Claire Temple, Headteacher at Sandbrook Primary School, spoke to us about why she chose the Great Teaching Toolkit as part of her CPD plans. Sandbrook Primary School were one of the first schools to enrol on the Great Teaching Toolkit, which launched in September 2021.
We asked Claire how the Great Teaching Toolkit fit into their CPD plans as a school, and why they decided to use it:
We wanted to focus on developing teaching practice. We have strong teachers that need CPD to develop them further in a continuous fashion.
I also unpacked the Great Teaching Toolkit: Evidence Review and mapped it to our staff development plans. So, when the Toolkit courses and tools came out it made sense to use them. The Toolkit approach also seems like a great way to engage staff in the big ideas and, crucially, to then support them to try things in their classroom, refine them and embed them.
The thing for me is that teachers are bombarded with the latest things to do and try but it’s about how we change the habits of people in the classroom, rather than ‘quick hits’. Given that the day-to-day environment of teachers is so complex, multidimensional, and dynamic, we need to do this over the long-term and the approach needs to be built into the job. The touch points and development cycles of the Great Teaching Toolkit helps us to do this.”
As Claire mentioned, all of the tools and CPD courses in the Great Teaching Toolkit align to the Model for Great Teaching, found in the Evidence Review.
The tools in the Toolkit take the form of student surveys, and can be used to answer the question “Where should I focus my professional development?”. The surveys provide feedback on the classroom environment in each dimension of the Model for Great Teaching.
Once an area of focus has been identified, our online courses enable teachers to connect research evidence on learning to principles they can apply in the classroom, before selecting and adapting individual teaching strategies to hone and use in their own practice.
With a Great Teaching Toolkit: Starter Account, you can generate your own personalised feedback using the student surveys. A Starter Account is free to use, and also comes with access to sample lessons from all of the Toolkit courses. You can sign-up for a Starter Account here!
CPD has long been recognised as essential prerequisite but unfortunately not practiced. Neither do accreditation authorities recognise this concept. An evidence based approach needs to be integrated