them as ‘transformative’, as student feedback had really opened his eyes to how he supported students in planning and regulating their own learning – Element 4.6: Activating in the Model for Great Teaching.
Eleanor told us, “This year, we’d really like all staff to experience using the student survey tool to investigate their professional development interests further, so we’ve built regular survey windows into our calendar once students have had time to become familiar with their teachers. We’ve already had great feedback from colleagues who’ve found the surveys easy to use and love the way the information generated is displayed. The team at EBE are also always very responsive to any questions and suggestions that we have.”
“Once colleagues have chosen an element to work on, those who are interested will work in small groups from different faculties who share a similar focus. These ‘Great Teaching Teams’ will collaborate and support each other over the rest of the year. The teams will have the option of working through the course relating to their element, or simply using the bank of resources provided in the GTT to further explore the element and possible classroom strategies in more detail. As the year goes on, we want to see staff trying out ideas in their classroom, and we’re giving them the time and space to evaluate the impact on their students’ learning.”
Can you tell us a bit about your Professional Growth model?
Matt: “We’ve built our model around Prof Coe’s mantra that a great teacher is one who is willing to do what it takes to be demonstrably more effective next year than this. We’ve stripped away unnecessary systems and asked our teachers one simple question – ‘how can you be even better next year’? The GTT provides that framework and the means to generate actionable feedback.”
Luke: “Coaching is becoming a huge part of what we do and we want groups of teachers to work together, building collective expertise and giving each other feedback. The GTT provides opportunities for coaching conversations in a Professional Development offering that helps every member of staff become even better, whilst also acknowledging every teacher and every classroom is different.”
If you would like to speak to one of the team about how you might use Toolkit to support professional development at your school or college, simply fill out this form, and one of the team will be in touch!