Raising Achievement through a policy based on principles, not straitjackets

Most head teachers and leadership teams have experienced the dilemma of the head v the heart. The head is concerned with progress data, rigour, accountability, and inspection. This results too often in overly-prescriptive lesson plans and conformity of practice, ignoring the differences between subjects and age groups and killing off spontaneity and passion in the teaching. Such an approach also places huge workload burdens on teachers for planning and marking. The heart values teacher autonomy, encourages risk-taking, variety and creativity, and trusts teachers to plan good lessons without the need for detailed paperwork.

This course presents a model that shows how a teaching, learning and assessment policy based on rigorous principles will meet the demands of both the head and the heart while spreading best practice across a school and reducing workload.

This CPD course for middle and senior leaders will:

  • Provide an exemplar set of principles for teaching, learning and assessment
  • Illustrate, with practical examples, the impact upon practice for a team or school
  • Show how a whole-school CPD programme can be developed to turn the policy into a reality.
  • Demonstrate ways in which the programme will spread best practice
  • Show how the approach can reduce workload and raise morale.

Session 1: The scale of the challenge : lesson planning, accountability and inspection

In this session we will focus on:

  • The sterility of some conformist lesson-planning formats
  • The views of inspection teams and the Workload Review Groups
  • The move to a policy based on principles.

Session 2 : Principles for Teaching

This session will focus on:

  • Classroom management, routines and ethos
  • Sharing the purpose of learning and getting learners engaged
  • Developing literacy and language
  • Achieving high levels of learner participation
  • Regular review and celebration of progress

Session 3 : Principles for Learning

In this session we will explore:

  • Clarity when working on tasks/assignments
  • Developing deep learning
  • Differentiation in the planning of tasks/activities
  • Integrating skills to include speaking and ICT

Session 4 : Principles for Assessment

In this session we will explore:

  • Sharing and modelling assessment criteria
  • Using a range of assessment – written, oral, self- and peer-assessment
  • Feedback of all types leads to progress.

Session 4 : Developing a policy based on principles

In this session we will explore:

  • How to start the process by agreeing principles
  • Developing team work and a menu of strategies
  • Producing team handbooks outlining agreed methods
  • Using team handbooks for monitoring and evaluation.

This course is suitable for leaders in Primary, Secondary and Further Education.

Presenter Profile

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Robert Powell has spent a lifetime in education, as a classroom teacher, Head of Department, Head of Year, Deputy Head and Headteacher. He led Blurton High School in Stoke-on-Trent (now Ormiston Sir Stanley Matthews Academy) for just over four years during which time the school nearly doubled its higher grade GCSE passes. It also hosted one of the first 50 Training Schools set up by the DfE during that period. In 2001 the school received a glowing report from Ofsted.

Before taking up his headship in 1997 he worked for eight years in publishing and consultancy. He was the co-founder of Network Educational Press and Network Consultancy, but left to set up Robert Powell Training and Publications in 1996. He has written eight books including the highly successful Raising Achievement which sold over 60,000 copies. Other books include his most recent Lesson Planning: The Menu, Feedback and Marking: the handbook, Outstanding Teaching, Learning and Assessment: the Handbook, and the highly successful Active Whole-Class Teaching. He has worked on INSET with over a 2000 primary, middle, prep and secondary schools in both the state and independent sectors, and has led inset with dozens of FE colleges and Sixth Form Colleges in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

In the early days of Academies he was a teaching and learning consultant to the SSAT and supported dozens of academies in their development phase. He is renowned for his challenging and humorous style of presentation and for his focus on practical strategies.

Feedback from teachers on Robert’s courses

Robert Powell was invited to train over forty members of staff at our yearly residential. The focus was to provide a wide range of practical strategies linked to differentiation; establishing success criteria; engaging pupils through technology; pupil ownership in self-review and peer feedback. Staff were engaged and entertained from beginning to end and were eager to begin using the exciting and innovative ideas back in the school with the pupils. Through his positive integrity, truthfulness and straightforward conduct, I would highly recommend his training to other primary schools. One of the best inspirational trainers I have come across in my 16 years in education.
Mrs Jennifer Seabright, Deputy Headteacher, Alexandra Park Junior School, Oldham

The training received from Robert Powell was both informative and engaging. Teachers were reminded of many creative lesson activities that both encourage learners but also challenge more able pupils. It was an excellent day for the team to share good practice and add new items to their teaching strategies toolkits which promote deeper thinking and understanding, but also help manage pupil behaviour by strengthening their engagement within lessons. It was well worth it!
Justin Creasey, Headteacher, Riverley Primary School, Waltham Forest

Robert Powell’s visionary approach highlights consistency rather than conformity and inspires the hearts and minds of teachers. I can honestly say that his philosophy, and the practical strategies he is renowned for, have had a bigger impact upon my school than any other author or trainer I have met in my 18 years as a headteacher.
Jim Godrey, former Headteacher (now retired), Marston Vale Middle School, Beds

Secondary and post-16
Money well spent! Rarely does the booking of an outside speaker lead to educational transformation. However, Robert’s ideas have challenged our pre-conceptions in a hugely positive way.
Neil Finlay, Headteacher, Walton High School, Stafford

Good, entertaining, realistic and practical. Superb, inspiring and passionate. ‘Everyone needs a Robert Powell in their lives.
Marina Blakeway, Teaching and Learning Coordinator, King Edward VI School, Lichfield

Cost: £250 per delegate which includes lunch and resources; £299 for 2 teachers from the same school booking on this course

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