CONTACT

News

10 January 2022

The Monday Briefing: Just a little bit of you

The Monday Briefing: Just a little bit of you

When I assumed the position of Principal at the College, I immediately tried to instill as part of the organisation of the calendar of the institution the best areas of practice throughout my career. I decided to retain our processes for the final week of term, whereby all students sit mock examinations which are promptly marked by teachers, with results being provided at the end of the week. From one of my previous schools, I always felt that it was incredibly productive to have the first day of term dedicated to teacher development. Less of a ‘shock to the system’, it provides a chance for staff to catch up socially, regroup and prepare for the term ahead.

Following a safeguarding update from our Vice Principal, the day was dedicated to an introductory session with Raman and Preeti Bath from B.A.T.H Coaching. Whilst 9 out of 10 professional development sessions tend to be completed ‘in-house’, it is often more engaging for staff to enjoy the influence of visiting speakers, particularly when they have expertise in Psychology and Human Resources. This encourages new ideas and a fresh approach.

This is all part of a new initiative I’ve introduced as part of the College priorities for the academic year - to enhance further staff CPD by empowering teachers to understand their own abilities more effectively, becoming more reflective within their own practice and identifying priorities for improvement, working collaboratively with colleagues and students, to formulate an individual project as part of their appraisal targets.

Speaking to staff both separately and collectively, there was almost universal agreement that it had been the most useful staff CPD day that they had ever experienced. After addressing some of the trends in teaching at the moment, and making a very strong case for the necessity for a stronger focus on supporting staff emotional wellbeing to avoid burnout, a discussion-based session followed where teachers openly expressed their thoughts and feelings about their own professional practice. It was interesting to see what the main concerns were for all present: some talked of anxieties which they struggled, at points, to control; others stressed that the suffered from a type of ‘imposter syndrome’ which made them question their delivery; a few felt that they infrequently went through dips in confidence from time to time. 

These priorities will now form the basis for hour-long focus sessions - presenting a range of strategies and approaches for staff with which to improve their approach in these areas.

The rest of the day was set aside for in depth 1:1 sessions, concentrating on a thorough review of the results of skills profiles which had been formulated via the completion of a range of questions carried out by staff.

I feel it is an important part of staff development that teachers are afforded such opportunities, and most staff felt that there was a great degree of truth in the profiles which were created for them. These profiles will remain confidential to them - and their content will be for the respective staff to use as they see fit, but having the chance to read a full profile, breaking down realised and unrealised strengths, learned behaviours and ‘weaknesses’ (though these were referred to as ‘untapped areas’) was personally incredibly insightful.

We are only at the beginning of this process, but it’s an exciting one - and one which I feel will yield something special. An integral part of the College’s ethos is to empower students to progress within a supportive environment, and such an intention should also be true of staff.

It is inevitable that staff will come and go at schools, but there is certainly no guarantee that they will progress as practitioners. Throughout my career, I’ve participated in several different and quite variable programmes, and the success of these has been largely down to the staff involved: how far they want to improve; how invested they are in the College; how keen they are to support others to this end.

At this stage, I’m really keen to see where it all goes. 

I’ve already learned a great deal about myself, and considered how I can help others as well as myself to improve. It’s a pleasure to say that the approach is a new one, and places value on staff growth, happiness and fulfillment. It’s another area in which I am proud of our approach.

  • 25

    May

    Young Editors: Aavani and Noor

    The fifth edition of “EIC Distinct” Magazine is nearly ready to be released.   Although both are very busy with their GCSE exams, Aavani and Noor, the...

  • 24

    May

    Teacher Tuesday: Kashif

    Today’s “Teacher Tuesday” guest has two great passions, which he calls “the two Cs”: Chemistry and Cricket. Meet Kashif, our Head of Chemistry, who si...

  • 23

    May

    The Monday Briefing: Looking Through the Windows

    “It takes a village to raise a child'' is a proverb which was mentioned to me at the conference, and more emphasis, through the work of Tooled Up Educ...

  • 18

    May

    GCSE Exams: "Let's showcase what we have learnt"

    Exams, real exams, are back! It’s time for our students to demonstrate that, after their hard work, they can get those top grades they aimed for, even...

  • 17

    May

    Teacher Tuesday: Omar

    Calling all Science Lovers. Spoiler: this article contains several fascinating details about our Science classes.  Our Teacher Tuesday guest today is ...

  • 16

    May

    The Monday Briefing: One Day in your Life

    I was extremely fortunate last week to have been present at the first Independent Schools Association Annual Conference since 2019. The setting of the...

  • 13

    May

    College Catch Up - May 13th - "Notte Prima Degli Esami"

    Exams approaching, lessons learned for our football team after their latest match, a “goodbye Pizza-Party” with the Y11s, a fun interview with James a...

  • 11

    May

    When Politics becomes a way to improve the local community: Avesta's story

    Breaking records as the youngest ever Labour party candidate, youngest candidate in London, and second youngest candidate in UK political history, Ave...

  • 10

    May

    Teacher Tuesday: James

    Head of Geography and Psychology, James Garside has been a steadfastly reliable member of the EIC teaching staff for the last four years.  His friendl...

  • 09

    May

    Pastoral Blog: the snowflake generation?

    It has now become a lazy shortcut to describe today’s young people in less than flattering terms. The term “snowflake generation” has now entered the ...

  • 09

    May

    The Monday Briefing: Girl You're so Together

    What is the principle characteristic that I want students to leave the College with? It’s not the ability to solve complex equations in Mathematics, o...

  • 04

    May

    Y12 Conference: Opportunities to shape the future

    Suited and booted, the entirety of our Y12 students travelled to Farlintgon School on Friday to attend a conference focused on career advice, Universi...