Category Archives: CPD Library

Teach Yourself and Train Others: Designing a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Programme

We all know that when teachers are exposed to high-quality training, their teaching improves and they are able to have a greater impact on student attainment. Continuing professional development (CPD) programmes are therefore essential in all schools to raise the standard of teaching and learning, and to help close the achievement gap. However, with the majority of maintained schools in the UK currently facing extreme budgetary pressures, there is often little cash available to send teachers on courses run by external CPD providers.

Schools are increasingly choosing to cover CPD in-house, with individual teachers, middle leaders and senior leaders organising training sessions for their staff. Aside from saving money, in-house CPD has many benefits, including:

  • Those running the training will be aware of the specific school context and the
    day-to-day issues the school faces, and will be able to tailor the training accordingly.
  • In-house CPD can unify staff behind a common school improvement goal, helping teachers to work together more effectively and to feel less isolated in their own classrooms.
  • Providing individual staff members with the opportunity to run sessions in their chosen specialism can empower them, give them a sense of autonomy over their own practice and help them to develop key leadership skills.

Nevertheless, designing a CPD programme can be daunting. Whether teachers are looking to better their own practice or coach their colleagues, it can be hard to know where to start.

Bloomsbury CPD Library

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The Bloomsbury CPD Library is a series of books written by teachers for teachers with guidance, advice and strategies that are designed to be practical, relevant, adaptable, informed and affordable. It provides primary and secondary teachers with comprehensive and accessible ‘do-it-yourself’ CPD. It is perfect for individual teachers, middle leaders and those looking to introduce whole-school training programmes.

Books in the Bloomsbury CPD Library cover marking and feedback, special educational needs and disabilities, secondary curriculum design and assessment, becoming a middle leader, stretch and challenge, mentoring and coaching, using technology in the classroom and independent learning. And this is just the beginning!

The books are split into two halves: Part 1: Teach yourself and Part 2: Train others. In Part 1: Teach yourself, readers are encouraged to assess, improve, evaluate and excel in their own practice, while Part 2: Train others offers guidance on how to lead successful in-house CPD sessions.

Part 1: Teach yourself

In each book in the Bloomsbury CPD Library, Part 1: Teach yourself takes readers through a four-stage process that will help them to improve their own practice in the specific area covered in the book.

In Bloomsbury CPD Library: Research-Informed Practice, 9781472961532for example, this four-stage process is as follows:

Stage 1: Assess introduces the concept of research in education and what it means to be research informed in education.

Stage 2: Improve moves on to exploring the key sources readers should engage with, enabling them to keep up with new research ideas and findings.

Stage 3: Evaluate focuses on evaluating what steps readers have taken to develop their approach to research-informed practice and identifying further needs and requirements.

Stage 4: Excel looks at how readers can create an action research question that will encourage them to use research-informed knowledge to find solutions to their issues or problems.

At the end of each chapter you will find teaching tips, recommendations for sharing ideas and practice, a reading recommendation or title for discussion at a CPD reading group, a link to useful blog posts, and a ‘to do’ list to help your planning.

Part 2: Train Others

This section of the books in the Bloomsbury CPD Library looks at how teachers can develop practice more widely across their school to benefit both staff and students.

Whether readers would like to start things off with one whole-school session, or would like to run a series of training sessions for a specific group of staff, this section provides the training plans and resources to set up in-house CPD with the minimum of fuss. The section includes:

  • advice on how to run effective CPD
  • training plans for whole-school and small group sessions aimed at different audiences
  • a complete set of PowerPoint presentations to match the training plans, which are ready to use straightaway.

Online Resources

There are a wealth of online resources accompanying the books in the Bloomsbury CPD Library, including templates, questionnaires and PowerPoint presentations. These free electronic resources can be downloaded and adapted for CPD sessions – a big time saver!

Praise for the Bloomsbury CPD Library

On Bloomsbury CPD Library: Research-Informed Practice

‘Like the other titles in this brilliant Bloomsbury CPD Library series, Jennifer Ludgate’s Research-Informed Practice is immensely practical in nature and bursting with advice if your intention is to become more research-informed but you are not sure where to start.’
– Hélène Galdin O-Shea, ResearchED organiser and Research Advocate at Park High School

On Bloomsbury CPD Library: Research-Informed Practice

‘This book is useful for keen teachers and conscientious school leaders seeking research evidence that can helpfully inform their practice in the classroom.’
– Alex Quigley, National Content Manager at the Education Endowment Foundation and former English teacher, @HuntingEnglish

9781472928412On Bloomsbury CPD Library: Stretch and Challenge

‘This is an invaluable and comprehensive book for both classroom teachers and CPD leaders. Debbie Light’s book will definitely be my “go to read” for clarity, innovation and a common sense approach to this topic.’
– Debbie Ferrer, Associate Assistant Head, Bentley Wood High School

On Bloomsbury CPD Library: Middle Leadership

‘The “must have” reflective toolkit for every ambitious teacher on their journey towards middle leadership.’
– Jon Tait, Deputy Headteacher, Acklam Grange School9781472928092

On Bloomsbury CPD Library: Supporting Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities 

‘…a comprehensive guide that will increase your knowledge about children with SEND, support you in improving your classroom practice, and help you train your colleagues as well. This book is simply indispensable.’
– Sue Cowley, Teacher Trainer

Check Out Bloomsbury Education’s YouTube!

