As I start to lead more Inset for staff within school and in a wider context, I am constantly looking for ways to make my sessions more engaging (as a teacher should with their lessons). One way of doing this is by learning from other Inset providers. I usually have a separate sheet of paper to make notes on delivery style.
As with teaching lessons, subject knowledge is just one element required to facilitate learning. Course structure and delivery is essential. Planning of these should be partly informed by the audience/learners you are delivering to.
One should not assume that because adults have a longer attention span than children, they should have to tolerate a more didactic and bland mode of delivery. Quite the opposite in fact. In my experience, adults can sometimes go into a training day/session skeptical, especially if they do not see the value in the training. An engaging start is vital.
I recently attended a Specialist Leader in Education (SLE) core training day, hosted by Kings Oak Academy in Bristol. The academy is part of the Cabot Learning Federation, which Culverhay is joining in September. Here are a few examples of good practice from the day that I intend to use in the future:
- As part of the introductions, asking participants to state what they want to gain from the day.
- Name tags – simple and easy to read to encourage people to be more personable. I think this promotes creativity and a deeper engagement.
- The use of Post it notes to write any questions or issues arising during the day, with a place to stick them where they could be read and addressed.
- Asking direct questions to participants. I first noticed this style on another Cabot course, Emerging Senior Leaders, which is lead by David Carter, Executive Principal of the federation. This may not be appropriate for general Inset, but I think it is great to engage and challenge those that are wanting to be effective leaders in education.
- Increased use and effectiveness of mini plenaries to consolidate learning.
- Generating ideas around a theme, rotating groups and then reviewing and prioritising another groups work.
- An active post-lunch activity to re-engage the participants.
- Before having to complete the formal course evaluation sheet, the participants were asked for some immediate feedback on the course. Using WWW (what went well) and EBI (even better if) allowed me to listen to others thoughts and ideas, encouraging immediate and deeper reflection of my own learning.
We had a safeguarding Inset today. The day was delivered by 2 professionals.
Nicola Barrett, Integrated safeguarding officer for BANES delivered 2 sessions, covering a wide range of issues surrounding children at risk, types of abuse, policy and procedure advice etc. The sessions reminded me that safety and welfare of the pupils is the greatest responsibility that educational professionals have, and this is perhaps more important to PE teachers due to the nature of our work.
Check out this link for a refresher of the issues surrounding safeguarding.
The afternoon session was delivered by a Detective Constable (missed name), who specialises in online safety, who also works with the SWGfL to advise on Internet security.
The session was amazing. It was a whirlwind tour of what technology can offer and how young people are using it. I thought I was a techno native, but after this presentation, I think I sway more towards the side of technology immigrant!
It’s worth keeping tabs on what the technology is doing, and worth all teachers revising their security settings on all of their online activity……before it’s too late. Once it’s out there, you can’t get it back!