30 August 2020

WOW: ASPIRE                                                                                                                                             CPD TERMLY FOCUS: READING AND VOCABULARY

This Week:


  • New Staff – Welcome! All have a peer buddy.  Please make sure that you ask questions – ask your HoD, peer buddy or RLO.
    • New staff CPD sessions will begin on 23rd September with PHO.  HoDs or SLT links will answer any questions in the meantime.

Lots of updates below…please read them.


September brings a new set of interesting challenges…both personal and professional.  Many of us will feel relief that we no longer need to juggle home-schooling and home-working.  Many of us will feel relief at the prospect of seeing WLD students face-to-face. Some of us will feel trepidation at the prospect of the coming weeks.

In each of us, will be the desire to provide quality first teaching with genuine pastoral care at its core.  So, with our WLD family reuniting this week, we must remember to be kind to ourselves and each other. 

The Remote Learning Policy remains unchanged from July.  Please provide tweaks or amendments to RLO asap if needed.

The Teaching and Learning Policy has been updated and now contains a Section Two Pandemic section.  Please read and use the one page summary (picture below) to help you to refine your approach.



Top Tips are going to be vital in coming weeks and months.  Therefore they will resume next week but will need to be done electronically. Please send RLO your Top Tip by the end of Monday of the week of your Top Tip.  They have been added to the school calendar as if we were operating as ‘normal’.


Feel free to make a PPT voiceover if you think it useful or if it is easier.




The School Calendar now contains:

  • Word of the Week (in arrows on Sat/Sun box) – The English Department will lead on this but you can pick up and offer Classcharts for using it in your lessons
  • Whole-school CPD/T&L priority for each term (whilst we want to move away from having a focus of the fortnight, Middle Leaders requested a focus of the term to allow them to forward plan). Red box in top right hand corner (see below).
    • Where possible, departmental meetings, Top Tips and any developmental work should link to this CPD priority to allow depth of focus.
  • Departmental top tips – so that you know when you are sharing (see previous section)
  • Pastries and Progress – no idea how we will do this as yet.  It will happen.  The final PandP of each term will review progress with the specified termly CPD focus.
  • Open Door Weeks – again, let’s get back into a safe and purposeful routine before we initiate again.


Quality First Teaching

The T&L Policy (issued in January 2020) continues to be our ‘go to’ in terms of T&L priorities and our approach to delivery quality first teaching for students within our context. The policy’s slogan – Feedback-Plan-Teach – will be even more relevant (particularly the ‘feedback’ element) in these post-lockdown times.

The Teaching and Learning Toolkit

This is our working ‘policy in practice’.  The whole-school T&L Policy was launched to all staff, underpinned by the T&L Toolkit and outlining the key principles to be found across school.  Every Top Tip, Pastries and Progress and CPD session has been explicitly linked to the areas of the Toolkit

It will need to be evaluated and modified…but not for now! We have enough to do.


Aiding Planning (see email on 5th August)

Throughout school closure, the Walton Connects group discussed a range of areas around T&L; one of them was whether we needed to provide more consistency in our presentations to students on whole-school priorities (i.e. vocabulary instruction, Basics, Kagan, etc) to drive home the message and to reduce workload. A set of key slides was produced and several members of staff have helped to 'mock up' a PPT template to aid us all in our planning from September.  Please note that I am suggesting that we copy and paste the relevant slides into our own PPTs.  It is the consistency of content regarding key priorities (vocabulary instruction, the Basics, reciprocal reading etc) that is important.  I think departments may wish to keep their own identities in terms of the look and feel of their presentations.  Please click here and discuss in departments, feedback and use where relevant/useful. 

Remember also to collect your staff planners from Lorraine if you haven’t already. They have been created with staff comments/input from last time.


Walton Connects

This was a T&L group initiated over lockdown it was an invaluable way of co-constructing the way forward in terms of T&L.  This will continue in some capacity for those willing and keen. More information will follow as September gets underway.


Whole School CPD

Following on from the School Improvement Conference last January (lifetime ago!), some colleagues expressed a desire for more whole-school CPD. Others seemed to appreciate the ‘menu’ approach offering a variety of choices.  Therefore, with both ends of the spectrum in mind, we have tried to develop something of a compromise: one whole-school CPD session per term.  However, there will be a choice of ‘workshops’ for staff to attend. This will hopefully allow everyone to feel in control of their own CPD.

The Autumn CPD session will veer off the initial plan as it will be flexible to accommodate the need to discuss adjustments in systems/protocols in light of wider reopening.  It may also need to cater for training needs in terms of student and staff well-being.


Evaluation of CPD

The CPD Audit conducted last spring in association with the Teacher Development Trust resulted in a silver award for CPD provision at the school (see website here for more info). However the outcome was a need for stronger evaluation of CPD.  Therefore at the end of a CPD session, every attendee will receive an anonymous questionnaire to complete (this is an evidence-informed questionnaire with pre-defined questions). 

New Staff Induction

It is currently intended that these sessions are to be held virtually and have been diarised in the school calendar.  A number of staff kindly lead these sessions with new staff (and trainees) and their initials have been included in the diary (leads include: PHO, JMA, JMI, PWA, JWI, LCH, SYO, DTU, RSW, RLO – please check dates).



We have four trainees starting with us on 21st September and they will be with us until Christmas.  They are working in MFL (subject mentor is RHO), English (subject mentor is JGA), History (subject mentor is JMI) and PE (subject mentor is RSW).  They will attend new staff induction CPD (Wednesday evenings – in the calendar) and any other CPD/school events.  They will be teaching 7 lessons minimum by Christmas. Subject Mentors will receive training from the PTSA and guidance and support from RLO. We will diarise a meeting asap. A monthly calendar has been saved in WLD Teachers here.


All resources for Subject Mentors and trainees will be saved in WLD Teachers here.  A confidential OneDrive area will be shared with trainees and mentors in due course.



Obviously a number of our staff were affected in terms of their induction last year.  With this in mind, I have invited them to undertake a period of lesson study working in triads with other members of staff in a purely supportive and developmental manner.  I have been able to make some links with University of Cumbria also to allow them to gain external guidance and coaching. More information on this to follow in due course.


Study Groups

Each of us will be prioritising knowledge gaps and obviously preparing students for external exams in 2021, whilst simultaneously ensuring that the future exam-takers have their threshold knowledge set. With this in mind, I am proposing that study groups this year continue to have a ‘research-led’ approach, but focus on filling gaps, making knowledge stick and generally preparing courses that will allow students to make up for the time lost in the classroom.  Examples of research papers will be provided as a starting point but department have the autonomy to choose their own credible piece of research as a starting point. Every member of staff will need to account for five hours of time.

Those involved in the lesson study may use these hours towards their study group time.


National College

Every member of our staff now has access to CPD in terms of webinars and online content through the National College.  The prospectus of CPD available is here.  Your HoD/Line Manager/SLT may direct you to look at various modules in this library throughout the year.  Please feel free to dip into it as you wish.  We have paid for it because we feel that it provides a flexible approach to CPD and allows ALL to access for the price of less than a handful of people attending a one day course. You were all sent links in June.  Please let RLO know if you cannot access.


Posted by Rachel Long

Category: Teaching and Learning Digests

Leave a Reply