Professional Development is of paramount importance within all educational settings. It enables the knowledge and skills of professionals to stay up-to-date, practice to be enhanced through the introduction of new research and initiatives and provides a space to further develop reflexivity amongst professionals.
Within the Opossum Federation, we have developed a Pathway to Success for Early Career Teachers, which builds upon the work completed during Initial Teacher Training. The two Professional Development programmes on offer each engage the delegates across one academic year and provide a network of support and expertise.
These training programmes are open to all eligible Opossum Federation members and a number of places are available for external partners in neighbouring schools.
This programme is designed to meet the statutory needs of induction for all teachers within England. It is a year-long programme which commences with a two-day conference at the beginning of September. During this conference, the requirements for induction are established, as well as an opportunity to meet with school-based mentors to set targets and plan for the autumn term. The programme consists of thirty-two taught sessions led by practitioner experts, classroom observations and three mentor support sessions. All NQTs will engage with a piece of action research, whereby they reflect on and enhance their practice, culminating in a presentation of their findings at the end of the academic year.
'The NQT programme provided me with all the support, skills and knowledge I required for a successful induction.' (NQT 2019)
'I feel I have a great network of people that have supported me during the first term of induction.' (NQT 2020)
'The NQT programme is fully informed by research and current educational developments. The NQTs who I send are very well equipped and have good knowledge. I am pleased with their progress.' (Head Teacher, 2019)
2nd Year Programme
This programme is designed for teachers on completion of their induction year and is in line with the new Early Career Framework, as outlined by the Department of Education (2019), which becomes statutory for all schools in September 2021. The programme consists of six days (one per half term) and is centred around the enhancement of classroom practice. The sessions mainly focus on the five core principles of the Early Career Framework; behaviour management, pedagogy, curriculum, assessment and professional behaviours. As well as taught sessions, delegates will have the opportunity to engage in classroom visits across a range of schools, lead a whole school curriculum project and undertake action research.
'Leading a whole school writing project has provided me with incredible insight into the wider school life.' (2nd year teacher, 2019)
'I feel that both my pedagogy and practice as been enhanced through this programme. I feel far more confident in the classroom and this is evident in the outcomes of my pupils.' (2nd year teacher, 2019)
'The 2nd year programme is a great addition to the NQT programme, providing continuity, expertise and support for those commencing their career.' (Head Teacher, 2019)
For further information about the Pathway to Success for Early Career Teachers or to enquire about availability of places for the programmes, please contact Ute Lark on 020 8539 4552.