The Bloomsbury Education YouTube channel has TONS of brilliant videos to get stuck into; from five top tips for surviving in teaching to dramatic readings of poetry, animated trailers for up-and-coming fiction to suggestions on how to incorporate more kindness in the classroom.

Here’s a quick run-through of all the exciting videos on offer:

Bloomsbury Young Readers

Meet the characters, authors and illustrators behind the Bloomsbury Young Reader series, our book-banded stories for children aged 5-7. There will be pirate ships, there will be canine birthday parties, but most importantly, there will be some children flying into space!

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Happiness and Wellbeing in the Primary Classroom

Adrian Bethune, the author behind Wellbeing in the Primary Classroom, brings you a series of videos on how to create happiness, stillness and positivity in the hive of chaos that is a primary classroom! From tips for teaching kindness to writing your ‘what went wells’ at the end of each week, Adrian is awash with ideas on how to foster happy and healthy children!

Adrian 1

Meet Daniel Sobel

Who’s Daniel Sobel, you may wonder. Well, wonder no more. The inspiring author behind Narrowing the Attainment Gap and Leading on Pastoral Care describes his wonderful work on inclusion and how you can apply his ideas to your school.

Daniel

Andrew Brodie Apps

We have a have a terrific range of apps for primary learners, written and designed by the legend himself, Andrew Brodie (full range here). These confidence-boosting apps for home and school cover telling the time, spelling, times tables and mental maths, and are a brilliant way of prepping students for SATS. Want to know more? Here’s a video to show you…

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Teacher Toolkit

Want to hear from the UK’s leading education blogger? We’ve got you covered. Ross Morrison McGill, aka Teacher Toolkit, shares tips, tricks and techniques from his bestselling book, Mark. Plan. Teach.!

Ross

Poetry from Joshua Seigal

He’s hilarious, he’s insightful, he’s brilliant…

Joshua Seigal is the mastermind poet behind Little Lemur Laughing, I Don’t Like Poetry and I Bet I Can Make You Laugh, and here he is reading a variety of poems. From Addicted to Chicken to Love Letter to a Lychee, there’s nothing quite like them!

Josh Seigal

Make Your School an Excellent One

Rob Carpenter, author of A Manifesto for Excellence, has created a series of videos on how to make your school bloomin’ excellent. From creating an aspirational school environment to the importance of mindfulness and wellbeing, there are a plethora of great takeaways to enhance your teaching and inspire your pupils.

Rob Carpenter

Philosophy: 40 Lessons to Get Children Thinking

Fancy a whole lesson at your fingertips, FOR FREE?! Esteemed founder and CEO of The Philosophy Foundation and author of 40 Lessons to Get Children Thinking and The If Machine, Peter Worley presents a 44-minute video where he undertakes a sentence activity with a primary class, encouraging the children to think about meaning, structure and relationships.

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How to Survive in Teaching

How does one survive in teaching amidst the long hours, endless paperwork, demoralising colleagues, stress and anxiety? Ask Dr Emma Kell, author of How to Survive in Teaching and general unwavering optimist, who will teach you how to survive, nay, THRIVE, in this brilliant profession.

Emma Kell

Let’s Perform!

Loosen those limbs and begin those warm-up exercises, it’s time to get dramatic! Watch Cath Howe’s collection of original monologues, duologues and poetry in action, performed by the shining stars of Fern Hill Primary School!

Let's Perform

Head over to our YouTube channel to browse!

The Liberation of Learning

We all have a view about what education should be like – and we know what it looks like in reality. In the currently dominant model of education, the focus is on learning prescribed syllabus content, determined by what can be easily assessed by written examination, namely, factual recall, divorced from much consideration of relevance or interest and driven by a remorseless concern for successful examination results. The watchwords of traditional education are rigour, knowledge, examined assessment and opposition to student control over the learning process.

This is, of course, not the only way to think about education. By way of contrast, the educational progressive favours independent learning, arguing with Dewey that the centre of gravity must be nearer the child: their interests, concerns and questions matter when we are determining what is to be learned. Progressivism draws on simple but often neglected insights into the learning process, such that students learn better if they are interested in what they are studying, are able to make significant choices about the learning process and the form in which they exhibit their knowledge, and have time to develop a deep understanding rather than simply memorising facts for short term recall.

