Professional Learning

‘Every teacher needs to improve, not because they are not good enough, but because they can be even better’.

- Dylan Wiliam

Admiral Lord Nelson School is committed to making professional learning available and accessible to all staff. It should be responsive to the needs of the school and the individual and should be rigorous and challenging and produce outcomes that enhance and enrich the learning experience for all our students and staff. Professional learning is central to our growth as a school and we believe that in building the capacity of all our staff we can continue to be an innovative school where attainment and achievement are beyond expectations and where we can all ‘Dare to Dream and Aim to Achieve’. Our vision for professional learning is based on the principle that in order for us to provide an enriched personalised learning environment for our students we must engage all staff in the same culture of enriched learning which supports focused professional development.

At Admiral Lord Nelson School, we know that effective leadership at all levels makes a difference to school improvement and students’ outcomes and as members of a learning community, we are all responsible, with support and guidance, for directing our own professional learning in order to develop our skills as leaders in learning.

Through ongoing coaching and mentoring, we identify strengths and professional development needs, seeking and taking opportunities to develop our practice. As a senior leadership team, we identify and grow leaders at all levels and use a variety of opportunities and individualised pathways to support leaders with their leadership progression and at points of transition.

We develop and utilise programmes for teachers, leaders and support staff focused on learning-centred leadership that promotes the professional growth and development of each team, incorporating succession planning for the future.

We ensure our personal, professional learning supports team and whole school goals, whilst reflecting an understanding of the wider educational context.

We are committed to contributing to our colleagues’ learning, sharing our expertise and collaboratively developing good practice. We encourage and provide opportunities for a collaborative approach to planning and pedagogical practice. We look beyond Admiral Lord Nelson School and encourage teaching staff to engage with research and use this to grow and strengthen their own practice. We welcome robust expert external challenge in order to evaluate and develop current practice. In developing an outward facing, collaborative ethos we strive to raise standards.

An expectation of all staff is to approach professional learning with a positive mindset: open, curious, reflective and committed to investing in our own professional learning and the learning of our colleagues.


Inset is made up of 2 full days and 6 twilights, thereby allowing time for immersed professional learning alongside regular opportunities to engage with professional learning, put into practice and revisit/evaluate.

Teaching and Learning Research Hubs

All teaching staff are part of a Teaching and Learning Research Hub.
To strengthen our collaborative learning community, the six hubs focus on the following enquiries:

  • Metacognition
  • Learning habits and self-regulation
  • Seeking and responding to feedback to improve performance
  • Academic language
  • Challenge for all
  • Peer-assisted learning/coaching/mentoring

Professional Learning Sessions (PLS)

To support colleagues in developing their practice further, PLS are available half-termly. Colleagues will respond to feedback from observations, monitoring and through discussions with their line-manager, identifying the appropriate PLS to attend. All teaching staff are expected to lead and/or attend 4 sessions per year.

Professional Wednesday

Professional Learning sessions for New Staff, NQTs and ITE colleagues run on Wednesdays with colleagues attending appropriate sessions. ITE colleagues will attend every Wednesday and NQTs will join ITE colleagues and attend joint sessions with Trafalgar School NQTs in order to build connections and network.


NQTs are expected to attend all new staff induction sessions held after school. Led by the Lead Practitioner: Professional Learning and Development alongside colleagues with particular expertise, a series of scheduled professional learning sessions support and develop classroom practice.


Curriculum leaders are given the opportunity to identify the needs of their team and plan for specific professional learning sessions in order to develop subject knowledge and pedagogy.


  • ITT/NQT Mentoring
  • Curriculum Leader mentoring and coaching
  • Future Change Makers
  • Joint Leadership work with Trafalgar School
  • Challenge Partners
  • Trip leadership
  • Associate SLT Projects
  • SLT Curriculum/Wider/Achievement meetings
  • Conferences (PiXL, ASCL)
  • NPQSL and NPQH courses