Teaching for Distinction @OldhamCollege. FE CPD in action.

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The principles of Teaching for Distinction apply to all college faculty areas. 

Following on from the first post outlining our Teaching for Distinction Programme, here is an update including more of the materials.  We’ve just completed the introductory day on Modules 4-6 alongside a recap of Modules 1-3.  Oliver Caviglioli produced these lovely infographics to summarise some of the key elements of each module – although it’s important to stress that there is a lot more to each module.  All the modules are supported by books, videos and online articles that tutors can access via the staff online network.

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Modules 1 – 3

The pdf can be downloaded here Modules 1-3 infographic v2 (1)  Please feel free to take a look  – (but please don’t circulate widely without asking.)  You can see that we’ve collected ideas from a lot of writers and researchers.  All members of staff have copies of Doug Lemov’s Teach Like a Champion and each faculty has copies of the excellent Didau and Rose Psychology book which is referenced in various modules.

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Modules 4-6

Modules 4-6 infographic

The faculty leaders now have the task of taking the learning from the input training days and putting it into the context of their faculties, depending on what their professional learning priorities are. There is wide agreement that all the ideas included in the programme resonate across the college. It doesn’t matter what you teach, the agenda is very similar.  How to define excellence? How to impart knowledge, model skills, assess students’ knowledge, skills and understanding and give effective feedback? How to build in appropriate forms of practice at the right frequency? How to develop routines for excellence – in behaviour and in learning?  Alongside the diverse range of professional knowledge of specialist content and industry practices, the ideas in this programme translate meaningfully into every context.

We’re trained faculty leaders to use the Dylan Wiliam Teacher Learning Communities model for CPD as an initial framework.  All faculties will have fortnightly CPD sessions of 90 minutes to 2 hours where these issues will be explored. It’s great to work with a college that is making this level of commitment to staff CPD -it’s not a flash in the pan.

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From the Faculty Leader training – based directly on Dylan Wiliam’s TLCs. 

I’m looking forward to returning to Oldham College in October where I’ll be spending two days looking at lessons and talking to staff to see how things have started. In November we’ll push things on again and again in January.   This way, staff have a great chance of developing their practice in a rigorous manner.  It’s already become part of the shared language amongst staff in different faculties.  People are talking about Austin’s Butterfly-  as a code for defining excellence and raising expectations; people are discussing knowledge organisers and retrieval practice; there’s a lot of discussion about mindsets and feedback.   It’s really genuinely exciting to be involved with a programme on this scale of ambition and commitment.

Thanks as ever to the amazing Rachel Irving, who is responsible for leading on teaching and learning, and to Principal Alun Francis for his vision and continual encouragement. Most of all, however, I want to thank the Faculty Leaders who have engaged so enthusiastically with the programme; largely because of that, I am very optimistic that Teaching for Distinction is going to make big impact in the long run.

We’ll keep you posted.


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