Progressive education embraces the realms of the unknown, the imaginative, the evaluative and the creative. Learning is connected much more directly to life itself. It is an active process of inquiry and exploration, involving the individual construction of meaning within the domains of study. Skillful exploration of such domains is often not susceptible to assessment by means of a written examination, not least because the choice of question lies with the student. It can however be assessed, and rigorously so, by means of extended projects, a form of assessment which is for many purposes more valid than an examination, not least because students have many skills other than those which lead to success in short, sharp written tests.

Amongst these polarized views of education, where should we stand? For some years now, I have believed that we need a new movement of educational liberation. The processes of teaching and learning have been shackled by an approach which values only what can be measured and which sees only examinations as a valid form of assessment. Education, which should be about the examination of life, is reduced to a life of examination. As for teaching, since the goal is to succeed in the next round of tests, the dominant method is that of direct instruction. ‘Tell us what we need to know’, the student insists, taking for granted that the ‘need to know’ is determined by what is on the test, and that the best way of learning is for the teacher to provide the ‘right answers’ (meaning, once again, those to be written in the exam).

The effect of this process of the reduction of education to test preparation is to lock education into a matrix which is stifling, uninspiring, ineffectual (much of what is learned for tests is thereafter forgotten), psychologically damaging, pedagogically shallow, economically misguided (for the workplace needs creative critical thinkers, not well-trained sheep) and destructive of the roots of liberal democracy.

Despite the ubiquity of this scheme, it is not difficult to describe a better alternative, and some of us have dedicated much of our professional lives to building it. My book, Bloomsbury CPD Library: Independent Learning, offers a practical guide to independent learning, representing the fruits of a quest to find a new way ahead, whilst recognising the inevitable need, as things stand, to work within a framework where a traditional conception of the curriculum remains dominant.

What is manifestly the case is that we need more radical measures to find a way ahead and to give progressive educational methods space to feed into the educational mix. In my book, I review some of the research evidence which shows clearly that the best education combines the core insight of a traditional approach (some things need to be taught directly) with the insight of progressivism (deep learning begins with the learner’s own questions). We need what I would call ‘directed independence’: a process in which we teach students the skills and knowledge they need in order to be able to go on to learn for themselves.

This approach requires space and time for open discussion and debate in the classroom and for students to be able to work on extended projects of their own choosing. In my experience, and the experience of many teachers, it is when we give students freedom to choose and think for themselves, within a carefully structured learning environment, that they do their very best work. Currently, though, this type of rich, deep learning is confined to small pockets and the margins of the syllabus. It should be at the heart.

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Dr John Taylor is Assistant Head (Director of Learning, Teaching and Innovation) at Cranleigh School and is responsible for the development of independent learning across the three schools in the Cranleigh Foundation.

Bloomsbury CPD Library: Independent Learning is out now.

 

Launching our new CPD Library

Series editor and author of Marking and Feedback, Sarah Findlater, explains how designing a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme can be daunting…but whether you are looking to better your own practice or coach your colleagues, the Bloomsbury CPD Library is here to help!

This series is such a exciting project for me to be involved in. When we were sitting down as a team to plan out what the books would look like and how they would work it was clear to me that this was going to be something quite special.  The books in this series are written by teachers for teachers. Everything in them is designed to be practical and help teachers reflect and to improve their practice.

The teaching and learning titles in the series are split into two sections. Section one takes you through the essentials of the topic and gives you tools to improve and reflect upon your own practice. There is all that you need to secure your knowledge in the teaching and learning area and feel confident that you have fully developed your knowledge and practice. The second section is designed to help you train others. Whether that is your departmental team, a group of teachers across different areas or on a whole school level.  This section provides pick up and use now CPD plans and resources and guidance. There are free electronic resources that you can download and adapt for your CPD sessions. Such a time saver!

The first book to be released in the series is Marking and Feedback.  The train yourself section in this book takes you through assessing your own marking and feedback practices and secures your knowledge on the topic.  I take you through all the different types of marking out there.  Then I explore all the big theories and ideas in terms of marking and feedback and give you practical ways you can apply these in your everyday practice.  I then show you a practical and research based approach to cyclical marking and feedback and how it can be used for impact in the classroom. There are a number of self-reflection tools that allow you to deeply analyse your own practice. After all it is essential to know yourself in order to guide others.

The second section of the book guides you through best approaches to planning and running your own CPD. It also provides you with pick up and use now fully resourced and detailed plans for CPD sessions on marking and feedback. There are full plans and resources covering full day training, extended twilight sessions, action research sessions and a full term’s worth of weekly after school training sessions. All plans have downloadable, editable power points and supporting resources on the website to go with the plans – so you really can just pick it up and use it if you so wish, or you can adapt it for your setting very easily.

CPD is so important and we have too little time in schools to do it well.  This resource really will support you to get more out of your in school CPD provision as it does a lot of the research and ground work for you.

Resources and more information can be found on the series website.

Marking and Feedback by Sarah Findlater and Middle Leadership by Paul K. Ainsworth are now available to purchase on www.bloomsbury.com . Use #BloomsCPD @BloomsburyEd