Over the last two years, Mrs Lakin has been working towards a professional qualification for senior leadership. This involved both professional instruction on the different aspects of school leadership as well as wider reading and a school improvement project. There are some demanding criteria to finally gain the qualification, including working to develop an in school development project.
Mrs Lakin worked alongside the SLT at Culcheth to identify “coaching” as a key improvement priority to help Culcheth High School develop further. We are a good school, but we are clear that we want to be even better. Through the work of Mrs Lakin’s project, we were able as a school to identify the features of high quality teaching and to build capacity to train teachers as coaches. When lessons are observed, staff take part in coaching conversations looking at how different aspects of practice in the classroom can be developed and adapted to get the maximum impact for all students.
The feedback from all teaching staff has been very positive since the start of this process. We are also pleased to acknowledge that while working on this project, Mrs Lakin also achieved a successful promotion to the SLT on a permanent basis.
Embarking upon the National Professional Qualification for Middle Leaders course, 18 months ago, was a daunting but exciting prospect. The ‘face-to-face’ training opportunities provided valuable support from colleagues in other schools and guidance on the individual project that Miss Harris undertook. Improving the attainment of boys has been an ongoing issue in English and was something that she was keen to tackle head on.
Initially, she researched her focus area to look at strategies to improve the performance of boys. Training time was used, as a
department, to discuss and share ideas. Staff then focused on the performance and achievement of this key group. Miss Harris also worked with an Athlete Mentor, Olympic boxer, Courtney Fry in order to enthuse the groups of boys concerned and provide a positive male role model.
The project had a positive impact on closing the gap of attainment between boys and girls. It helped Miss Harris to improve her
performance as a manager and brought the focus of a key group of students to the attention of teaching staff during the formative years at Key Stage Three. Many thanks to staff in the department and across the school who supported the project and to all the boys involved.