Teaching the teachers


- Credit: Archant

The way the teaching profession learns its craft and refines and develops its skills is changing on a national level. Jennifer Blunden Director of the new Cornwall Teaching School and Deputy Team Leader at Truro and Penwith College explains why

Truro and Penwith College is at the heart of the latest developments locally. Leading a cross-phase partnership of schools, the college successfully launched Cornwall Teaching School last year. It is the first Further Education or Tertiary College in England to be granted Teaching School status.

As a newly designated National Support School, the college has been selected to lead training and professional development for teaching staff across the region with its strategic partners. These include Richard Lander School, Penair School, the Roseland Community College, Devoran School and Truro Nursery School. The launch event took place at Truro College when representatives from local and national institutions came together for a well-attended conference.

They were welcomed by David Walrond, Principal of Truro and Penwith College who was recently designated a National Leader in Education. Guest speakers included Charlie Taylor, Chief Executive of the National College for Teaching and Learning who explained how teaching schools are catalysts for school improvement and raising standards. Other visiting speakers from across the country shared their experiences, including an insight into the success of the London Challenge, and presentations on the work of other teaching schools in the South West.

The core vision for Cornwall Teaching School is to develop a sustainable model for developing teachers and leaders and to secure outstanding practice in all phases of learning in Cornwall. The guiding principles are trust, transparency, and high aspirations across all phases of education. The key aim is to ensure children and young people achieve to the very best of their ability. Cornwall Teaching School is offering early years, primary, secondary and 11-19 ‘School Direct’ teacher training places. It will do so for primary and secondary teaching through local ‘SCITT’ (School-Centred Initial Teacher Training) partners. The teaching school aims to recruit and retain outstanding new entrants to the teaching profession. It will provide them with the highest quality training informed by the latest research to meet the needs of Cornish schools. Cornwall SCITT and Cornwall SCITT Partnership are both outstanding providers of teacher training with established local and national reputations for excellence. Between them they have trained almost 1000 teachers working in Cornish schools. The School Direct approach is modelled upon their success.

Cornwall Teaching School has a wealth of specialist support, not just for learning and teaching and teacher training, but also for business management and academy transition through designated Specialist Leaders of Education and Associates who work across phase to support and deliver great learning, teaching and leadership in Cornwall.

Dr Jenny Blunden, Director of Cornwall Teaching School, is leading its development and very enthusiastic about the great potential it offers for improving teaching, learning, and the life chances of young people in Cornwall: ‘There are real opportunities for schools and colleges to work in local partnerships that develop packages of effective support which will maintain the ethos and identity of individual schools while supporting real school improvement in line with local andnational priorities’.

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Research and evidence-based practice arcore to Cornwall Teaching School which even in its first weeks of existence has already had success in securing research awards from the National College for Teaching and Leadership. The projects include developing video guidance and analysis of teaching for better behaviour management and communication. The Cornwall Teaching School is also involved in national ‘Closing-the-Gap’ projects and collaborative work with primary partners to develop a local vision for the new Primary

National Curriculum.

For further information about Cornwall TeachinSchool visit www.cornwallteachingschool.org/

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