Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Our approach to professional learning at our school.

We're trialling something new at our school to support professional learning. Professional learning networks have been offered, with each staff member leading one. I lead my first session today about personalising learning, sharing back from my sabbatical. Our next session will be in ten weeks with everyone sharing some practice.
The intention behind the PLNs is for learning needs to be better met, for everyone to have a say in the professional learning programme and for everyone to have a leadrship role. We have an experienced team and most of us have been working together for a few years, so the time and the culture is right.
I am hopeful that over time the PLNs will develop into carefully planned for sessions that run for as long as necessary to achieve set outcomes.
The PLNs have generally been attended by everyone, but they are not compulsory to attend. Some staff have been brave enough not to attend Some sessions which I salute and would encourage. This is the type of thing I want happening in our rooms, so support it fully at this level too.
In addition to these networks, staff are each in charge of their own professional learning budget. This can be used for anything to support their own learning - further study, conferences, travel, etc. We also have a teachers only day where school visits are the focus. Teachers select the schools themselves based on their learning needs. We are sending two teachers to ulearn and these two contribute some of their professional learning funds to the cost of this.
I think that everyone's professional learning needs are better met through this approach, as opposed to our previous traditional staff meeting approach.I have been able to decide my own professional learning programme to support the goals that are set in my appraisal and I think the experience is one that everyone should have. That is, being in control of their own learning. This is what I want for everyone in our school; teachers and children.  I am surveying the staff at the start and end of the year to see if this has indeed better met their learning needs.
Tteaching as inquiry is firm embedded. We are also in the second year of  Accelerating learning in literacy. Our interventions are the basis for our TAIs - we're not doubling up work.
There is additional funding in the professional learning budget for things that pop up along the way, so we don't miss any awesome learning opportunities.


  1. Hi Bede, thanks for sharing. We have a similar set up for PD at our school. I would be interested to hear your ideas on personalised learning. I recently blogged about some of the ways I am trying to personalise learning with my students. If you are interested here is the link http://tomorrowslearners.com/creating-individualised-learning-plans/

  2. Hi Sam. Thanks for your comment.
    I'm learning more about personalised learning - I was lucky to have a sabbatical in term 1. As the leader in our school I am hoping that children and adults all have a learning experience that meets their needs and interests.
    What this looks like exactly and what might need to be put in place to make it happen. Always learning. You've possibly seen some of my other posts here as my learning grows. A big thing is to see the difference between individualised and personalised learning. Personalised involves learner voice.
    Be great to hear your views too.


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