“The 2014-2015 budget outlay for CPD at Ainslie Wood was £20,555 and predominantly spent on external courses, that were both expensive and demonstrating little, or no impact beyond the attendee,” explains Claire.
In 2015/16 Ainslie Wood continued to look for ways to be more efficient and ever more effective. Eager to innovate, they agreed to take part in an EEF research project with IRIS Connect. The pilot included IRIS Connect film club; a programme designed to get teachers reflecting upon teaching and learning and engaged in collaborative learning around video.
“There is a danger that teaching can become an isolated activity. Teachers tend to go into their classroom on their own, teach and plan on their own and then reflect in order to make improvements on their own. Feedback can be minimal and hard to gather. We knew we wanted to get teachers talking to each other more and sharing their expertise, and film club was a great opportunity to do this,” describes Claire.
“It’s been a fantastic reflective tool. It’s such a simple idea; getting teachers together to watch clips and then talk about what they see. It’s got our teachers talking about teaching and learning – exchanging ideas and strategies as well as trialling new methods and ways of teaching. It’s made professional learning fun and easy and, as a result, our culture has become more collaborative and open.”
In 2015-2016, as a result of their investment in IRIS Connect and the development of in-house dissemination and collaborative workshops, they were able to cultivate a culture of sharing, reflection and continuous in-house development, while dramatically reducing CPD spend to £10,923.
By July, the rest of the country’s National Average dipped to 53% achieving at Age Related Expectations (ARE). But Ainslie Wood took another rise to 79% achieving at or above ARE in reading, writing and maths combined. Alongside that, 95% of teaching was rated good or better with 30% of which was considered outstanding.