1. FOCUS SESSIONS
STRUCTURE - CHOICE AND FOCUS GROUPS - 4m 38s Audio Clip by Dr. Mike Walker
The CamSTAR CPD Programme® offers three themes over the academic year
These may be chosen by the school from the five CamSTAR themes (managing the learning environment; creativity; dialogic teaching; digital learning and teaching; assessment and feedback; and innovative pedagogies) or be developed as specific to the school
FOCUS SESSION TIME
- Each theme requires the equivalent of half a day CPD time to explore and develop through a Focus Session.
- Ideally these half-day sessions or equivalent will be placed in the first two terms of the academic year – for example, in September, October and January
- Ideally they will also be complete half days with all staff available, but they could also be the equivalent of this in hour blocks of staff time, built into the periodic meetings structure, or a blend of half days and using the meetings structure
FOCUS SESSION PROCESS AND OUTCOMES
The CamSTAR CPD Programme® emphasises the principles of andragogy. All Teachers are issued with a brief Guide to the CamSTAR CPD Programme® at the start of the first session.
Session 1: CamSTAR stimulus materials provided online (60 minutes)
For example on creativity, starting with a short CamSTAR power point; offering Teacher choice from a wide group of resources on the CamSTAR website including web links, video, power point, recorded speakers videoed; articles and text; etc… Teachers are invited to select from the materials and engage with at least three items, choosing the media and content.
Session 2: Cross-disciplinary discussion to develop what this looks like in the classroom (60 minutes)
Three 20 minute long sessions as a snowball group exercise, to provide insight into how other disciplines understand themselves and build understanding of e.g. creativity in the classroom:
Same subject pairs developing the first part of the CamSTAR ‘Understanding…’® poster with what e.g. creativity looks like in practice in the classroom, and e.g. examples of creative approaches and tasks (20 minutes)
- Pairs join to make a four across two subject disciplines, swap ideas and complete the second section of the poster with ideas from the other discipline (20 minutes)
- Groups of three pairs, completing the third subject area on the poster (20 minutes)
Session 3: Department or same subject groups - to deepen understanding in your own subject by developing ‘Ten Ideas for Classroom Practice’ in your subject (e.g. in creativity). CamSTAR provide two practical ideas, Teachers then research eight more to make a minimum of ten ideas in the subject. Development of a second but specialist ‘Understanding…e.g. creativity’ poster, this time within each subject, so that all the ideas are what e.g. creativity looks like in that one discipline, for example in Maths, or in English, etc… using the CamSTAR Expert ‘Understanding…’® poster template. Display the posters for other staff to review (60 minutes).
- A number of school multidisciplinary overview ‘Understanding the theme… ‘ posters – which may include graphics, images etc… as well as text
- Subsequent follow-up discussion in subject areas or Department Meetings of what this theme looks like in this discipline, and further sophistication and refinement added to the poster of e.g. ‘Understanding creativity in Maths…’ to be displayed in Department and in the school, the latter through pages on a complete website on this theme, plus hard copies on the school’s CPD area board. These materials can be demonstrated to students, parents, Governors, etc… as part of further raising the school profile
Which themes do you wish to focus on in the next academic year?
How much time can you give to the CPD Programme and how will you structure this time to best effect?
What is the structure for capturing ideas and research outcomes?
2. TEACHER MINI-RESEARCH PROJECT
Each Teacher to choose ONE of the themes and to develop a CamSTAR Mini-Research Project ® on an aspect of this theme in their classroom. This could be the design of a single lesson or practical approach over two or three lessons… It would help if a number of Teachers were carrying out CamSTAR Mini-Research Projects ® each term, so they could lead in an end of term Mini-Conference.
1.Literature Review / academic research
- What do we already know?
Create a collaborative CamSTAR Knowledge Poster® with all Teachers working on your chosen theme – identify sources and key knowledge on the theme, so this can be shared
Trying ideas out in the classroom by deciding:
- What you are going to do
- When you are going to do it
How you will know your students’ reaction - think not only about what you are going to do but how you are going to evaluate its effectiveness
- Who is your audience – colleagues in your Department; for CPD with ITE or Early Career Teachers; a Governors’ presentation, parents meeting, the CEO of the school group, etc… The school and Teachers can determine audiences so that each discipline is represented in different contexts – the most appropriate deployment to enhance the school profile
- How will you tell the story to that audience
3.Feedback and evaluation
Seek feedback from any relevant group, especially students, other Teachers in your Department, parents, etc…
4.Re-trying out enhanced practice – aim to be a CamSTAR!
- Use feedback to enhance and refine what works exceptionally well
- Aim at developing a ‘wow’ factor lesson using this technique. Aspire to a fantastic lesson, which is high impact, meaningful, captured, and shared, for other audiences (for example on your school website)…. Make it something where people sit up and take notice!
For each Teacher, one or more of the following:
- These could be a 2-3 minute video of the mini-research focus or of a wow lesson
- A one page write-up
- A power point presentation
- An audio of feedback especially from students as co-researchers
- Materials used in practical implementation
For the school:
A Mini-Conference within the school for all staff at the end of each term on CamSTAR Mini-Research Project® outcomes and findings to date – this could use the Teacher outcomes already generated; and at the school’s discretion there could be an online link for Governors, Trustees and owners to be involved in the Mini-Conference.
