Professional Learning

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

Accelerated ReaderAdmiral Lord Nelson School is committed to making professional learning available and accessible to all staff, including those committed to an initial teacher training programme. 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 days and twilight sessions

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

Department

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.

PiXL

As a PiXL school we are committed to the professional learning opportunities this highly regarded organisation provides and the influence of PiXL is woven across the curriculum areas.

Leadership

  • ITT/ECT Mentoring
  • Curriculum Leader mentoring and coaching
  • Future Change Makers
  • Joint Leadership work with Trafalgar School
  • Trip leadership
  • SLT Curriculum and Achievement meetings
  • Conferences (PiXL, ASCL)
  • National Professional Qualifications

Collaborative Learning

Led by highly skilled Curriculum Directors, Collaborative Learning Sessions are currently based within curriculum teams, focused on both the school and curriculum team priorities whilst building on the work of our Teaching and Learning Research Hubs. To strengthen our collaborative learning community, during 2017- 2019 six hubs focused 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

The legacy of these hubs is now central to our practice in lessons.

Professional Learning Sessions (PLS)

To support all teaching colleagues in developing their practice further, Professional Learning Sessions are planned to complement the Inset days and twilight sessions whilst also allowing colleagues to focus on their own professional learning priorities. Colleagues identify their professional learning priorities through their appraisal meetings, in response to feedback from observations and through discussions with their line-manager. Colleagues are encouraged to look beyond ALNS at research to develop subject knowledge and pedagogy.

Professional Learning sessions specifically for new staff, Early Careers Teachers and Initial Teacher Training colleagues are run with colleagues attending appropriate sessions. These sessions are led by a range of colleagues across the school, utilising their expertise and experience. The programme is designed to reflect the school priorities and will reflect the Early Careers Framework (starting September 2021). Initial Teacher Training colleagues attend weekly, with Early Careers Teacher  given the opportunity to join also for their own professional learning, and joint sessions with Trafalgar School build connections and strength across the Salterns Trust.

We work with a range of Initial Teacher Training providers:

  • Portsmouth University
  • Chichester University
  • GLF
  • Wildern SCITT
  • Hampshire SCITT
  • Portsmouth & Solent Training Alliance (PTSA)

At Admiral Lord Nelson School we are dedicated in training the next generation of Secondary school teachers. We work alongside various training providers to offer a supportive and well developed programme with expertise mentoring and guidance.

The trainee teacher programme here has been held in high regards by the many newly qualified teachers who have experienced training at ALNS. Examples of some feedback below:

 Absolutely loved it! A really lovely school with a great mix of pupils to provide interesting experience and build resilience. The support of staff across the board has been exceptional and I could not be more grateful. Really going to miss teaching here and am genuinely sad to be leaving.”

 “I have received great support from the science department all the way through, as well as other teachers across the school who have never hesitated to offer advice and time. The professional studies programme was well thought out and useful, and it was always easy to take something away from the sessions that I could directly apply to my teaching.”

 “I will be very sad to leave as I felt immediately welcomed when I arrived, by both the Professional Mentor , my mentor and my department. Everything went very smoothly and I have found my time here to be very valuable.”