As a society, an inordinate amount of time, resources and money is spent on looking at how to improve the quality of education in our schools; and rightly so.
The question we repeatedly ask ourselves, is the same. How do we improve the quality of teaching and learning? Yet, after the introduction of new methodologies and curricula; after fresh methods of teaching and models of assessment; after time and money allocated to technology; the only consistent factor, is the role of the teacher, whose abilities and skillset, knowledge and enthusiasm are crucial in determining the success, or otherwise, of the children in their care.
This year, one of the predominant foci at Wandsworth Prep, is to ensure that teaching and learning throughout the school challenges and sustains high quality achievement for all the children in our care; our teachers being the lynchpin to success.
We recognise that the most effective teachers are those who know how to enthuse and connect with children, those who put learning at the heart of all they do, are reflective, remain curious and are never satisfied with doing their best.
Teaching is about engagement, about getting children to want to learn. The wisest investment any school can make, is to ensure the most effective and the most talented teachers are in front of the children at any given moment.
Teachers across the school will be taking part in a video coaching programme which allows them to observe and learn from one another with the children, not the teachers, being the star of the show. The programme is designed to improve teachers’ use of dialogue and feedback through using video technology for collaborative professional development with a view to improving outcomes for our children.
Such programmes are not entirely new to the world of education and results from projects undertaken in the US and the UK have found that video-based coaching serves as a structure to foster personal reflection and growth by allowing teachers the opportunity to see their practice, and share it with others, in a safe, supported way; the outcome? positive impact on children’s learning and progress (and its corollary, examination results).
Bridget Saul - Headteacher