- The CamSTAR Coordinator to draw together all of the materials (on the website, in written form, etc…) to demonstrate the power of one institution focussing on each key theme
How comfortable are you involving students as researchers, in providing feedback, and engaging in presentation and discussion at staff CPD sessions?
STUDENT RESEARCH IN THE QUALITY OF LEARNING IN SCHOOLS - THEORY AND RESEARCH FINDINGS - 13m 22s Audio Clip by Dr. Mike Walker
STUDENT RESEARCH IN THE QUALITY OF LEARNING IN SCHOOLS - PRACTICAL WAYS TO DEPLOY STUDENTS AS RESEARCHERS - 6m 46s Audio Clip by Dr. Mike Walker
MINI-CONFERENCES AT THE END OF EACH TERM
Hold an in-school Mini-Conference at the end of each term on CamSTAR Mini-Research Project® outcomes and findings to date
- This Mini Conference is for staff (and student researchers if you feel this is appropriate) but you can also invite interested observers from other schools
SHORT PRESENTATIONS TO GOVERNORS’ MEETINGS
- Consider short presentations to Governors’ Meetings during the year, to show progress and outcomes focussed on the quality of teaching and learning – either short videos or in person by Teachers or especially students, evaluating the impact on their learning.
COLLATING CamSTAR CPD THINKING AND THE MINI ACTION RESEARCH PROJECT OUTCOMES
- Draw all these outcomes together, for example on a separate website, in print, in marketing materials, etc….
PUBLIC OCTOBER CONFERENCE THE FOLLOWING ACADEMIC YEAR
Hold a CamSTAR Schools Conference® to which you invite other schools and interested parties, as a major Teacher Research Forum and PR event, with talks, seminars, videos, and collated school materials demonstrating the level of professional knowledge and the impact of the CPD Programme across the school
How will you draw all the Mini Research Project outcomes together? Will you create a separate ‘Institute for Learning’ website for your school, linked to the main school website?
How will you use the outcomes and continuing dynamic of research engagement in marketing the school?
DEVELOPING THE CamSTAR CPD PROGRAMME® YEAR ON YEAR
This can be done in a number of ways:
REPEATING THE CPD PROGRAMME
You may wish to repeat the CamSTAR CPD Programme® with different themes
- Or maintain and deepen one or more of the themes you have already focussed on
Carry out impact studies to demonstrate the transformational nature of practice over more than one year – considering multiple factors such as retention and recruitment of students within a subject; student feedback; teacher feedback; test and examination results; etc… See the CamSTAR Impact Study® guide
FURTHER DEVELOPING THE ANNUAL OCTOBER CONFERENCE
You may wish to develop the Autumn Conference into a major Regional CamSTAR® event, either annually or biannually
- To manage this you could change the focus from year to year, by theme, subject discipline, or groups of subjects, etc… andragogy
This could also be part of a bid to become a CamSTAR Gold School® as a Regional or International CamSTAR Hub
ENGAGING STUDENTS AS RESEARCHERS AND CamSTAR SCHOOL AMBASSADORS
- You may wish to develop the concept of students as co-researchers much more fully, and promote them as Ambassadors for Learning at your school
- Parents’ Meetings could involve student researchers talking about learning and specific projects across different subjects; or students and Teachers – and parents – together (e.g. preparation for world of work, homework)
ENHANCING PROFESSIONAL CAPITAL
- You may wish to enhance Teachers’ – and the school’s - ‘professional capital’ by developing Teachers’ individual expertise further through other programmes, individual CPD development beyond research already undertaken (e.g. sponsoring an M Ed or PhD)
- Also by considering how you can take the lead across your school’s parent organisation
- You may consider, as a CamSTAR Gold School, combined research projects on a specific theme with other CamSTAR schools, locally, regionally and internationally
ENHANCING INSTITUTIONAL MATURITY
You may wish to develop enhanced institutional maturity through a range of measures:
- Allocating time and resources to CamSTAR CPD in different ways
- Creating your own ‘Institute for Learning’ including Teacher and student researchers
- Providing a physical space for Teacher Research, and Student Research, as a central school hub for outcomes and dissemination / display
- Linking staff appointments to requirements to undertake research – ‘this is what we do here’
- Creating new staff roles aligned with research and learning, as appropriate to your school
Developing students as lifelong learners and CamSTAR Ambassadors® for Action Research in learning
- Engaging School Leaders and Governors in Research Projects
- Engaging some Parents in Action Research
- Inviting Parent Researchers to join an Advisory Board
- Capturing all of this to develop the profile of the school
- Continuously developing skills to evaluate the impact of research and school development
How will you develop the CamSTAR CPD Programme® in a sustained and systematic yet dynamic manner in your school, to continuously deepen understanding and expertise?
How will you design and develop Impact studies to further inform and develop practice?
How will you further engage students – and parents or Governors – as researchers in the quality of learning?
How will you sustain and develop the professional learning of all teachers?