Heworth Grange is a secondary school in the North East of England, committed to giving every student equal opportunities to succeed, regardless of their background. Deputy Head, James Hulse, spoke to us about how the Great Teaching Toolkit is utilised as part of the school’s professional development offer.
The Great Teaching Toolkit is a new approach to professional development, what made you choose it for Heworth Grange?
“At Heworth Grange we strive to ensure that staff have access to great professional development so that we continue to grow in expertise and provide the very best education for our young people. We have a core whole-school CPD offer which incorporates our key foci, interleaves and revisits themes throughout the year e.g. questioning, feedback and scaffolding. This is a central offer across school, but what I and the Head wanted was another layer where staff get something that is more bespoke to them and their emerging development needs.”
You mention that you wanted to offer another layer of professional development to your staff, are you using the Toolkit alongside other professional development opportunities?
“Yes, this is complementary to the core offer. At this level we have several different options, for example we have groups of staff who are completing NPQs, and others who access Early Carer Training and Initial Teacher Training. The majority of staff, however, are using the Great Teaching Toolkit as their personal development tool. It allows them to focus on specific aspects of their practice and hone their skills using the courses and tools available via the Toolkit.
Once staff have completed the Foundation Course of the Toolkit, they can use feedback and reflection to select a specific aspect of their practice that they wish to develop; they choose a specific Toolkit course to do this. The Toolkit is therefore part of our CPD offer that’s more tailored to individuals to help boost their expertise.”
Heworth Grange are currently part way through the first year’s subscription to the Toolkit, what have you enjoyed the most?
“What we love about the Toolkit is the variety of resources, that everything is research based, and that it is interactive. It’s not like some other online CPD courses that can be dry and dull; it’s an effective resource for active reflection and development.”
The Great Teaching Toolkit is available for teachers and leaders to try for free! Create your Great Teaching Toolkit: Starter Account and gain access to the student perception surveys, alongside a free trial of the courses.