Staff Professional Development
At Woodside High School, we take staff development seriously, as it is fundamental in providing the students with the best possible education and the most equitable class room experience. Teach First and Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs) along with all staff new to Woodside are provided with comprehensive training to develop excellence and ensure high standards.
Furthermore, all teachers participate in regular professional development through a programme of INSET days and Twilight training sessions throughout the year.
All teaching staff and teaching assistants participate in incremental coaching on a biweekly basis. At Woodside we have 14 fully trained teacher coaches and 4 teaching assistant coaches. Incremental coaching is a regular, frequent and ongoing cycle of short lesson drop-ins and action-based follow-up conversations to help staff develop specific aspects of practice. One-to-one coaching is tailored to each member of staffs needs and is highly confidential. Importantly, it fits in with existing timetables and remains separate from performance management.
The incremental coaching dialogue typically includes review, praise, feedback, reflection, modelling, planning and goal-setting. The essential characteristics are:
- The process focuses on one action-step at a time
- Each step is followed up until the coachee has demonstrably embedded it into their practice
- The interval between drop-in and follow-up is minimal
- Drop-ins and follow-up conversations are planned into the organisation of the school
- Incremental coaching is disciplined, with common elements and training for coaches
- Incremental coaching is developmental and not part of performance management
- Coachees have ownership of the outcomes of incremental coaching
Wellbeing is an important priority at Woodside High School. It is a core value that staff feel supported and valued. Prioritising wellbeing is critical to the success and ethos of our school. Wellbeing takes different forms for every individual, so Woodside’s wellbeing strategy takes that into consideration. The wellbeing offer is varied and diverse, and is for everyone to take up as and when they feel they need it. However, all staff are asked to ensure that they make time for their wellbeing, in whatever way that is for them. For some, this will require a shift in thinking – one that understands that a high performance environment is one that includes preventative measures in addition to support. We know that physical activity, for example, leads to better physical health which is linked with better mental health and enhanced wellbeing. We ask that all staff at Woodside seek to take up as much of our wellbeing offer as possible.
- Free support for every member of staff via a monthly “stress out” drop-in session delivered by mental health organisation, Deep Black
- Managers will be receiving training on early identification, support and signposting for colleagues and students to mental health services
- Sessions on emotional wellbeing and mindfullness available to all staff
- Access to a confidential counselling helpline
- 6 staff trained in Mental Health First Aid
- Thank you/appreciation box in the staffroom
- Coaching culture
- Woodside Shared Values
- A range of physical wellness sessions will be available for staff throughout the year e.g. step count challenge, yoga sessions, badminton etc.
- Cycle to work scheme open to all staff
- Treats and refreshments throughout the year (serotonin-increasing food on Time to Talk Day, fairtrade tea and granola for Fairtrade Week, “good food for good mood” for Mental Health awareness week, for example)
- Free fruit Fridays
- Water bottles
- Early closures on days where we host parents’/carers’ evening
- No more marking policy – no requirement for marking of exercise books and the introduction of a whole-class feedback policy instead
- Reduced examinations and data collection points throughout the year
- No more written student reports
- No more formal lesson observations
- Reduced number of calendared meetings
- Removal of unnecessary paperwork
- More open-door communication and fewer formal line management meetings
- Whole-school appraisal and development system that has an emphasis on development and coaching